Fellow blogger theorbo shared a wonderful lasagna recipe with me (along with some adjustments he made!) While many pasta dishes are quite carb-heavy, I think this one has a good balance of lean meat/protein alongside the carbs.
Every person should do what works for him or her. I prefer to still eat what I want (no all-celery diets for me!) but make the dish healthier by incorporating low fat cheese and other such ingredients. My plan is to eat this dish with a large salad to cover all of my bases!
Here’s the recipe:
- 3/4 pound ground round
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped
- 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups nonfat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1 (15-ounce) container nonfat ricotta cheese
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 12 cooked lasagna noodles
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Italian provolone cheese
- Fresh oregano sprigs (optional)
Cook meat in a large saucepan over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble; drain and set aside. Wipe pan with a paper towel. Coat pan with cooking spray; add the onion and garlic, and sauté 5 minutes. Return meat to pan. Add 2 tablespoons parsley and next 7 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Uncover; simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Combine remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, cottage cheese, and next 3 ingredients in a bowl; stir well, and set aside.
Spread 3/4 cup tomato mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over tomato mixture; top with half of cottage cheese mixture, 2 1/4 cups tomato mixture, and 2/3 cup provolone. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread the remaining tomato mixture over noodles.
Cover; bake at 350° for 1 hour. Sprinkle with remaining provolone; bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with oregano, if desired.
Source: Hearty Lasagna
theorbo’s additional notes:
- theorbo used 1/2 pound of 93/7 lean beef and 3 mild Italian sausage links
- theorbo incorporated WHOLE WHEAT pasta! He noted that he did not use the no-boil kind.
- theorbo substituted crushed tomatoes for whole (I actually asked him about this one.. why would I buy whole tomatoes and chop them when I can make the tomato canner people do that work for me?!)
- theorbo used low-fat ricotta and cottage cheese and a regular Italian cheese blend. I am planning to use all low or not-fat items, but we’ll see what I can find at the grocery store!
My additional notes:
- I decided to use all lean beef instead of also incorporating the sausage. I had to buy over a pound of beef and had no other immediate plans for it. I figured I’d probably end up wasting a good portion of the beef and a good portion of the sausage if I bought both. All beef decision made!
- I was able to find both non-fat ricotta and non-fat cottage cheese, so that’s what I used. I also bought reduced fat Italian blend cheese. I used probably about 6 ounces (compared to their suggested 8).
- I found that my lasagna noodles didn’t quite cover the entire pan. After baking, there was some liquid excess that formed on the sides of the pan (where there was no noodle coverage). This wasn’t particularly ideal, but it presented no huge problems. I’m not sure how to adjust for this, aside from finding longer noodles or perhaps using a partial noodle to fill the gap.
- I cut the lasagna before letting it cool down/set enough. Next time I would probably wait until the next day (or at least a couple of hours) before trying to cut/eat it. It still tasted great; it just got a little sloppy.
- The box of lasagna noodles that I used did not specify how many were in the box. There were >12 noodles in one box, but I bought two to cover my bases.