Sunday, August 7, 2011

Guilt-free Green Lasagna

Okay, normally green lasagna makes you think of those 3 week old leftovers in the back of the fridge that never quite made it to the trash. Ick. This lasagna was Matt's idea, and it's some of the best I've ever tasted. Not only is the cheese melty and strategically placed to make your tastebuds happy, but it's actually quite healthy with all sorts of veggies and good stuff. And there aren't 300 ingredients in it, like in a chefs lasagna, so you don't have to spend $8,000 on all of the ingredients.*

Kids can help you make this tasty dinner, and it's enough for two casserole dishes (16 generous adult-sized portions, or one hyper 3 year old's entire messy birthday party).

Guilt-free Cheesy Lasagna
Makes two 9X11 pans of lasagna, 16-18 servings, or can be easily halved

2 large jars marinara
2 12-oz packages of wheat (or whole grain) lasagna noodles
1 pound ground turkey
5 garlic cloves, sliced thinly (remember the razor blade that sliced paper-thin garlic slices in Goodfellas?)
1 16-oz bag frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1 16-oz bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
3 TB Italian seasoning 
1 TB dried or 3 TB fresh basil 
Dash of black pepper
Dash of red pepper
1 quart low-fat ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella

1 large pot
1 large skillet/wok with lid
1 large bowl with ice cold water
sharp knife
wooden spoon
2 casserole dishes (AKA lasagna pans, 11X7, 12X8, 13X9) 

step one: Boil a large pot of water and cook lasagna noodles, 5 at a time. 
step two: In the meantime, brown the turkey in a large skillet and drain, if needed. Keeping the heat on medium-high, add the garlic and a drizzle of olive oil and let the turkey soak up the flavors for a couple of minutes. Add broccoli and spinach and let cook for a few minutes. Then stir in marinara and seasonings. Cover and put on medium-low to let flavors unite. Preheat the oven to 350 now and take the cheeses out of the fridge.
{a small learning moment}
{Depending on the flour in the noodle, lasagna boils for 7-11 minutes. Tongs are the safest (avoid boiling water burns) but can be slippery.}

step three:  When the first batch of lasagna noodles are cooked (soft to the touch by a tongue, but not falling apart), transfer noodles to big bowl of cold water. This prevents sticking and frustration while assembling the dish. Leave the noodles in the cold water for a minute and lay flat on a plate. Repeat this cooking process with the next batch of noodles until all are cooked. (Trust me, this goes by faster than it sounds.)

step four: Time to assemble. This goes by really quickly with a buddy. Layer of sauce, noodles, ricotta (use the spatula), noodles, sauce, noodles, ricotta, etc. Of course, layer how you like. Just be sure to top the lasagna with lots of mozzarella, 2 cups per dish. Spray a sheet of foil with nonstick spray and top the casserole dishes (spray side down, to keep cheese from sticking to foil). Bake for 40--45 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly on top. Let sit for 10-20 minutes and serve. Yum.

Hope your weekend has been loverly. We had a bunch of dear and not-so-near friends visit for a couple of days. So much fun!
Happy cooking and happier eating! 

*Disclaimer: a slight exaggeration, but only slight. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment