Friday, January 28, 2011

Kale Lasagna Diavolo



Wow! Happy New Year! It's been a loooong time since I last posted anything on this blog. The lack of posts (since July) was the result of a couple of things: 1) things got really busy at my day job (labor lawyer) so I found myself eating much of the same ol' same ol' (honestly, I'm tired of penne alla vodka) for the last six months ; 2) some blogger burnout (I've got nothing but respect and admiration for y'all who post daily or close to that!) and 3) home renovation projects that suddenly had to get done and paid for (rain water seeping into the basement as result of a concrete patio tilting toward the house is probably not a good thing).

In the meantime, I had gained a ton of weight (actually 15-17 lbs) because of stress caused by nos. 1 and 3 above. This year, though, I started a low calorie diet and have, since, lost 6 plus pounds. I'm not doing anything trendy to lose weight. I'm not depriving myself of any particular food desires. But, by habitually watching what I eat and controlling my portion sizes, I've gotten accustomed to feeling full and satisfied after each meal.

Thus, I was full after having just 1 1/2 servings of this relatively low-calorie, low-cost kale lasagna, the recipe for which came from the January/February s issue of Vegetarian Times. This past weekend, I made this lasagna a second time and froze individual portions for the weekday. It's cheaper than buying Amy's frozen lasagnas. It's simple to make and delicious. I did make more sauce than called for in the original recipe this past weekend. I also added some dried Italian seasoning, because I did find the sauce somewhat plain-ish the first time around. These changes are reflected in my listing of the ingredients below.

Kale Lasagna Diavolo
Serves 6-8

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 8oz bunch kale, stems removed
  • 1 15 oz package fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz chevre or goat cheese.
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (original recipe calls for 2 cloves)
  • 1 28 oz can tomato puree (original recipe calls for 2 cups)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes(original recipe calls for 1/2 tsp)
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained (Depending on their size and the size of your baking pan, you may need more or less noodles for this 3-layer lasagna. Original recipe calls for 6 lasagna noodles to be layered in an 8 x 8-inch baking pan.)
  • 1/4 cup or so grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning or 1/2 tsp dried oregano and 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square pan or (in my case) a 7 x 11-inch baking dish with oil. Cook kale in a large pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. (To save time, you could remove the leaves using tongs and cook the noodles in this water.) Using your hands, wring out the water, chop the leaves, and them aside.

Using a fork, thoroughly mash the ricotta and chevre together in a bowl and set it aside. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato puree, the Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Spread 1/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Place 1/3 of the cooked lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Top with half of the cheese mixture, half of the kale, and 1/3 of the remaining sauce.

Add another layer of noodles and repeat with the remainder of the cheese and kale, and 1/2 of the remaining sauce. Add the third layer of noodles and cover with the remainder of the sauce. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese and bake uncovered in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until the cheese has melted.