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What is Vegetarian Lasagna?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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Vegetarian lasagna is a modified version of the traditional Italian dish; it substitutes vegetarian ingredients for ground beef, and other meat-based elements found in classic lasagna recipes. The vegetarian lasagna dish is now popular as a menu choice in restaurants and as a pre-made entre for the freezer. Vegetarian lasagna is one of many vegetarian recipes that provide options for those with special dietary needs or who choose a vegetarian lifestyle.

Vegetarian lasagna uses many of the same elements as the traditional lasagna dish. Ricotta cheese is often used, and the same wide flat noodles hold the lasagna together. Vegetarian, or vegetable, lasagna generally includes a vegetarian tomato sauce, where the sauce in a meat lasagna may be cooked with meat or meat broth. In place of the ground beef found in classic lasagna, vegetarian lasagna often uses spinach or other green vegetables. When larger vegetables are included, they may be processed to fit into the lasagna dish.

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To some, the different varieties of vegetarian lasagna may seem comparable to traditional varieties, but to Italian food connoisseurs, there’s a big difference between the types of lasagnas included in upscale vegetarian restaurant menus, and the kinds of vegetable lasagna products offered for sale frozen in supermarkets. Many vegetarians will prefer a dish where the vegetable elements are minimally processed or cooked, so that the vegetables retain more of their vitamins and nutritional elements, including antioxidants that are found to have many positive health values. Less processing can also make a vegetarian lasagna taste better, where some pre-cooked varieties with a higher shelf life may lack in flavor authenticity.

Vegetable lasagna is just one of the classic Italian foods that have been modified for the vegetarian market. Many classic pizzas are naturally vegetarian, and pasta dishes without meat are widely popular in forms of vegetarian cuisine. These options provide convenient and tasty choices for a vegetarian lunch or dinner in restaurants, catering, or at-home cooking.

Many vegetable lasagna recipes fall into the category of “vegetarian diet food.” When they look at how to deal with obesity and its side effects, nutritionists find that switching food ingredients from red meats to vegetables can have a positive effect. However, in order to be diet food, vegetable lasagna must also be designed with attention to its carbohydrates and overall calorie count. Just subtracting meat from food is not something that many nutritional experts recommend as a totally healthy diet. Finding the best and healthiest vegetarian lasagna still requires reading the ingredients and nutritional labels, or just making it oneself.

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