He Didn’t Notice
My father is a “meat and potatoes” man. You know the type. They consider any food service without beef or pork or some combination of the two not a meal, it is more of a snack. His mother was a fantastic cook, as is my mother. My mother speaks the love language of food, and it is safe to say we are all a little more than spoiled by her.
One could easily see how Ash Wednesday and Fridays in Lent are a true sacrifice for those with the gastronomic standards such as his.
Truth be told, I have extremely limited culinary skills and when my father comes to visit, I’m always a bit leery of cooking for him. Not because he would ever be critical of the food prepared, but because I know what he is used to, and competing with that, well… good luck self.
This food prep anxiety is normal for his visits, but it takes on a whole new level when he happens to visit during lent.
A couple of years ago my family did a completely meatless lent. During that lent we found many meatless recipes we now eat on a regular basis. During one of the aforementioned Lenten father visits, we decided to go with one of our favorites, a Black Bean & Spinach Lasagna.
It was prepared, served, and consumed. Everyone agreed it was a great lasagna, then my husband let the secret out…it contained NO MEAT. The look on my father’s face was one of pleasant surprise. Success!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family has.
Black Bean & Spinach Lasagna
Southern Living 2002
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
2 (16-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (2-pound, 13-ounce) jar pasta sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
9 precooked lasagna noodles
How to Make It
Stir together first 5 ingredients and 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese; set aside.
Mash beans with a potato masher or fork in a large bowl; stir in pasta sauce and cumin. Spread one-third of bean mixture on bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Layer with 3 noodles, half of spinach mixture, and 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese; repeat layers.
Spread with one-third bean mixture; top with remaining 3 noodles and remaining bean mixture.
Bake, covered, at 350° for 1 hour; uncover and top with remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish, if desired.