Artichoke & Sundried Tomato Lasgana With a Chickpea Salad

Yes, you guessed it, more vegetarian cuisine.  I have to admit that since eating more vegetarian meals I have felt more energetic and 'lighter' if that makes any season.  I guess I feel that we are eating 'cleaner' at my house, and that makes me feel better all around.

For tonight's dinner, I made a fabulous lasagna that was fresher and lighter then your standard lasagna, as well as a lemony yogurt chickpea salad.  Thank you Canadian Living Magazine, it was a great meal.

Artichoke & Sundried Tomato Lasagna
1 tub ricotta cheese (I used fat free cottage cheese, it's all I had)
1 can artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry and chopped (I skipped patting dry)
1/3c drained oil-packed sundried tomatoes, chopped (I probably used about 1/2 c)
3 sheets of fresh lasagna noodles (now I normally wouldn't splurge on fresh noodles since dry are WAY cheaper, but I found whole grain noodles at No Frills for 50% off because the best before date was in 2 days, and I had a coupon, so I scored big time and got these for dirt cheap)
6 slices provolone cheese (I used the PC blue menu light version)

In a large bowl combine the ricotta, artichokes, tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Place 1 sheet of pasta on a greased 8" dish and ct to fit.  Spread with 1/2 of the ricotta mixture  Repeat.  Top with remaining pasta and provolone.  Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake until golden and bubbly, 10 minutes.  Tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

When I make this again, I will add a third later so that it is thicker, but aside from that I wouldn't change a thing.  The flavor was intense and you didn't miss the meat in your dish.

Chickpea Salad with Lemon Yogurt Dressing
1/4 c balkan yogurt (I just used fat free plain yogurt)
2 T lemon juice
pinch of salt & pepper
1 can of chickpeas drained
1/2 c halved grape tomatoes
1/4 c diced celery
3 T diced red onion
3 T chopped mint (left this out, didn't have any)
2 T copped parsley (left this out, didn't have any)

Stir everything together, and enjoy!  This salad tastes even better the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to meld.

That's it, that's all.  Hope you are enjoying the vegetarian ideas.  More meat to come, because we all know I can't live without a good steak or veal chop, but at least we can incorporate healthy dishes into our lifestyle and learn to eat the (great) red meat in moderation.

Until next time!