By Dianne Bunis

Last-minute holiday shopping, presents to wrap, out of town relatives arriving and everyone's asking, "what's for dinner?" Lasagna, an easy solution can be assembled and baked later for dinner or after an evening holiday service. I came up with a healthier and lighter version that uses part-skim cheese, omits the eggs and adds veggies. Make one large (9 by 13) or two smaller ones (8 by 8) and freeze one for later. Serve with a green salad and fresh crusty bread.

No-Boil Lasagna with veggies (no eggs)

8 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles

15 ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese

3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 lb ground beef

1 jar Bove's All natural marinara sauce, reserve 1/2 cup

1 cup water

1 cup white mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

1 small sweet red pepper, seeded and sliced to 1/8" strips

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

garlic salt and fresh black pepper

Prepare

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a sauté pan, heat oil to medium heat, add mushrooms, basil, red pepper, garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until peppers are tender, set aside.

In another pan, brown meat, drain oil, then add marinara sauce, reserving 1/2 cup of the sauce, plus 1 cup of water. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.

Assemble

Use either one 13 by 9 pan or two 8 by 8 pans (freeze one). Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce in bottom of baking dish, then arrange a single layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. Top with 1/2 of the meat sauce, 1/2 part of the ricotta cheese, 1/2 of the sautéed vegetables, 1/3 of mozzarella. Repeat, layering with noodles, meat sauce, ricotta, vegetables and mozzarella.

Top with noodles, marinara sauce, ending with mozzarella.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

Uncover and continue cooking until all the cheese on top is golden and bubbling.

Let stand 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Defrost in refrigerator overnight before baking.