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Pasta-free
Zucchini lasagna
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Recipe ingredients
pasta sauce 8 to 16 ounces
Zucchini 2 pounds
carrots 2, average sized
celery 2, outer stalks
olives, ripe 1/2 cup, coarsely chopped
cabbage 3/4 cup, chopped
onion 1, small, coarsely chopped
garlic 1 or 2 cloves, diced or crushed
Soy cheese 4 slices Provolone or Mozarella
Italian seasoning blend 1/8 cup
Mexican oregano 1/8 cup
dried parsley 1/8 cup
Olive oil 2 or 3 tablespoons, extra virgin

Peel the carrots (I use a potato peeler), split them lengthwise, lay them on your cutting board, flat side down and chop them into quarter-inch (or smaller) pieces.   Scrape the chopped carrots from the cutting board into a skillet, add one or two tablespoons of olive oil, and set the burner for medium-low heat, letting the carrots get started while you chop the celery in much the same manner.   Once the carrots have had a five to eight minute "head start", add the chopped celery to the skillet along with a little more olive oil if you feel it's needed.   Stir fry for three to five minutes before adding the cabbage and chopped onions.   A minute or two later add the diced garlic.   When the onions begin to turn slightly translucent, pour in one to two cups of prepared pasta sauce, turn the heat up to medium-high until it just begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes, stir in the Italian seasoning blend, Mexican oregano, dried parsley and simmer for an additional five minutes.   Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.

Clean Zucchini, cut off the stems and ends and peel if you wish.   Cutting as straight as possible, cut one lengthwise slice, about three-eighths of an inch thick (3/8"), from the side of a Zucchini.   Lay the Zucchini on the flat side, created by the slice you've just cut, and continue slicing lengthwise into three-eighth inch slabs.   Repeat with the remaining Zucchini.

Spoon a dollop of sauce into the bottom of a baking pan and spread evenly, adding however much sauce is required to thinly coat the bottom of the pan.   Place in a layer of zucchini slices and cover with another thin layer of sauce.   Lay in four slices of soy cheese, cover with an additional thin layer of sauce, lay in whatever zucchini is left and evenly spread the last of the sauce over it.   Cover with aluminum foil and bake for forty-five (45) minutes at 325 degrees (F).

Commentary and notes:

I use an oval shaped corningware pan that's about eleven inches by nine inches but a nine inch, deep dish pie pan should also work nicely.   If you want to use a "regular" lasagna pan, roughly ten by fourteen inches (10" X 14") you should double, or even triple the recipe.

We make our own pasta sauce and freeze it in plastic containers that hold somewhere between 12 and 16 ounces.   Once frozen, we remove the blocks from the plastic containers and put them in one gallon freezer bags so we've always got homemade pasta sauce quickly to hand when needed.

If the pan is deep enough, and you have enough sauce to cover it afterwards, you can add an extra layer of soy cheese.

The cooking time can vary so carve a little sample nibble out of the center of the pan before deciding if it's done.

Substitutions:

Just about any squash or eggplant can be substituted or mixed with this recipe.

Ricotta, cottage cheese, sliced or grated mozzarella or provolone can be used in place of soy cheese.

Any other veggies you're fond of can be added to the sauce or layered in with the zucchini.   Experimentation is encouraged with all of our recipes and do, please, let us know if you discover something you especially like.
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