Lasagna experiment!

I recently experimented with making lasagna in the slow cooker. I’d never tried it before, but I was really craving the delicious way that slow cooker fill the house with the scent of yummy food cooking. Plus, lasagna. How could those two together go wrong? Sadly, I often do go wrong with testing new slow cooker recipes, but this one turned out so right.

1/2 package of lasagna noodles (about 12 noodles)
2 cups of chickpeas, with liquid
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped*
1 cup steamed broccoli
1 can tomato sauce
About 3 cups marinara sauce (depends on how saucy you like your lasagna)
3&1/3 cup shredded cheese
*the recipe I adapted used a package of frozen spinach, but all I had on hand was fresh.

First, sauté spinach with a little onion and butter until wilted. Drain well, which means smooshing the spinach into a wadded mass in a strainer to get rid of all the water. Don’t skimp on this step-watery spinach means watery lasagna. Purée chickpeas in their liquid. Add to spinach mixture and stir in 2 cups shredded cheese. I admit, all I had was the four cheese Mexican blend. Mozzarella would have worked out even better, I’m sure. Roughly chop the steamed broccoli and mix it in, too.

In the slow cooker, layer spoon a thick layer of tomato sauce. Then arrange one layer of the lasagna noodles. Unless you have a magic square slow cooker (haha) you’ll need to break noodles into pieces. If you’re like me, this step will be incredibly angst-inducing until you just give in and admit that it’s not going to look neat.

Over the noodles spread about a third of the veggie-cheese mixture. Spread it out as well as you can, but don’t sweat it if its clumpy. It will be clumpy. Then ladle on some more sauce.

Repeat two more times the noodles, cheese, sauce combo, and then finish will a layer of shredded cheese (or, as it is called in our house, sprinkle cheese. As in, “Mom, can I have some more sprinkle cheese?” Or, “Mom, just sprinkle the sprinkle cheese right in my mouth!”)

Finally– put on the lid and cook on low for 6 hours. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I cut 12 smallish servings (about the size of 1.5 decks of cards) and each serving comes to 250 calories. Each serving also has:

9 grams fat
5 grams fiber
6 grams sugar
11 grams protein

You could easily eat two servings with a side salad and have a really filling meal for not a terrible amount of calories.


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