Loosely adapted from 1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes by Sue Spitler
1 1/2 c Shiitake Mushrooms (I used .5 lbs)
1 1/2 c Onions (I used one medium size)
1 c Red Bell Pepper (I used one red and one green)
2 t Minced Garlic (I used four small cloves)
8 c Spinach (I have a picture)
2 packages Frozen Artichokes 9 oz each (I used a 12 oz bag and a can)
3 c Skim Milk divided
1/4 c plus 2 T Flour
1 c Parmesan Cheese (I used low fat)
1/2 package Cream Cheese (I used low fat)
1 t Lemon Juice (I used 1/2 a small lemon)
1 T Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute (Italian seasoning would work fine here)
12 Lasagna Noodles (I used whole wheat)
1 c Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Start this dish by chopping up the mushrooms, onion and peppers. In a pretty big pan, heat up your olive oil and add the chopped veggies. Peal your garlic cloves and add into the mixture by using a garlic press to mince them. If you don't have a garlic press, you can mince them yourself or you could use jarred garlic.
Saute the mixture over a medium high heat for 3-5 minutes until things start to look translucent (see second picture). Then add the spinach, torn into small pieces and the artichokes chopped into bite size pieces. Cover and wilt the spinach for 5-8 minutes (see first picture, bottom row). After the spinach is wilted, uncover the pan and heat over a medium heat until all the juice is gone. It's about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
If you are good at cooking, you will start the roux/cheese mixture when you begin to wilt the spinach in the directions above. I actually suck at making a roux so I made Jon make it. Start by heating two cups of the skim milk in a sauce pan. While that is going, mix the remaining cup of milk and the flour in a separate bowl. Whisk well to avoid any lumps! When the milk starts simmering add in the flour and milk and keep whisking. The mixture will get thick fairly quickly (about one minute). Remove from the heat and add in the grated Parmesan cheese, cubed cream cheese, seasoning and the lemon juice (did I mention I made Jon make the roux, he *loves* pictures). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
If you are good at cooking, you will start a pan of water to boil about when you start making the roux, I kinda forgot. Once the water starts boiling add in your noodles. I used whole wheat and they were great. I thought there would be more of a difference, but since Jon and I use primarily whole wheat noodles when cooking, we are used to the change.
Once the noodles are cooked very ale dante it's time to layer. Yes I am layering over my kitchen sink. Start with a small amount of the cheese sauce just to make sure the noodles don't stick. Then add noodles, veggies, cheese sauce, noodles, veggies, cheese sauce, then noodles and any cheese sauce you have left. After you are finished building your layers add lots of shredded mozerella cheese.
Cook slightly covered in a 350* oven for 30 minutes then remove the covering, cook an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
Jon and I both thought this was really good. He had two helpings and didn't seem to miss the meat at all! Make sure to salt your layers as you go, because you aren't using processed foods that have lots of salt (like cottage/ricotta cheeses). This is definately one that we will make again. We had it with roasted asparagus and it was the perfect end to a nice spring day.