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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Joyeux Kitchen: [Meatless Monday] Broccoli and Three Cheese Lasagna

I love the idea of Meatless Mondays!  Last year I heard about cities around the country encouraging citizens to go meatless one day a week as a health initiative, and also as an environmental action statement of sorts.  Get a little more information about the movement here.  Among the many benefits of including more fruits and veggies in your diet are a reduced risk of cancer, lower body weight, and a longer life span. 
"By cutting out meat once a week, we can improve our health, reduce our carbon footprint and lead the world in the race to reduce climate change." (The Monday Campaigns)
I love it.  Like many things around our house, Meatless Monday recipes may not happen every week.  (It's so easy to lose track of the days!  Not realizing it's Monday happens more often than I'd like to admit.)  But feeding a family of five organic/grassfed/free-range/sustainable meats is hardly affordable on a regular basis, so this seems like a natural first step.

Here's a great recipe from Real Simple (12/2009) to get you started.

Broccoli and Three-Cheese Lasagna

1 15-ounce container ricotta
1 pound chopped broccoli florets (frozen are fine, just thaw, dry and chop!)
2 1/4 cups grated mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and black pepper
16-ounces marinara sauce (homemade or jar)
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for foil

Heat oven to 400.  In a large bowl, combine ricotta, broccoli, 2 cups of mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  In a small bowl, combine the marinara sauce and cream. 

Spoon a thin layer of sauce into the bottom of an 8 in. square baking dish.  Top with 2 noodles, a quarter of the remaining sauce, and a third of the broccoli mixture; repeat twice.  Top with the remaining 2 noodles and sauce.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of Parmesan. 

Cover tightly with an oiled piece of foil and bake until the noodles are tender, 35 to 40 minutes.  Uncover and bake until the top is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.  I wasn't sure about no-boil lasagna noodles until I tried this recipe; they came out perfect, you'd never know the difference.  Also, some of the reviews online mentioned leaving out the heavy cream, but I included it and it was good, nice and rich. 

Serve with a big salad and your favorite red wine... we like Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages.  Yummy and not expensive at all.  Unfortunately there's no picture of this recipe, it was so good we gobbled it up before we remembered to get the camera out.  Enjoy!

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