After yesterday’s run I was hankering for a big yummy dinner! Enter: Lasagna
I started making my “healthy” lasagna about a year and a half ago and it was always received to rave reviews. My friends would constantly ask me to make it! Now, I know there are some things I’m not great at making (ahem “healthy” cookies…or most “healthy” baked goods for that matter) but if there is one thing I can do, it’s “healthy” lasagna!
Lasagna can turn into something very UNhealthy when made with TONS of cheese, white pasta, high sodium sauce, lots of meat or cream sauce. But mine is all GOOD stuff! I make it with whole grain pasta, low sodium tomato sauce, minimal cheese and lots of veggies, so it’s a delicious and HEALTHY meal.
And now, it’s your lucky day, because I’m going to share my recipe with you
It’s a little bit time consuming, but it’s definitely worth it:
Janna’s Healthy L-L-L-L-Lasagna
What You’ll Need 9X13 casserole/baking dish 12 whole grain lasagna noodles (I use these) 10 ounces frozen or 1.5 cups fresh spinach Vegetables (mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, carrots) 3 cups low sodium tomato sauce 2 cups of ricotta cheese (can also use cottage cheese, goats milk ricotta or soy ricotta or leave out altogether) 1 egg or flax egg(1 T ground flax + 3 T warm water, mixed) 2 tsp Dried or 2 Tbsp fresh chopped herbs (basil and oregano are great with this) 1 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, fontina…I try to use goat mozzarella or goat gouda) Salt and Pepper to Taste
Preheat oven to 350F
If using regular whole wheat lasagna noodles, cook them, according to directions. If using brown rice lasagna noodles like I do, BARELY cook them. Basically cook until JUST starting to soften, I think it may also work if you don’t cook them at all, but I haven’t tried that yet. If you overcook them, they get mushy.
In a bowl combine ricotta cheese, herbs and egg (or flax egg)
Chop other veggies flat for layering (feel free to steam or sauté them. I usually just put them in raw)
Pour a bit of the sauce into the baking dish and spread it around (just so the noodles don’t stick)
Lay down 3 lasagna noodles, top with 1/3 of ricotta cheese mixture, top that with a layer of spinach and other veggies, top with a portion of tomato sauce.
Repeat layering 3 more times (noodles, ricotta, veggies and sauce)
End with sauce on top and then sprinkle on shredded cheese.
Sprinkle on salt and pepper as you see fit
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.
If cheese on top hasn’t melted fully or isn’t browed slightly, feel free to put your oven setting on broil until the cheese gets bubbly and brown (but watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn!)
Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
My lasagna from last night! I actually used an 8×8 casserole dish for a smaller lasagna this time. But I usually go for the 9×13.
Before going into the oven (that’s fresh basil on top)
Cooling before serving:
Mmmm Mmmm good!
Just a note: As you can see, the lasagna doesn’t hold together too well on the first day you make it. It stays together much better if you keep in the fridge overnight and reheat and serve the next day. And it’s much more flavorful that way too. But it was still DELICIOUS last night.
Leftover lasagna also freezes beautifully.
Can’t wait for leftovers today!
Hope you have a great Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Americans!