You probably have figured out by now that I love food and playing around in the kitchen. I had a dinner party tonight and was stressing about what to make for an entree as one of the ladies attending was a vegetarian and I am lactose intolerant.
So, what did I make? A rich, creamy veggie lasagna. I used Lactaid milk and aged Cabot cheddar that was lactose free and aged parmesan cheese. Butter doesn’t bother me, but if it does you, you could use Smart Balance or similar butter substitute. This was an experiment that was a big hit. I had to write up the recipe for one of the women who came, and so I’d remember how to do it again. It seems like a lot of work, but it really wasn’t. It took less than an hour to put together and then it bakes for about 45 minutes. So, you could make it all the night before and then bake it before company comes. Because it’s a cream sauce, I wouldn’t bake it the night before. Cream sauces are best same day usually.
Enjoy! Serves at least 8, with leftovers.
Oven should be at 375.
4 cups Lactaid 2% milk
¼ cup flour
1 stick butter, half for sauce, half for sautéing veggies
2 big bags organic spinach
1 Summer squash, peeled and chopped
1 Yellow pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced very thin
1 garlic clove, minced
1 box white mushrooms, rinsed, stem removed, and sliced thin
½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
¼ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
pinch of sugar
pinch of pepper
shake of red pepper flakes (big shake if you like spicy, I went for mild)
2 tablespoons white wine
8 oz cheddar cheese grated finely I used aged Cabot that says lactose free
¾ cup shredded aged parmesan
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons lactaid milk
3-4 basil leaves, shredded (optional)
In large sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil and two tablespoons butter, and sliced onion. Cook until lightly browned, stirring every so often, about 8-10 min. Add sliced mushrooms. After about a minute, add wine, stir and when mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes, pour onto a plate and set aside.
Into Saute pan add pepper, squash, garlic and tomato and additional 2 tablespoons butter. Stir and cover pan to let veggies steam.
In a smaller saucepan, over medium heat, add half stick of butter, when melted add ¼ cup flour. Stir until a smooth roux forms. Cook for an additional minute. Stir in 4 cups of milk, 1 cup at a time, using a whisk. Raise heat to medium high and stir every few minutes.
Check veggies, stir and when all are soft, dump in the spinach, stir and cover. check and stir a few times over next few minutes.
As soon as the milk mixture comes to a boil, turn off heat and take off hot burner, whisk in about a half cup of parmesan and half cup of cheddar. Add nutmeg, pepper and sugar. Whisk until smooth.
In a small bowl, add two tablespoons of milk to one egg yolk and mix well. Add about a teaspoon of the hot milk mixture, very slowly to the egg, stirring quickly and adding another teaspoon and stir. Then add add mixture to the sauce and stir well. The egg adds a bit of richness and smoothness.
In a 9×12 pan, add a ladle of sauce to coat bottom, then three noodles, top with sauce, half of the veggie mix, half of the cheese, a bit more sauce, then cover with 3 more noodles and repeat. Top with 3 final noodles, rest of sauce, and cheeses. Add a few shredded basil leaves if you have them. Bake for about 45 min until browned and bubbling. Let sit for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.