Noodle-free Lasagna


There’s no doubt that pasta dishes are delicious but unless you are burning lots of calories, too much pasta can lead to diasast’a.   Why not try out this fantastic low-carb version of an Italian favourite and get your lasagna fix without all the extra carbs (unless of course you are a super-intense mega athlete  or just finished a hardcore workout and need them).  Full of vitamins and fibre, this is one dish you might want to make every week.

~Makes 8 servings~

Ingredients:

“Noodles”:

  • 5-6 big zucchinis, cut into long 1/8 inch strips to resemble thick lasagne-style noodles

Meat Sauce:

  • 1.25 lb lean ground turkey or 1 cup of TVP soaked in a scant 1cup of boiling water for 10 min
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups fresh chopped peppers
  • 2 cups fresh chopped cauliflower (or mushrooms if you prefer)
  • 2 cups fresh chopped spinach
  • 1 (25 oz) jar of spaghetti sauce (watch the sugar content)
  • 2 cloves of diced garlic
  • Pinch of salt and pepper, or to taste
  • Optional: ½ cup raw sunflower seeds

Cheese:

  • 1 (16 oz) container 1% cottage or ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Method:

  1. Make the “Noodles”: This step allows the extra moisture from the zucchini to cook out first instead of making your lasagne into soup!  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and place your zucchini “noodles” on it. Bake for 5 minutes on each side then remove from oven. Set aside and lower oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  2. Make the meat sauce: In a large non-stick pan cook meat until it’s browned (this step not necessary for TVP option).  Add veggies, seasonings, and tomato sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes on med-low heat, stirring occasionally. If you are using sunflower seeds, add them before taking the meat sauce off the burner. Set aside.
  3. Make the cheese layer: Mix cottage or ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese together with 1 egg. (Save mozzarella for the top).
  4. Layer it: Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Begin by spreading 1/3 of the meat sauce in the bottom of the pan. Next put down a layer of zucchini slices, followed by a layer of cottage cheese. Repeat the layers until casserole dish is full or you run out of ingredients.
  5. Finishing Touches: Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top. Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees for 60 min.
  6. Remove foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until cheese is toasty brown. Take it out and let it cool 10 minutes before cutting into 8 big pieces.  Serve warm & enjoy!
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