Showing up just in time for fall festivities and pumpkin season is “Black Bean & Pumpkin Lasagna”, page 219. Although this might sound unusual, lasagna is eternally flexible, and just about any kind of filling, sauce, and seasoning, in some combination, will work. You can’t really go wrong layering thick noodles with delicious fillings, and topping with a flavorful sauce. This seasonal combination of ingredients starts with black beans enhanced with sautéed veggies (onion, bell pepper, and garlic), sauced up with crushed tomatoes, and spiked with chili powder. A mixture of pumpkin purée and salsa fill in for the traditional marinara sauce, and seasoned tofu stands in for the ricotta cheese. You can make this dish more or less spicy by your choice of salsa. We like things on the hotter side, so I used a hot salsa.
The final addition is a sprinkle of ground pumpkin seeds, a nice touch that ties the overall theme together. I discovered at the last minute I had no pumpkin seeds on hand, so a quick substitution of sunflower seeds did the trick. Next time I make this I’ll make sure I have pumpkin seeds available.
I love lasagna, and I love experimenting with spins on traditional preparations This dish satisfied on both levels. Fun, pretty, and delicious, and it makes a lot! I’m pretty sure you could freeze leftovers, but the two of us managed to eat up the entire pan over the course of a week.
Keeping it “McDougall Friendly” check list:
- Omit the tablespoon of olive oil when sautéing the veggies. Use water or broth and a nonstick skillet instead.
- If possible, try to find whole grain lasagna noodles.