Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Black Bean and Spinach Lasagna

Have a lot going on this holiday season?? I love it, but it can be exhausting.

You sail through Halloween because it's the first; you/the kids dress up, everyone's excited, fall has arrived, etc, etc. Then Thanksgiving comes around and it's a family chaos bonanza, and you love it too because of the traditions, having everyone gather, and eating too much (mmm, pumpkin pie!). Then a few days later, barely recovered from Thanksgiving, December hits and you're in a shopping frenzy, going to holiday parties, friend/family open houses, and before you know it... cooking is a distant memory and a dinner of snickers and apple seems OK.

STOP. I have a great solution!

Black Bean and Spinach Lasagna. Yes, it's your solution. Why? Because it's delicious, it makes a ton, and freezes great. Make the recipe and cook half for dinner this week, and put the other half in your freezer for 2 weeks from now, when you are not even remotely going to want to cook OR have time to cook. A half-recipe will easily feed 3-4 people with a side (try garlic bread, or simple salad).

I'm wishing you fun, laughter and energy (given to your body through eating well!) this holiday season. Enjoy these moments.

Black Bean and Spinach Lasagne
from Cooking Light

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional, I omitted this as Tim doesn't like cilantro)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers (I used a mixed pre-shredded bag of cheddar and emmentaler), divided
2 (16-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (2-pound, 13-ounce) jar pasta sauce (try the Smokey Marinara sauce, tastes great!)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
9 precooked lasagna noodles
Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Stir together first 5 ingredients and 1 cup shredded cheese; set aside.

Mash beans with a potato masher or fork in a large bowl (* VERY important to do this first, as I dumped in the pasta sauce too quickly and found it hard to mash the beans after); stir in pasta sauce and cumin.

Spread one-third of bean mixture on bottom of a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish (use 2 smaller pans if you are going to divide the lasagna and freeze half).

Layer with 3 noodles, half of spinach mixture, and 1 cup cheese; repeat layers.

When you are close to the end: spread with one-third bean mixture, top with remaining 3 noodles and remaining bean mixture.

Bake, covered, at 350 for 1 hour; uncover and top with remaining cheese. Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish, if desired.

Lasagna, lasagna and more lasagna:
- Roast Vegetable Lasagne, from Exclusively Food
- Roasted Squash-Onion Lasagna, from One Hot Stove
- Fennel and Tomato Lasagna, from Mostly Eating
- 3 Cheese Pesto Vegetable Lasagna, from Ms. Adventures in Italy

Guten appetit!


lisat said...

Wait, are you telling me that snickers and an apple is not an appropriate dinner? Uh oh....

Laura said...

@Lisa: I hear it's the dinner of champions for teachers, but the rest of us need a bit more substance. ;)

Christine said...

hey there! Happened on this recipe on google and it is so delicious! My non-vegetarian boyfriend even enjoyed it to the point of seconds! Thanks for posting!