I've had many terrible vegetarian lasagnas in my day, folks. I just knew I could come up with something better than thick white sauce and sodium-filled paste slathered between lasagna noodles. This quick, hearty, and healthy vegetarian lasagna is filled with avocados, tomatillos, tomatoes, and black beans. —Mary Catherine Tee
garlic cloves, minced
ripe tomatoes, quartered
black beans, cooked or canned
avocados, scooped from their shells and roughly chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook entire box of lasagna noodles for 8-ish minutes in boiling water. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water so they stop cooking.
While the noodles are cooking, preheat the over to 375 degrees. Pour olive oil in skillet and sauté the chopped onions for about 5 minutes over medium heat, or until translucent.
Meanwhile, add halved tomatillos, quartered tomatoes, seeded jalapeno, and a generous pinch of salt in the bowl of your food processor. Turn on the low setting and mix until the ingredients are the texture of salsa.
Add garlic and cumin to the skillet with the onions and cook for a couple minutes more. Add tomato-tomatillo sauce and black beans to the onions and garlic. Stir and reduce heat to simmer.
Mix cottage cheese, avocado chunks, one lightly beaten egg, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley.
Now, it's time to assemble the lasagna! Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray. Ladle about a cup of sauce in the bottom of the pan and distribute evenly. Lay 3 lasagna noodles on top. Cover noodles with about a cup of sauce. Cover sauce with about 1/2 cup of avocado-cottage cheese mixture, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with a handful of mozzarella.
Layer 3 noodles on top of mozz and repeat--sauce, cottage cheese-avocado, shredded cheese--three more times, ending with noodles. Reserve a little extra sauce to spread over the noodles and top with copious amounts of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with fresh cilantro or parsley.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take foil off of pan and bake 5 more minutes, or long enough for the cheese on top to melt and bubble.
I’m an old soul. My favorite Saturday morning activity is watching birds on the feeder while drinking strong, black coffee out of my favorite hand-thrown mug. My favorite place to kill time is in antique stores. The less organized the better. I like full-bodied red wines and bitter IPAs. I live for feeling the warmth of sunshine and hearing the stillness of freshly fallen snow. I can thank my stint in Alaska for that. I have salt water in my veins, having grown up in Eastern NC, and (shhh…don’t tell any of my Mainer friends this about me) I prefer blue crab over lobster.