Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spinach Lasagna

Rejected by the Red Cross. AKA... My  Adventures with Spinach

In the past few years I've attempted to donate blood four times. Four times I've waited in line, filled out all the necessary forms, and had my finger repeatedly pricked. Four times I've been rejected with a low iron count. FOUR TIMES!

After my most recent rejection I said aloud, "I'm married to an Ironman... shouldn't that count for something?" Apparently I'm not as funny as I think I am. The nurse glared and told me to take a vitamin. 

I bought the vitamins. I took them for 3 days. Now they're a paperweight.

But tomorrow my office is hosting a blood drive, and I'm DETERMINED to donate. My plan? Spinach.  

Popeye-Worthy Spinach Lasagna
  • 1 plastic produce bag stuffed tightly full of spinach (preferably not baby spinach)
  • 15 oz. partial-skim ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 head cauliflower florets and some stem, cut small
  • 2 large (28 oz.) cans plain tomato sauce
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (and additional salt & pepper to taste)
  • 1 pound (or less) whole wheat lasagna noodles (soaked in hot water to soften)
  • 1/4 lb grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 2 oz. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  1. Pre-heat your over to 375 F. Clean the spinach well and wilt it, cool, squeeze out all water, stir it into the ricotta, all mozzarella, along with the nutmeg. Salt and pepper to taste, then beat in the eggs.
  2. Saute the onion & garlic  in the olive oil, add the cauliflower and saute 5 minutes, add the tomato sauce, lemon zest, wine, oregano, and pepper  simmer 5 minutes, salt to taste
  3. Spray an 11" x 13" pan (at least 2" deep) with olive oil. Build your layers beginning with noodles, followed by the sauce/veggies, and finally the cheese mixture. Be sure to cover the noodles with the sauce. You'll likely have 2 complete layers. Cover the final layer of cheese with noodles. Finish by sprinkling the top with the the grated Parm.  
  4. Bake at 375 F., covering with tin foil part of the time if needed to avoid overbrowning. It is done when internal temp is say 170 F. (check a few spots). In my oven this was approximately 40 minutes. When it's done you'll easily be able to pierce the noodles with a fork, and the sauce will be bubbling around the sides.
  5. Broil if you desire a crispy brown top (personally, I like my cheese melty).
  6. Allow to rest at least 15 minutes before serving so it has time to set.
  7. Eat your delicious, nutritious lasagna.
  8. Chuckle, and challenge someone to an arm wrestling contest. 

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