But this time, I wanted to do something different.
Although we've now completed our grain free experiment, we are still looking to moderate our overall intake of sugar. One of the things that's critical to successfully balancing carbohydrate intake is obtaining sufficient amounts of protein and natural fats as a way of ensuring nutrient adequacy and achieving a sense of satiety. If you go through the day feeling hungry all the time, you will not be happy nor, ultimately, successful.
For this recipe, I chose protein rich tofu as my lasagna 'noodles' and...before you run away, you should know that it turned out very well both in texture and taste. In fact, my husband didn't even realize that it was tofu in the lasagna until I told him (mind you, he doesn't usually notice when I get my hair cut either. Nevermind that).
It's amazing what a few tasty ingredients and seasonings can do. Hope you enjoy.
Chipotle Spiked Mexican Lasagna with a twist
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbs chipotle pepper adobo sauce
- 1 block extra firm tofu (approximately 500 grams), sliced lengthwise
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise and salted
- 3 red bell pepper, roasted using this method
- 2 cups black beans, thoroughly rinsed if using canned
- 1/2 cup chopped green chilies
- 1/2 chunky salsa
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
This lasagna has 6 layers. Depending on how much time you have and your taste preferences, you can pick and choose whatever layers appeal to you - and leave the others behind or modify as desired.
If you are going to do the full Monty, I suggest preparing the roasted bell peppers (according to instructions linked above), ahead of time. Similarly, you can prepare the tofu sheets and zucchini in advance as well, to simplify.
Zucchini is a lovely vegetable and a very nice addition to this lasagna. However, like most vegetables, zucchini contains a lot of water. Gently salting the zucchini is helpful in absorbing some of the water and minimizing the issue of pooling water at the bottom of the cooked lasagna. One technique is to spread sliced zucchini on a kitchen towel or paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt. After 5 or 10 minutes, you can wrap zucchini with towel to gently squeeze out excess moisture.
Heat oven to 400 F.
Begin by holding tofu block upright and slicing tofu lengthwise into approximately 1/8" slices.
Place tofu slices on a lightly greased foil lined baking sheet. In a small dish combine adobo sauce and olive oil. Brush mixture onto one side of tofu slices.
Bake tofu for approximately 10 minutes, remove from oven, flip and brush the other side with adobo sauce. Return tofu to oven for another 10 minutes.
Remove tofu. Allow to cool slightly and then use tofu sheets to line bottom layer of your lasagna dish (mine is transparent glass below). You may have to cut/trim slices to size.
Combine cottage cheese and ricotta in a bowl, mixing to combine. Spread cheese mixture over tofu layer and then add some chopped cilantro over top.
Combine black beans, green chilies and salsa in a bowl and gently spread over zucchini layer.
Place roasted red peppers and Kalamata olives over black bean layer.
Finally, add grated cheddar cheese over peppers and place lasagna in the oven at 350 F for approximately 45 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the edges of the lasagna are beginning to bubble.
Remove lasagna from oven -