Sunday Recipe

Since my daughter became a pescatarian and a picky eater, I’m constantly inventing recipes that will tempt her. Here’s one of my successes.

Ingredients:

1 box of tofu (soft or firm, doesn’t matter)
2 packages of light panela cheese (or any firm, white, low-fat cheese will do)
1 carton of cottage cheese
1 tin/jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 big bag of grated low-fat, skim mozzarella cheese (about a pound)
1 package of lasagna pasta
1 lb of mushrooms (fresh, tinned or frozen, whatever you have)
salt
garlic powder
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

If you want to microwave this, as I do because I don’t have a working oven, precook half the box of pasta so it’s softened, but don’t cook it to shreds. That’s about five minutes in a pot of boiling water. You need 18 pieces of lasagna to do three layers in a big pan, so count them to be sure you have enough as you put them in the pot. Otherwise, you can use “no precook needed” pasta, layer it dry, and do it in the conventional oven. If you can’t find the “no precook needed” type in your local market , then you’ll still need to precook even if you have a proper oven.

Put tofu, cottage cheese and one pack of panela cheese in the blender. Season with garlic, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and dash of olive oil. Blend. This should yield the yummy creamy cheese filling. Set aside. Cube up the other package of cheese, set aside. Drain and prepare your mushrooms as well; those steps will vary according to what sort of mushrooms you’re using. Set aside.

Layer your lasagna pasta (dry or soft, depending on how you’re finishing the dish) in the bottom of the pan. In my pan, it takes six pieces to cover. Pour your creamy cheese mix in first. Spread it out. Cover in cheese cubes and mushrooms, remembering to split 1/3 in each layer. Then pour some of your spaghetti sauce over it; then spread it out. Not too much as you don’t want it all to be runny. Finally add a thin layer of mozzarella. Repeat all steps twice more, until you’ve used all your pasta, cubed cheese, mushrooms, and mozzarella. You will likely have pasta sauce left over. This can be saved for another dish.

You can microwave this lasagna just fine. It takes seven minutes in mine and tastes delicious. In a conventional oven, it would be 15-20 minutes at the common baking temp (350 F, 180 C), just enough to heat through and melt the cheese.

Serve with green salad, dressed with olive oil & balsamic vinegar.

Let me know if anyone tries this! It was a big hit in our house today. It’s already gone.