March 25, 2014

Black Bean Lasagna

This recipe from Readers' Digest caught my eye quite some time ago, but it was a bit out of our usual adventure level. It sat in my pile of recipes to possibly try until my husband and I made a purposeful goal of eating meatless 5 days a week during Lent.

I was pleasantly surprised by this lasagna. It tastes like lasagna ... with black beans. The beans don't change the overall feel of the lasagna, and both my husband and toddler ate it! And then my husband had an emergency appendectomy, so I was stuck with all the leftovers while he enjoyed the fine culinary aspects of jello during the days immediately following his surgery.

Even if this is outside the realm of your normal recipes, you might be pleasantly surprised as well.

Black Bean Lasagna
9 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. canola oil
32 oz. black beans
14 1/2 oz. diced tomatoes
12 oz. tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. dried cilantro
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 egg whites, beaten
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. dried parsley
8 oz. shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, cook onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, water, cilantro and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until slightly thickened (about 5 to 15 minutes).

In a small bowl, combine the egg whites, ricotta, Parmesan and parsley.

Spread 1/2 cup bean mixture in a 9 x 13 pan. Layer with 3 lasagna noodles. Spread with one third of ricotta and then 1/3 of bean mixture and a light sprinkling of shredded cheese. Repeat layers, ending with a heavy sprinkling of shredded cheese.

Cover, and bake 30 to 35 minutes. Remove cover, and bake an additional 10 to 25 minutes until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 12 servings.

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