in the past few years, i’ve become increasingly more interested in eating less meat. it’s not that i don’t like meat. for the most part, i love it. the flavors can really make or break a dish. i rarely eat red meat or pork. i still mostly like chicken and turkey, and i eat fish a few times a week. but it’s becoming more and more apparent to me that i don’t feel comfortable eating it so much anymore.
it’s a typical story. nothing exciting. a lot of it is the texture of the meat. some of it is the feelings i have after watching a few choice documentaries on netflix. and a little bit is due to the high cost. i’m not dramatic about it or an activist or anything like that. it’s just something i feel is best for me: less meat, but not necessarily the elimination of it.
one of the things i like about it is that it makes me be more creative with my cooking, which is something i’ve been exploring this summer. new flavors, new combinations, new foods, and old foods in different ways.
i found this recipe on pinterest the other day, and i thought it looked soooo good. plus zucchinis are in season right now so i knew they would be on sale. i think if i were to make it again (which i think i will), i would add mushrooms for some more flavor and “meatiness”.
i adjusted a few things in the recipe so here’s what i did:
easy zucchini lasagna | 4 generous servings | 324 calories per serving
- 3 zucchinis, sliced about ½ to ¼ inches thick
- 1 ½ cups of spaghetti sauce (i used Newman’s Own Marinara)
- 2-3 cups of roughly chopped spinach
- 1 cup of cottage cheese
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup of parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- italian herbs (i used a bit of basil, oregano, and rosemary)
- ¼ tsp. of garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. of ground pepper
- place the zucchini slices on some parchment paper on a baking sheet and “dry” them out in the oven for 6-8 minutes at 425ºF. (this will reduce some of the excess liquid from the veggies.)
- mix together the cottage cheese, egg, herbs, garlic powder, and pepper in a small bowl.
- cover the bottom of a 9×9 baking pan with sauce.
- layer: zucchini | spinach | sauce | cottage cheese mix | mozzarella (do this until your ingredients disappear.)
- top the lasagna with extra cheese, parmesan cheese and herbs.
- cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350ºF.
- remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. enjoy!