Swiss Chard LasagnaPosted: October 23, 2008
This lasagna was delicious, healthy, and pretty easy to put together. I made the recipe up and while it does seem like there are a lot of steps, it’s not difficult if you multi-task. Caramelizing the onions really gives it a deep flavor for a vegetable dish, so it’s a necessary step, but it can be time consuming. My advice is to just make a whole bunch of them at once and store them in the fridge in a container. Onions are extremely cheap and caramelizing them adds a sweeter, smoky dimension to their flavor. Once stored, you can use them in omelets, pasta dishes, sandwich/burger/potato topping, add-on to cooked greens, salads, pilafs, couscous, risotto….the list goes on.
Swiss Chard Lasagna
1 bunch of swiss chard (substitute spinach, or really any greens if you want)
3 medium onions
no-boil lasagne noodles
1.5 cups chopped seitan (or veggie crumbles or ground beef/turkey/chicken)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 tsps. (or more) crushed red pepper
salt & pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan cheese
This may seem like a lot of work, but I promise it’s not too bad (really). It takes a little time to set up, but once the set up is done, you can throw it in the fridge for later or even the freezer for much later. And remember, if you have canned tomato sauce or frozen spinach or broccoli, feel free to substitute those in. Fresh definitely tends to be better, but work with what you’ve got around.
- Chop the onions into slivers. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium frying pan over high heat. Add the onions, turn heat to low, stir a bit and cover with a lid. Let the onions sweat until they become caramelized. Keep an eye on the onions and stir them every once in a while and prep the tomato sauce and chard.
- Pour tomatoes into a small saucepan, add some salt and pepper, the minced garlic and crushed red pepper (add more or less depending on your spice tolerance). Let simmer over very low heat while you…prep the chard!
- First, preheat the oven to 375F if you’re going to cook the lasagna. Wash the chard thoroughly. Chop the stems into small pieces. Place about 2 inches of water in a medium pot and place the stems in the pot (covered) over medium heat while you prep the leaves. Just chop them roughly into medium sized bits and then throw them into the pot too. Sprinkle some salt and pepper in there and then let it cook for 3 minutes or so (until it gets wilted). Put in a strainer and squeeze the juice out of the chard. You can do the same thing with spinach or any other leafy green.
- Once the onions have caramelized, put the ground seitan into the pan and mix around a bit. Add some salt and pepper and cook until seitan browns.
- Time for the fun! Spray a 9×9″ baking dish with olive oil or whatever you prefer. Pour some sauce on the bottom and spread it around. Place 2 noodles on top of the sauce. Put a bit more sauce on top of the noodles and place half of the chard mixture on top. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on the chard and place 2 more noodles on top. Put 1/2 of the caramelized onion/seitan mixture on top. Place two more noodles on top of that mixture and add some sauce and mix the chard and the onion/seitan together and put that on top of the sauce. Sprinkle some cheese (just a little) and add two more noodles. Cover with sauce, a bit of mozzarella and some shredded Parmesan cheese.
- *Wrap the top of the baking dish with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes. Take off tinfoil and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Mangia!
*If you want to make this ahead of time, it can be well wrapped and stuck in the fridge for up to a day. If you want to freeze it, prep all the layers in the baking dish wrap tightly with plastic wrap, then tinfoil and if you can stick it in a large ziplock, that would prevent freezer burn. If not, just make sure you wrap things TIGHT. Freeze for up to three months (write date on foil/wrap). When you want to cook it, remove plastic wrap and follow instructions above, increasing the first cooking time by an hour or so and the second cooking time (sans foil) to 30 minutes.