• 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • 2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 carton Trader Joe's fat free Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 carton of extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe's creamy cilanto hummus
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups light mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
  • 1 box no-boil lasagne noodles
  • pepper
  • salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning, divided
  • 1/2 tsp.Cajun seasoning

I love experimenting with lasagna. What is normally a high calorie pasta dish, can easily be a nutrition packed dinner. By reducing the cheese content and increasing the vegetables, lasagna is no longer a diet buster, but rather a healthy meal option as long as you watch your portion size. In this particular version, I used 94/6 extra lean ground beef. You could omit the meat or replace it with ground turkey or sausage. I had fresh cherry tomatoes and baby spinach on hand so I added them right into my meat sauce. This is one of my tricks to getting Romain to eat something green. Zucchini, eggplant, and peppers are also great additions. Work with what you have! I personally like the no-boil lasagne noodles because it saves you a step. If you can find whole wheat lasagna noodles use those for extra nutritional value. I honestly did not use exact measurements in this recipe so the given measurements are more of an estimate. The key to this mile high lasagna is a loaf pan in place of a 13X9 baking dish. The recipe below will make two loaf pans. Freeze one for a pre-made meal.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat a tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan. Add onions and saute for several minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add your ground meat, pepper, salt, Cajun, Italian seasonings, and halved cherry tomatoes and cook until you no longer see any pink. The good thing about lean meat is that you don’t need to drain the extra fat.

Stir in your favorite tomato sauce, I used Bertolli Basil Sauce, and spinach and let simmer.

Meanwhile, combine ricotta, tofu, hummus, and egg in a bowl. I know this sounds bizarre but the tofu and hummus blend perfectly into the ricotta and add a lot of texture and flavor. Stir in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, pepper, salt, and Italian seasoning.

Coat your loaf pan with cooking spray and 2 tbsps of sauce. Then continue the layers as follows:

1. Lasagna noodle

2. cheese mixture sprinkled with shredded cheese.

3. Meat sauce

5. Repeat until close to the top and then coat the last noodle with sauce and top with shredded cheese and parmesan.

Cover your loaf pan loosely with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove tinfoil and bake for another 15 minutes.

Let cool before digging in. This lasagna is really delicious and much lighter than your typical lasagna. I never understand why some people try to avoid pasta. If you make your own, you are controlling the ingredients and have the ability to lighten the dish.

It tastes even better the next day!!

 

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