Makes: 8 servings Active time: 45 minutes Total: 1 1/2 hours
This recipe has become a favorite meatless recipe. It uses highly nutritious quinoa in the most delicious way: paired with red sauce, vegetables and cheese!
Quinoa is officially a seed but is classified as a whole grain and is a great source of plant protein and fiber. Unlike some plant proteins, quinoa is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies cannot make on their own. One cup cooked provides about 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
Its easy to mix and match vegetables. I have successfully made it with roasted eggplant, instead of zucchini or spinach and have also had success if I didn’t happen to have either the mushrooms, zucchini or spinach on hand. Power greens (baby spinach, kale and chard) also work well in this.
If you do choose to add some meat, use half a pound of browned and cooked lean ground beef or lean ground turkey breast. And diced tofu also works well here as its flavor is masked by the spaghetti sauce and the tofu adds another source of complete yet, plant-based protein.
And this reheats in the microwave so leftovers can be taken to work for lunch.
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ cups tomato sauce or 1 jar prepared pasta sauce
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese (or reduced fat ricotta)
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 cups sliced zucchini
2 cups packed fresh spinach, tough stems removed (or package of frozen spinach, thawed, drained and liquid squeezed out)
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 13 minutes. Remove from heat. Fluff with a fork. Evenly spread the quinoa in the prepared dish. Save pan for next step.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. 3. Wipe out the saucepan you used for the quinoa, then add oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until transparent and starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are softened and very little moisture is left in the pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauce. Stir until hot. Remove from heat.
- Combine cottage cheese and egg in a medium bowl; mix well. Stir in Parmesan, basil and oregano. And stir in frozen spinach if using.
- Spread one-half of the sauce over the quinoa. Make a layer of all the zucchini, then all the cottage cheese mixture, then all the spinach. Finish with the remaining sauce and sprinkle the mozzarella on top.
- Bake the lasagna uncovered until it is hot and the cheese is melted and slightly browned around the edges, 35 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.
|Amount Per Serving
|% Daily Value *
|Total Fat 9 g
|Saturated Fat 3 g
|Monounsaturated Fat 3 g
|Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
|Trans Fat 0 g
|Cholesterol 36 mg
|Sodium 415 mg
|Potassium 1001 mg
|Total Carbohydrate 53 g
|Dietary Fiber 20 g
|Sugars 8 g
|Protein 17 g
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.