Roasted Veggie Bake

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We were in the mood for something like lasagna the other night, but didn't want something quite that rich.  There were a bunch of fresh veggies in the fridge just calling out my name, so I decided to see what I could come up with to satisfy our non-lasagna lasagna urge.

I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about how this would all turn out.  It took me forever to make it all, and I was worried that it would just result in a pile of glop that would be a terrible waste of some perfectly good vegetables.

But then, when we were polishing off the our fourth helpings and scraping out the last little bits from the giant lasagna pan I'd baked it all in, I knew I'd found a winner.

It would be a great entree for anyone trying to avoid eating pasta, although G found that he needed just a little something "carby" to help him feel full.  He solved that problem by toasting up a couple of pieces of homemade bread, so I'm thinking garlic bread will be the perfect accompaniment to this dish next time.

What You Need

1 large zucchini

1 large yellow squash

1 large eggplant

1 large onion

3 cloves garlic (or do like me, and just grab a big handful)

1 handful of dried mushrooms, fully soaked (I'd say this was about 2 cups)

1 package tempeh (we get ours from a local store, but here's an example of what it is)

2 cups prepared tomato sauce

1/2 can tomato paste

olive oil

1 Tablespoon oregano

1 cup shredded Parmesan

What You Do 

1.  Slice the zucchini, squash and eggplant lengthwise (about 1/4" thick), drizzle with olive oil and roast at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes.  You might want to flip everything and roast a bit longer, but just make sure the pieces don't get all dried out.  We're not baking chips here!

2.  Slice the onions and dice the garlic, then cook (I used my fantastic electric skillet) in a bit of oil until soft.  I'm thinking of roasting these with the other veggies next time, to save a step.  I'm pretty sure it will work that way.)

3.  Drain your mushrooms, chop them, and add them to the onion mixture in the pan, along with the tempeh, tomato sauce, paste and oregano.  Mix everything up really well (make sure to break up the tempeh into little pieces) and then let the combination simmer for about 20 minutes.

4.  Spread 1/3 of the tomato mixture in a large lasagna pan, then layer 1/2 the roasted vegetables (use a little of all the types, so there's a variety of flavors) and top with 1/3 of the cheese.  Repeat this process once more.

5.  Cover it all with the remaining sauce and cheese, then pop it back into the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

6.  Let it all cool a bit before you dig in so that you don't burn your mouth like I did, then see if you're able to come away from the table with any leftovers.  (Good luck with that!)

Don't worry too much if you don't have every ingredient on this list.  Use any combination of the vegetables you want (make it all zucchini, with no squash, eggplant, or mushrooms, for example).  Also, don't worry about being all precise with the measurements.  Just dump things in along this general idea.

Do you think you'll serve this with bread, or just gorge yourself on the veggies like I did?  I'd love to hear!  Comment here or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.  

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