I have a note at the top of my recipe book over this recipe that says “Yummy, but it takes and hour+ and messes up a lot of dishes!”  It’s true.  This is one of those “involved” dishes.  But it’s definitely worth the time spent, and it leaves you with plenty of leftovers that reheat well.  Isn’t that what we all really like about lasagna dishes anyway?  The leftovers?  My kids were skeptical about this dish, but when they found out that it is Garfield’s favorite dish, they decided to be open minded.  It’s a good company dish, if you make the sauce and dice the veggies ahead of time.  Or just go ahead and make it all ahead of time, and cook it when you’re ready!  It does take a lot of prep work.  You can alter the recipe by using whatever veggies you have on hand.  Leave out the mushrooms if you don’t like them, or don’t have them.  I use whatever I have, or whatever is on sale.  Leave out the tomatoes if you’re citric acid free, like us.  It does take a lot of ingredients, and a lot of pans, but it really isn’t complicated.  Don’t be scared off!  I love this lasagna!

Vegetable White Lasagna

1 8oz package lasagna noodles

3 Tbsp butter

1 cup onions, finely diced (I shred them so they disappear, for my children’s sake.)

3 tbsp flour

3 cups milk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 bay leaf

pinch nutmeg

1 cup parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups each diced zucchini and mushrooms

1 14 oz can tomatoes, drained and chopped

1 cups shredded carrots

1 cup broccoli florets, cut in small pieces

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 15 oz container of cottage cheese

1 egg

1 package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained

2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare noodles, rinse, and set aside. Make sauce: melt butter, add onions, and sauté until tender.  Add flour and stir for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk.  Add salt, pepper, bay leaf, and nutmeg.  Cook until sauce bubbles and thickens.  Stir in 1/2 cup parmesan.  In a separate pan, heat olive oil and add veggies (except for spinach).  Sauté 5-7 minutes or until tender/crisp.  Stir in garlic, oregano, and basil and sauté for one minute more.  In a bowl, combine spinach, egg, and cottage cheese.  Layer the noodles, veggie mixture, sauce, cottage cheese mixture, and mozzarella cheese in a 9×13 casserole dish.  Cover and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Remove cover and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan on top.  Broil until top is brown and bubbly (approximately 15 minutes.)  Let sit 10 minutes.