Acorn Squash and Spinach Lasagna

Acorn SquashMove over summer squash, there’s a new group in town. Now that we’ve said goodbye to cookouts and pool parties, it’s time to say hello to all things fall, including winter squash. Yes, they usually have a tougher exterior than the squash of the summer months, but they’re worth the extra work it takes to get inside. For example, acorn squash is full of carotenoids. These are nutrients that improve night vision and overall eye health. This squash is also a good source of vitamin C and can fight off certain types of cancer.

Like other winter squash, acorn squash has a mild, sweet flavor. This goes nicely with whole grain noodles and cottage cheese, which is what you find in this recipe.  To take the health benefits up another notch, spinach was added to the mix. These leafy greens house lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that can protect you from age-related eye diseases. (The good news just keeps coming!) This meal is a great way to switch up your usual lasagna by replacing your red sauce with a creamy squash sauce. It also gives new meaning to the term comfort food. You can enjoy a slice of this lasagna with comfort, knowing it tastes good and is good for you.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 15 oz. part-skim cottage cheese
  • 8 whole grain lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For sauce:

  • 1 pound acorn squash
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut squash into wedges, pour extra virgin olive oil over it and place in glass baking dish. Roast for 45 minutes or until very tender.
  3. Peel skin off squash and place in food processor along with oil, parmesan cheese and salt and set aside.
  4. Cook lasagna noodles and spinach separately and according to package directions. Once done, combine the spinach, cottage cheese, egg, and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese in a bowl.
  5. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with squash purée, followed by a layer of two noodles and then cottage cheese mixture. Continue until all noodles are gone. (The cottage cheese mixture should be on top)
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until golden brown on top.