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Spaghetti Squash & Kale Lasagna

 

Yields:  about 4-6 servings    Prep Time:  25 minutes       Total Time:  45 minutes

 

This lasagna is unique in that nutrient rich spaghetti squash provides texture and taste for the main filling.   Beta carotene and vitamin C rich kale jumps in, mixing with calcium rich cheese to make a tasty, nutritious and family friendly dish!

 

Ingredients

9 cooked lasagna noodle sheets, whole wheat or gluten free if desired

2 cups kale, shredded

2 tablespoons minced shallot

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil

1 cup whole fat milk cottage cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for topping

1/2 cup shredded cheese mix, plus 1/4 cup for topping

1/2 (about 3 cups) cooked spaghetti squash, directions below

2 3/4 cups marinara sauce

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 

2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife and scrape out the inside pulp and seeds.  Lay halves face down on a parchment paper lined baking tray.  Lightly coat both the inside and the outside of the squash with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle of salt.

 

3. Bake spaghetti squash at 400 degrees for about 20 – 25 minutes. 

 

4. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions and set aside.

 

5. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, and sauté garlic, shallots, salt and kale for about 5 minutes, until lightly cooked. 

 

6. Remove cooked spaghetti squash and using a fork, pull apart the “noodles” and add to the sauté pan with kale.

 

 

7. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of shredded cheese mix and basil.  Add kale and spaghetti squash mixture to cheese mixture.

 

8. Prepare a baking dish (I used a Le Creuset 9” by 12” dish) with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil on the bottom.  Add 1/2 cup of marinara sauce and spread evenly.

 

9. Lay 3 lasagna noodle strips in pan and on top of these, layer 1 cup of marinara sauce.

 

10. Scoop about half of the cheese and spaghetti squash mixture and spread evenly.  Repeat layers.  For the top layer, spread about 1/4 cup of marinara sauce over last layer of noodles and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.

 

11. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until bubbling and cheese on top is golden brown.

 

We have really been into spaghetti squash lately.  There’s just something so easy about preparing it once you get the hang of it, it has become a go-to component for many dishes.  Whenever I am looking for a quick dinner I can prepare in about 20 minutes, and then just throw into the oven, I am game. 

 

Our family enjoys a Spinach and Zucchini Chicken Lasagna quite a bit.  However, my 5-year old is now a vegetarian (thanks to seeing baby chicks hatch at the Museum of Science and Industry).  She is steadfast about not eating meat (luckily, she will still eat eggs and cheese).  So, I am having to get more creative in my meal preparation.

 

With lasagna, meat is using a main part of the inside filling, unless you have a vegetable packed lasagna (mushrooms, onions, carrots, eggplants – the whole shebang).  While I will probably one day give that a run, we have a lot of picky eaters, especially when they can see the vegetables.  It must make them easier about which to protest! 

 

Anyway, I took our current adoration for spaghetti squash and decided to sauté it will some kale and shallots, and this lasagna was born!  Shallots add a very mild onion-esque flavor, and when minced, are hardly detectable.  I shredded the kale, making it very small, yet still adds fiber, folate as well as vitamins A, C and K. 

 

From start to finish, this is an easy to assemble meal, full of nutritious vegetables and easy on the palate of picky eaters!

 

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