I know, I know...this sounds like a weird combination, and I was skeptical at first too, when my mom told me she had made a lasagna with sweet potatoes! I almost didn't try it, because I just couldn't imagine any possible way that it would taste good...boy am I glad that I listened to my mom!! (Do mothers ever lose their knack for being right?!)
The lasagna recipe is really simple (I actually cheat and use the meijer organic sauce instead of making my own! I like the garlic flavor or basil the best, but use whatever your favorite sauce is (read the label first tho, just to make sure it's not loaded with junk!))
-1 box of lasagna noodles (I use the gluten free brown rice noodles, but whole wheat is fine too)
-2 jars of spaghetti sauce
-3 large sweet potatoes
-1 8oz package of sliced baby bella mushrooms (or your favorite ones)
-garlic powder (not salt)
-dried basil, oregano, and thyme
-panko bread crumbs
-extra virgin olive oil
-nutritional yeast (optional)
This is what you do:
Preheat oven to 425
-Peel sweet potatoes and cut into chunks (doesn't matter what size, but the smaller they are, the less time they'll take to roast!)
-Place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle garlic powder, basil, oregano, and thyme...I like a LOT of flavor, so I go heavy on the herbs...probably 2 T of the garlic powder, and 3 T of each of the dried herbs.
-Toss the potatoes in the oil and herbs to coat evenly, and put in the oven to roast for 30-40 mins (or until soft enough to mash)
-When they come out of the oven, mash them with a potato masher, or if you don't have that, a fork will do just fine...they don't have to be perfect...in fact, if there are a few chunks, it adds texture :)
-Chop mushrooms up (you can actually put them in whole if you want...I just like them smaller because they distribute easier!)
-In an 8x8 pan, start by pouring enough sauce in the bottom to coat it (this keeps the noodles from sticking)
-Layer noodles, uncooked (I think you can get 4 in if you overlap a bit)
-Put mashed sweet potatoes on noodles
-Then a good thick layer of spinach (it wilts a ton when cooked)
-Pour sauce on top and repeat the layer again, beginning with noodles
-End with sauce on top (you'll use about 1 1/2 jars of sauce)
-Cover and bake at 350 until the noodles are cooked...I actually over-baked mine, so I'd check it after 1 hr...and then maybe every 30 mins after that!
Now you're going to make the "cheese topping":
1 c. of the Panko bread crumbs
1 T. each:
1 t. salt
pepper to taste
1/8 c. nutritional yeast (optional)...you'll find this in a health food store, usually with the supplements or protein mixes...it's super high in B vitamins and minerals, and gives things a "cheesy" taste. I also use it in smoothies, vegan french toast, and the mac n "cheese" I make for the kids...so there are other applications for it if you choose to get it :)
Put that all into a bowl, and drizzle with enough olive oil to get the spices to stick to the crumbs...taste them, if you like the flavor, leave them, if you think it needs more flavor, add more :)
Sprinkle this on the top of your lasagna once it's baked, and place it under the broiler on low until you get a nice golden look to it.
Seems like a lot of steps, but it's really quite simple.
Make sure you let the lasagna rest for a bit before serving, so that all the juices absorb and it's not runny!
Here's a great accompaniment to the lasagna...homemade garlic toast!
If you can find the Arnie's brand Multigrain French Loaf, that's be your best bet...otherwise, any type of good multigrain french loaf will do!
Cut lengthwise, and spread generously with extra virgin olive oil.
Sprinkle 1 T of the following on EACH half:
italian seasonings (if you have it, if not, that's fine too)
And then 1 t of salt on each half
Bake for about 5 mins on 350, until the bottom is crispy, then finish under the low broiler until top is golden :)