Best Black Bean Lasagna

Black Bean Lasagna - the Potluck Version

Believe it or not, this vegetarian black bean lasagna tastes better than a meat lasagna to this carnivore. It’s an amazing recipe and one that I don’t cook often, because it’s more work than I usually like to put into cooking a meal. However, for potlucks, parties and guests, it’s a perfect choice. People will be amazed.

Ingredients:
1 15 oz can black beans, drained with liquid reserved
2/3 cup of brown rice – uncooked
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2  tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup vegetable stock plus 1 tablespoon
1/3 cup Anaheim chili pepper, seeded and diced
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilis – drained
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro

Bean Sauce
3/4 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons onion
2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1.5 tsp dry sherry
1/2 tsp sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
(plus reserved beans and liquid from above)

2 2/3 cups marinara sauce
6 sheets lasagna noodles
2 2/3 cups mozzarella, grated
1 cup lowfat ricotta (you can be more generous and use the whole container)
1/4 fresh bread crumbs

Drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Measure 2/3 cup of beans and reserve the rest for later.

Cook the rice.

Roast the cumin and coriander in a dry skillet.Add cooked rice, stir in salt and pepper and let cool. Stir in corn, stock, peppers, chilis, cilantro and 2/3 cup black beans.

Place 2 tablespoons of the vegetable stock in a saucepan. Add onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, sherry and sherry vinegar.  Simmer 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, reserved beans and its liquid. Cook additional 8 minutes. Process until nearly smooth, leaving some bits of beans intact.  Add remaining vegetable stock and cilantro. Reserve.

Spread 2/3 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9*13 backing dish.  Cover with one layer of cooked lasagna noodles. Spoon on half of the rice mixture and 3/4 cup of the bean sauce. Top with 1/2 cup of the ricotta cheese and 1 1/4 cup of the mozzarella. If you want, add more ricotta and use the whole container.

Cover with another layer of lasagna noodles and 1 cup marinara sauce. Repeat the layering of rice and cheese. Top with the last layer of noodles. Press lightly to distribute evenly..

Add last layer of marinara (3rd). Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and bread crumbs.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes. Let stand about 20 minutes before cutting.

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