Squash and Spinach Lasagna _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Squash and Spinach Lasagna.

When vegetarian dishes were first making their way into the mainstream, some of them were, for lack of a better explanation, dull.

Then, as cooks do, dreams took shape and ingredients took flight. Why can’t one make lasagna without meat? Why can’t squash be stuffed? The questions had answers, and in the years since, so many imaginative recipes have made their way into the mainstream. It just took a little culinary imagination.

The lasagna, for instance, has some delightful vegetarian versions.

I’ve had one with broccoli, carrots and cauliflower, and it’s simply one of my favorites, but here’s another.

Take squash, spinach and your pick of any number of convenience pasta sauces on grocery shelves. While I chose a roasted garlic for this one, there are many choices. Shoppers can spend 15 minutes looking at the different types and flavors out here. Read the ingredients and choose one best for your needs.

It doesn’t take long. Four to six hours is just about right for this one.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at juliekay6122@gmail.com.