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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Luciously Lo-Cal Lasagna


I practically ran home from work yesterday because I was so excited to make this little gem of a recipe for the second night in a row (well, that, and it was a frigid evening). This cheesy lasagna recipe from Hungry Girl is made with real noodles and will only cost you about 250 calories and 4 grams of fat! Definitely delicious and definitely New Year's resolution friendly. Nick, who has many Italian relatives, loved this lasagna and seemed satisfied even though this dish is so low in calories.

The recipe calls for eggplant and mushrooms - two meaty vegetables that add bulk to the dish without piling on extra calories. I really didn't miss the ground beef at all. The basil in the ricotta mixture adds some layers of flavor and a surprising freshness to a usually heavy meal.



The first time I made the recipe, I couldn't find crushed tomatoes, so I used diced. The recipe still worked well, but the consistency of the sauce is much better using the crushed tomatoes. If you like spice, I'd recommend adding some crushed red pepper to the tomato sauce mixture.





While this recipe took me about an hour to make start to finish, the baking time enables you to clean up most of the mess before sitting down to eat. It makes meal time more peaceful knowing you have a clean kitchen (or maybe we're just that OCD!).



I promise the next recipe will have some meat action in it. But, I must say, I've been enjoying all the veggie goodness. A nice way to detox after the holidays.

EZ Cheesy Lasagna
From Hungry Girl
Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • Two 1/4-inch thick eggplant slices (cut lengthwise from a long eggplant), patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons liquid egg whites
  • 1/2 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Additional salt, black pepper, to taste
  • 2 sheets oven-ready lasagna noodles
  • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
Preparation

Preheat over to 425 degrees. 

Spritz both sides of each eggplant slice with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through, until browned and softened.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine egg whites, ricotta cheese, basil, garlic, salt, and nutmeg. Stir well and set aside.

Bring a skillet sprayed with cooking spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add mushrooms and, stirring occasionally, cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir mushrooms into ricotta mixture and set aside.

Add Italian seasoning to crushed tomatoes, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside. 

Spray a large loaf pan (about 9" x 5") with nonstick spray. Pour 1/4 cup tomatoes evenly into the bottom of the pan. Top with 1 lasagna sheet. Spread half of the ricotta-mushroom mixture on top, followed by another 1/4 cup tomatoes. Top with 1 eggplant slice.

Repeat layering with 1/4 cup tomatoes, 1 lasagna sheet, remaining ricotta-mushroom mixture, remaining 1/4 cup tomatoes, and remaining eggplant slice.

Evenly top with mozzarella and grated topping. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cheese starts to brown.


Per serving: 238 calories, 4 g fat, 5 g fiber, 17.5 g protein.




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