Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend.

I didn’t do anything particularly exciting but here are some of the highlights for me:

1) Going on a spur-of-the-moment 10 mile run which felt amazing

2) Spending Saturday night doing “crafts”, i.e. making some Halloween decorations for the apartment

3) Hanging out at Bloc 11, a cool coffee shop in Union Square

3) Watching way too much Supernatural

I also managed to do some cooking!

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This Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna has been one of my favorite recipes for a couple of years now. It’s super healthy, hearty, and filling. Unfortunately, if you don’t like zucchini, it might not be your jam. But feel free to sub other vegetables in place of the “zucchini noodles”. I may try subbing carrots or some other veggie in the future, but zucchini seem to do the job quite well.

The first step is to cut two zucchini into 6 strips each. I then chop these strips into thirds or quarters. Lay out all the strips on a paper towel, sprinkle with salt, and place another paper towel over them. This will draw out the moisture. Then preheat the oven to 400.

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Sorry for the especially bad pictures today. I completely forgot to take any until I was almost done cooking.

Anyway, next, combine quinoa, vegetable stock, tomato sauce, onion, and oregano in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. When done cooking, add some basil and parsley.

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Next, get out an 8 by 8 baking dish. If, like me, you realize that you don’t have a square dish, feel free to use a round casserole dish. I still think square dishes are better, but the round dish worked as well.

Once the quinoa is cooked, you start layering your lasagna. Get our a jar of marinara sauce & blot remaining salt and moisture from zucchini slices. Then place these layers in the dish in the following order (from bottom to top):

1) Marinara sauce

2) Zucchini slices

3) Half of quinoa

4) Marinara sauce

5) Zucchini slices

6) Other half of quinoa

7) Marinara sauce

8) Rest of zucchini slices

9) Rest of marinara sauce

10) Top with cheese or nutritional yeast (which tastes like parmesan and is GREAT to include in recipes if you are vegan)

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Then bake for 30 minutes!

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Although this recipe takes some time, it’s fairly simple and I think it’s another great dish to serve to meat-eaters. I’ve made it for several holidays/events/dinners and it’s always been a hit.

I follow the recipe from Vegetarian Times pretty closely but here it is with the slight changes:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into 12 ¼-inch-thick slices and then cut into thirds
  • Salt
  • 2 cups  vegetable broth (or stock)
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained. (I recommend red quinoa if you have it)
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves (1-2 tsp of dried also works)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves (1-2 tsp of dried also works)
  • 1 25-oz. jar marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast OR ½ cup shredded cheese if you prefer

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place zucchini slices on bed of paper towels. Sprinkle with salt, cover with paper towels, and let stand to release moisture while preparing quinoa. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Bring broth, quinoa, tomato sauce, onion, and oregano to a boil in saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 25 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and stir in basil and parsley.

3. Spoon 1/3-1/2 cup marinara sauce over bottom of 8-inch square (or round!) baking dish. Blot remaining moisture and salt from zucchini slices, and place a layer of zucchini slices over marinara sauce. Spoon half of quinoa over zucchini, and cover with a layer of marinara. Repeat with another layer of zucchini slices, remaining quinoa, and a layer of marinara. Top with remaining zucchini slices, remaining marinara, and nutritional yeast (or cheese). Bake lasagna 30 minutes, or until zucchini is tender and top is bubbly.

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