What's Cooking, Vol. 10
Jan. 19, 2012 11:51 am
Updated: Jul. 19, 2012 11:34 am
New year, new outlook on health! I think I really mean it this time. Being a foodie, making the right food choices can be REALLY difficult, but I have found with the right ingredients and some creativity, you can make truly outstanding, calorie friendly,
great tasting meals! So I think I'll share a few that I have come up with.
First up....vegetarian lasagne! This is so good that you absolutely will not think it is good for you, but at 329 calories per serving (and a serving is 1/6th of the pan!!), it's a whole lot of bang for your calorie buck.
I use no-bake lasagne noodles for this. They are easy and cook quickly. If you can find whole-grain options, fantastic. If not, no worries. It's still low calorie, and all of the veggies make up for any nutritional deficit in regular pasta!
First off, preheat the oven to 350 degrees so that it's ready when you are.
For the veggies, be creative and use what you like. For my lasagne, I chop up a bell pepper, one onion, about 3 cloves of garlic, a yellow squash, two zuchinni, a pint of sliced baby bella mushrooms and some roasted red peppers. I told you it was a lot of
veggies! Add about a tablespoon of EVOO to a deep pan, and then add the onions, peppers and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, dried basil and dried oregano, and let it cook down for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the veggies, and continue to cook
until just tender.
(NOTE: I am NOT afraid of using spices liberally. Bump up the flavor!!)
For the cheese, add 1/2 cup of low-fat ricotta to 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese, and blend together with more pepper, basil, oregano and garlic powder. The fat is dramatically reduced in this, but you would never know it. It's creamy and delicious.
Now the fun part! To build your lasagne, get a jar of pasta sauce or make your own homemade if you're feeling particularly industrious. I am currently obsessed with Giada's Savory Tomato, but choose whichever you like. Spread a small amount on the bottom
of a 13 x 9 baking dish. Place three no-bake noodles cross-wise in the pan. Pour 1/2 of the vegetable mixture in and spread evenly. Dollop 1/2 of the cheese mixture, and spread evenly as well. Then add a layer of tomato sauce. Repeat for one more layer
(noodles, veggies, cheese, tomato sauce). The put your final layer of three noodles, cover with the rest of the tomato sauce, and sprinkle 3/4 of a cup of low-fat mozarella and two tablespoons of shredded parm on top. Cover with foil, and bake for about
45 minutes. Uncover, and bake for about an additional 20 minutes.
And now.....taste it and be very very happy! I know some will think I'm crazy, but I absolutely do not miss the meat in this dish. It is flavorful, creamy and deeply satisfying. I am finding it very easy to stay on my calorie plan with meals like this!!
And for me, leaving some calorie budget for a wine is a must. I will give up fatty, processed foods, but I will never give up my wine!
Until next time....cheers!