Comfort food doesn’t have to be a total health bomb to be worthy of the name. In fact, many dishes that evoke comfort and warmth can be pretty darn healthy, too. This vegetarian lasagna, for instance, is made with tender baby spinach, cremini mushrooms, homemade cashew milk béchamel sauce, and organic cheese. Result: the epitome of a hearty yet nourishing dish.
Make this Easy Vegetarian Lasagna with Organic Cheese
Consulting the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen1 is a no-brainer when you want to choose between conventional and organic produce, but what about dairy products?
Yeah, you're gonna want to go organic there, too. Studies have shown that organic dairy products are not only healthier than conventional, but they're also free from commonly used hormones and antibiotics. A 2013 study2 from Washington State University found that organic dairy contains far more heart-healthy fatty acids, as compared to conventional dairy products, with an average omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of 5.8, more than twice that of organic milk’s ratio of 2.3. And that ratio is critical: An overabundance of omega-6 fatty acids in the diet is linked to a variety of inflammatory diseases including asthma, coronary heart disease, certain types of cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, according to Dr. Andrew Weil3.
Another research review from Newcastle University4 in the United Kingdom distinguished clear differences between organic and conventionally raised dairy products and meat. The study concluded, “Both organic milk and meat contain around 50 percent more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products,” with study leader Professor Carlo Leifert noting that these differences are linked to differences in production intensity.
"Outdoor-reared, grass-fed animals produc[e] milk and meat that is consistently higher in desirable fatty acids such as the omega-3s, and lower in fatty acids that can promote heart disease and other chronic diseases," he says.
Organic dairy products are also free from antibiotics and synthetic hormones including recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which unnaturally boosts production of milk in dairy cows. According to Andrew W. Campbell, MD, rBGH “causes an increased production of 15 to 17 percent more milk by dairy cows and causes them to produce insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1), which has been associated with premenopausal breast, colon, and prostate cancers.”
Organic (and better yet, grass-fed) dairy products are the clear winner when it comes to nutritional benefits. Choose USDA certified organic cheese, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, and kefir to reap full the full benefits of dairy products – whether in this cheesy lasagna or in your other favorite recipes.
Here's How to Make this Vegetarian Lasagna Recipe
Recommended tool: Xtrema's Signature Skillet. Instead of serving this lasagna in the usual square or rectangle bakeware dish, why not change it up with a ceramic skillet? Handcrafted by skilled artisans that have been producing ceramics for millenniums. The gorgeous, modern, design can go from stovetop, to oven, to table - even the dishwasher. Pure ceramic has excellent heat conduction that will ensure your lasagna is cooked evenly through and through. It's ideal for baked pasta dishes and warm dips and can be used to sear, and sauté until your heart's content.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 large handfuls baby spinach
- 4 tablespoons ghee or grass-fed butter
- ¼ cup non-bleached white flour
- 4 cups unsweetened plain cashew milk
- 1 ¼ cup grated organic Parmesan cheese, divided
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 8 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles
- 6 ounces organic mozzarella, shredded
- Preheat the oven to 375 ºF.
- Heat one tablespoon of avocado oil in large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until translucent, about five minutes. Add the spinach one handful at a time, and cook until wilted, about three to five minutes. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Transfer the spinach and onion mixture to a mesh strainer, and press to remove excess liquid. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan melt the butter or ghee over high heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking continuously, for one minute, or until the roux becomes golden brown. Slowly add the milk, and whisk continuously, until the mixture begins to boil and slightly thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in one cup of Parmesan cheese, the nutmeg, one teaspoon of salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Heat remaining two tablespoons of avocado oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a dash of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté the mushrooms until golden brown, about five to eight minutes. Add the dry white wine to deglaze, and continue to cook for five more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Assemble the lasagna. Spread one cup of béchamel on the bottom of a 9x13 inch-baking dish and top with a single layer of lasagna noodles. Continue layering lasagna ingredients: béchamel sauce, sautéed spinach, mozzarella, mushrooms, noodles, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, until all of the ingredients are used up.
- Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
*Note! This article contains affiliate links that are independently sourced and vetted by our editorial team which we may earn a commission on. This helps us reduce the number of ads we serve on Organic Authority and help deliver you a better user experience. We are here to help you navigate the overwhelming world of consumer products to source and uncover thoughtfully made, conscious clean products.
- Serving Size: 1 piece (332 g)