Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spinach Lasagna

You can really take the fat/calories out of lasagna by switching up your ingredients. Try cottage cheese instead of ricotta (I know, I know real Italians are cussing at me everywhere), use vegetables instead of meat, cut down on the cheese, use whole wheat pasta, try fresh tomatoes, and use low fat cheeses. This recipe calls for fat-free cream cheese rather than doing other types of cheese. I thought that was something different so I gave it a try. It turned out really well. When some of the girls came over to make cake pops with me we I had this for dinner. 

This was inspired by the Tomato-Basil Lasagna with Prosciutto recipe that I found here. But I made it differently and then adapted it some more so I could freeze it. See directions below and how to cook after freezing it for up to 2 months. 

5 garlic cloves, minced
1 carton 1% low-fat cottage cheese
4 oz. fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup grated pecorina romano cheese
2.5 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1 large egg
1 jar of low fat pasta sauce (I used Ragu)
cooking spray
12 lasagna noodles (I use Ronzoni Healthy Harvest)
1 to 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 packages of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, drained, dried out, and mashed with a fork. 
1/2 cup of reduced fat parmesan cheese

Cook lasagna noodles according to box instructions. Separate on wax paper when finished cooking and draining. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix garlic and cottage cheese together.
Make sure cream cheese is soft and at room temperature. Use microwave if needed.
Mix in cream cheese, pecorina romano, basil, pepper, and egg. Mix well. 
Spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of a greased/sprayed 13x9 baking dish. 
Arrange 3 noodles on the bottom. 
On top of the noodles spread with 1/3 of the cheese mixture. 
Top with 1/3 of the spinach mixture.
Top with 1/2 cup of pasta sauce.
Repeat with noodles, cheese, spinach, & pasta sauce. 
Repeat with noodles, cheese, spinach, then noodles again. 
Pour remaining pasta sauce over noodles. 
Top with parmesan and mozzarella cheese. 
Bake in oven, covered, for 45 minutes. Bake for an additional 15 minutes uncovered.

Or...if you want to freeze it, don't bake it now. Cover it with foil, plastic wrap, or casserole dish lid. Place in freezer for up to 2 months. 

The night before defrost in the fridge. Take it out 30 minutes before you are ready to cook. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a little bit of water in the bottom of the dish so that noodles don't dry out. But not too much water. Cook in oven for about an hour and a half, covered. Optional-top with additional mozzarella cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes uncovered. 

What do you think? Comments? Suggestions? I would love to know that you visited my blog. Please leave me a message letting me know you were here! Did you try out a recipe? Let me know! I would love to hear from you :-)

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Are you forgetting that you are part Italian?
Anyway, I use low-fat ricotta and low-fat mozzarella. Never tried the cottage cheese or cream cheese. I can't use the spinach because your father wouldn't eat it.
I've been using the no-bake noodles and I really like the Barilla ones (they seem less heavy than the others). I've been meaning to try just soaking the regular ones in hot water for 15-20 minutes (I've heard this from many different sources).
What do you think?

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