Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Veggie lasagna. With meat.

This was somewhat of an experiment; that is, an attempt to see how much veggies I could pack into a meat lasagna. First and foremost, instead of noodles, I used zucchini cut lengthwise into thin slices. This is my standard way of low-carbifying lasagna. I also added chopped broccoli to the ricotta layer, and chopped spinach into the meat sauce. I liked the spinach but thought that the broccoli was a bit much, and my husband felt the opposite. His reasoning was that the broccoli actually adds texture while the spinach does not contribute anything, I liked the spinach because it blended in well. So add one or the other or both! It was still delicious and an easy way of packing a full meal's worth of veggies into a single casserole.

MEAT LASAGNA WITH LOTS OF VEGGIES

INGREDIENTS

  • About 1 lb zucchini, sliced lengthwise into very thin slices (I used a mandoline to cut it about 1/8" thick, you could also use a cheap V-slicer)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella (low-fat is fine)
For the meat sauce:
  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes (I like Muir Glen)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sweetener of choice, to taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herb blend
For the ricotta layer:
  • 1 lb ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten (or 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
  • 1 10-oz package frozen chopped broccoli
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the spinach and broccoli according to package directions. Squeeze all the moisture out of the spinach. Set both aside to cool.
  3. Brown the meat in a skillet, drain the fat, and set aside. Saute the onion and garlic in a small amount of olive oil. Add the meat back to the pan with the onion and garlic along with all the remaining ingredients except for the spinach. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the spinach and set aside.
  4. Combine all of the ingredients for the ricotta layer, liberally adding salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Lay a layer of zucchini slices, slightly overlapping, in the bottom of a 13"x9" lasagna pan. Using your hands (hands are the only way to do this), add half the ricotta and spread it more or less evenly atop the zucchini. Add half of the meat sauce. Repeat the process with another layer of zucchini, the rest of the ricotta, and the rest of the meat sauce. Cover the top with mozzarella.
  6. Bake, covered in foil, for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown. Cut into squares and serve.

1 comments:

Lori said...

This sounds good!! I will have to give it a go sometime soon!!

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