The Kripalu Kitchen
During colder weather, many of us are reaching for our favorite comfort foods like mac and cheese and lasagna to keep us warm. And while these foods that are often high in sugar, salt, and carbohydrates may satisfy us in the moment, they don’t offer the best long-term benefits for those of us who are striving for a healthy lifestyle.
This butternut squash lasagna is The Kripalu Kitchen’s healthy take on comfort food. Kripalu is recognized as the largest yoga retreat center in North America and is a healthy haven for yogis and healthy food-lovers, offering a mainly vegetarian cuisine made with fresh, local produce. Whole grains, fresh vegetables, and legumes form the backbone of the menu at The Kripalu Kitchen, while poultry, fish, and dairy are also optional for protein. The Ayurvedic-influenced "Buddha Bar” also offers vegan, gluten-free cuisine.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the squash, oil, cinnamon, fennel, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and toss well. Transfer the squash to a baking sheet. Bake in a 350-degree F oven until squash is soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Return the squash mixture to the bowl and stir in the thyme. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the squash well but leave some amount of chunkiness. Set aside.
Heat the milk on medium temperature with nutmeg, salt, and pepper until warm. In a separate small, thick-bottomed pan, melt the butter, being careful not to burn. Slowly whisk in the flour and sauté for a minute on low heat. Slowly whisk the warmed milk into the flour and butter mixture, making sure there are no lumps. Simmer on very low heat to ensure it does not burn while you are preparing to use it.
Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package instructions. Cool slightly.
In a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish, layer in béchamel sauce, then noodles, then the squash filling, and then the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers using remaining ingredients.
Pour the béchamel sauce on the top layer of noodles, spreading it to the edges. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Cover with parchment paper and foil. Bake for 40 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Uncover and bake 5 minutes more. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve.