Vegetarian Lasagna – for the picky eaters

Lasagna is one of those things that I feel is very personal to each family. These recipes have been passed down from generation to generation (or it is simply a box of Stouffer’s straight from the freezer!) and each recipe differs in such vastly different ways! Now, every family feels like their recipe for lasagna is the best- and I am not here to disagree. I am sure that your mother or even your grandmother make the best freaking lasagna on the face of the earth! But, I wanted to share how we make the weeknight lasagna easy and accessible whenever you want it.

Let’s start with the most important part of the meal – the wine. I do love a good expensive bottle of wine, but when I went to Trader Joe’s last, Brock – my favorite TJ’s employee- recommended the Motto Red Blend. It is a super easy drinking wine that is only $2.99. Yes – $2.99!!!! This totally compensates for the other wine Brock told me to buy- the $20 bottle for later this month…

My lasagna recipe itself has evolved over time. I used to make a mozzarella and ricotta lasagna. It was good, but not the creamy, delicious lasagna I was looking for. Then, one morning, I had Food Network on the TV as I was getting chores done on a Saturday morning, and Valerie Bertinelli’s show came on. She was making lasagna with a béchamel sauce and it was creamy and delicious looking and everything I wanted in MY lasagna!! (Word to the wise: I am linking her lasagna so you can get the béchamel sauce. She also makes a homemade marinara sauce. It’s delicious- but a crap-ton of work. Too much work for a weeknight. Use a jarred sauce. Trader Joe’s makes my favorite sauce.)

The finished béchamel sauce lasagna is divine. It would be amazing with meat- a ground beef and pork sausage combo. It would be tantalizing with an array of veggies- spinach, squash, mushrooms. But, for my picky eaters, it is just plain cheese. That’s ok – I like it just the same!

Oh – and one more hint for all you busy moms and dads – pack your lunch for the next day! This is something I do every single night I make dinner. I make a huge, family size serving of everything we eat for dinner. Then, as I go along, I portion it off for lunches the next day. If I have even more than needed – I put it in Tupperware and freeze it for future lunches. Greg is not a big leftovers fan, but he tolerates it for lunch. This automatic lunch making is now habit, and it is a lifesaver for me. One less thing to do each morning!

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