Before you dive headfirst into a vat of mac ‘n cheese (unless it’s this insanely healthy version), consider cleaned up comfort food recipes like this one from Candice Kumai’s Clean Green Eats. Candice’s nutrient-dense, kale marinara sauce is a wonder-working recipe we’re relying on to keep us cozy.

We also love the idea of making this clean, green lasagna even healthier by swapping out the ricotta for cashew cheese! Nom nom…

INGREDIENTS

  • olive oil cooking spray, for the baking dish
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cups shredded lacinato kale leaves
  • 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese (or try making cashew cheese!)
  • 3 cups Homemade Kale Marinara Sauce (recipe below)
  • 6 no-boil lasagna sheet noodles

WHAT TO DO 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 ̊F. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and shredded kale, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.
  3. Put the ricotta cheese in a large bowl, and, using a spatula, gently fold in the cooled mushroom-kale mixture until completely incorporated.
  4. Assemble the lasagna
  5. Using the prepared baking dish, assemble the lasagna in six layers as follows: 1 cup Homemade Kale Marinara, spread evenly; 3 lasagna noodle sheets (arranged in a single layer); 3⁄4 cup of the kale-mushroom-and ricotta mixture, spread evenly. Repeat the layering a second time, then top with the remaining kale-mushroom-and ricotta mixture, and finish with the grated Pecorino or Romano on top. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven, on the middle rack, for about 25 minutes.
  6. After 20 minutes have passed, remove the foil from the baking dish and move the baking dish to the top rack. To finish, bake, uncovered, for another 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how you love your lasagna finished.
  7. Remove the lasagna from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

CANDICE’S HOMEMADE KALE MARINARA SAUCE

Yields 4 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Two 28-ounce cans unsalted organic crushed tomatoes
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1⁄4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup finely julienned lacinato kale leaves

WHAT TO DO

  1. In a large stockpot, warm the extra-virgin olive oil over low heat. Add the diced onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes on low heat.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes and fresh oregano leaves and give the sauce a good stir. Cook on low for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  3. When the sauce has reduced and thickened, finish with the sea salt, balsamic vinegar, and julienned kale. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes and serve or use in recipes as needed.

Recipes from Candice Kumai’s book, Clean Green Eats.