I have yet to make a Cooking Light recipe step-by-step. Honestly, the ingredient list is usually about five items longer than my kitchen-ADD can take in and the instructions are slightly more complicated than my standard skills prefer to tackle.
That said, the recipes never fail to please! Usually I pick something that gets us out of the ‘norm’, and I’ve never been disappointed – even if my version is missing an ingredient or two!
Sassy posted her version of their Butternut Squash Lasagna recently, in which she substituted sweet potatoes. Brilliant! Because sweet potatoes don’t require cleaving or trying to narrowly escape microwave-heated hand burning (another story for another day).
I was all set and ready to follow the recipe, with a bag of sweet potatoes in tow! Then I started reading, and counting (18 ingredients…), and noticing there were quite a few things I hadn’t put on the grocery list – namely “regular” milk (not Light Vanilla Soy) and a fresh herb or two (or three). Huh. I also noticed the total cook time was around two hours, and, well, no.
Let’s just get to the eats! Essentially I used this recipe as a guideline (per usual), and realized that the sweet potato mash (described below) just replaced ricotta. So this is a ricotta-free vegetable lasagna!
Not that I don’t love that soft cheese, but I’m grateful to have an alternative for 1) when I don’t have ricotta on hand (because we almost always have sweet potatoes) and 2) a light-on-the-cheese meal.
Sweet Potato & Spinach Lasagna
Makes 4 servings Total cook time: ~50 minutes
4-5 medium sweet potatoes , peeled & cubed
3 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
2 Tbsp Olive Oil (divided)
Salt, pepper, cayenne (optional)
1 Tbsp plain non/low-fat Yogurt (I used Chobani )
Splash of milk (or milk alternative)
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 bag raw baby spinach leaves
1 cup sliced baby mushrooms
6-9 no-boil Lasagna noodles (depends on how many layers you make)
Shredded Mozarella cheese (I use organic, low-moisture, part-skim)
Preheat oven to 425*.
In a bowl, toss cubed sweet potatoes with 1 tbsp oil, garlic and preferred seasonings. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet – bake for 25-28 minutes (until soft, but not browned). Toss back in the bowl, add the splash of milk and yogurt. Mash with a fork (or fancy masher, if you have one) until everything is evenly combined. (Leave the oven heated!)
Heat the other 1 Tbsp oil over medium in a large saucepan. Sauté onions for 4-5 minutes, until opaque and soft. Reduce heat to low-medium and add the mushrooms – sauté for another ~10 minutes, cooking through.
Place onions & mushrooms aside in a bowl. Add spinach to the heated pan & cook for ~3-4 minutes – when most of the leaves are wilted, remove and put in a separate bowl (you want this cooked, but not too soft/soggy – residual heat continues to cook the leaves, too).
In an 8×8 pan, add a light layer of marinara sauce (just enough to coat the bottom). Place two Lasagna noodles, topped with 1/2 mashed sweet potatoes (or 1/3, if you have enough for 3 layers), spinach leaves + mushrooms & onions and ~1/3 cup (two small handfuls) shredded mozzarella. Top with lasagna noodles, repeat the layers. Repeat if you have enough ‘fillings’ remaining. I made my layers hearty & full.
Top again with lasagna noodles, another ~1/3 cup marinara sauce (enough to cover the noodles completely) and a hearty sprinkle of cheese.
Cover with foil (I initially forgot this step, hence the browned cheese) and bake at 425* for 25 minutes.
Let cool for ~5 minutes. Then dig in!