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Family Central: A Family of Less-Meatarians

The last thing my teenage sons want to hear when they ask me, “What’s for supper?” is anything that starts with “Vegetarian.” They groan and act like I am depriving them from anything that they believe could possibly taste good. I’m not sure how I created this situation in our home, except for that I must admit that I love a good steak as much as they do.

But for the most part, it is easy for me to let several days pass before I crave any sort of meat or poultry. And honestly, from what I’ve researched, I don’t think our bodies were designed to consume a lot of meat.

As the mom and chief cook in the house, I have tried to implement the “less-meatarian” lifestyle as food writer Mark Bittman coined. There’s nothing radical about it except that I try to consciously replace some of the meat in my family’s diet with more fruits, vegetables and grains.

This eating style works in my home, I’m happy to say. Here’s the trick: I don’t tell them. Preparing wonderful, filling dishes such as this Vegetarian Lasagna has been the key for me to find ways to keep everyone happy while also feeling good about how I am feeding my sons. They love this recipe and have never missed the meat!

Enjoy!

Vegetarian Lasagna
9 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can vegetable broth
1 (14 oz) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 (28 oz) jar purchased tomato pasta sauce
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
4 oz feta, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and cook 8-10 minutes until done but not soggy. Drain water. Spray large skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium. Sauté onion and garlic three minutes. S stir in broth. Boil and add artichoke hearts and spinach. Reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes. Add pasta sauce and stir. Spread 1/4 of artichoke and pasta sauce mixture on bottom of dish. Top with 3 cooked noodles. Sprinkle 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese over. Repeat layers twice, ending with artichoke mixture and Mozzarella. Top with crumbled feta cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes until bubbly. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving or cutting.