Mama’s Lean-zagna

Meatloaf, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Noodle Soup, Honey Mustard… just a few of the make-overs I’ve done of my mom’s hit meal! But I cannot forget the lasagna!

Lean-Zagna

24 servings

  • 2 lbs 99% lean ground turkeyWP_007931
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried chopped onion
  • 4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp granulated Splenda
  • (72oz+4lb3oz) (about 15 cups) your favorite sauce
  • 3 (11oz) bags fat free shredded mozzarella
  • 2 lbs fat free ricotta
  • 24 oz lasagna noodles (no-boil if possible)*
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat grated Parmesan

In a large pot, break up and brown the ground turkey. Make sure there are no chunks of meat, make it a nice fine ground. Over medium-low heat, add the spices and Splenda, and toss to coat the meat. Top with sauce, stir, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Combine the ricotta and mozzarella in a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup of the mozzarella. Coat the bottom of a large pan, about 17 x 12 (this is the one time I choose a disposable pan, like a large rectangular roaster) with sauce. Line one layer of lasagna noodles, with edges slightly over lapping. Evenly distribute some of the cheese mix over the noodles. Ladle another ladle of sauce and use the back of the ladle to smooth and even out the layer. Place another of noodles down and repeat with the cheese and sauce. Repeat this process, reserving a small amount (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) of the cheese mix, until you’re out of noodles (about 3 or 4 layers).

Top the last layer of noodles with the reserved cheese and the remaining sauce. Smooth out the layer with the back of the ladle and distribute the reserved mozzarella and the Parmesan topping.

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Bake for 90min. Let it rest 5 minutes before cutting (6 x 4) and serving.

*If NOT using no-boil, just ensure you make up for it by using more gravy (and by gravy, I mean sauce), because the noodles will absorb a decent amount of liquid, and no one wants a dry lasagna.

WP_007932Nutrition (per 1/24, 1 piece)

Calories:291, Fat: 3g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 902mg, Carbs: 37g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 15g, Protein: 28g

**Nutrition info based off using an 80 cal sauce. If you use a lighter sauce, congrats! You cut more calories!

Oh man! All of the delicious flavor of mom’s lasagna without all the guilt!

While waiting for this to bake I put this together for my kitchen… I think after all my hard work I deserve a nice hunk of lean-zagna!

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Meanwhile Back At Mama’s

Its been a while! I’ve been in the processes of moving back into moms house, working two jobs (yes, I got another job), and prepping for whats going on right now. Don’t worry, I’ll fill you in. In the meantime, lets focus on this recipe! Ever since I can remember, my mom and I have been obsessed with Stouffer’s Vegetable Lasagna. Its a white lasagna using chopped vegetables and a beschemel sauce.

Vegetable (Noodless) Lasagna

4-8 serving

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 large eggplant (approx. 1lb 1/4 to 1/2oz), sliced lengthwise to 1/4 inWP_006541
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • 1/2 pkg of chopped spinach, frozen
  • 1/2 cup ricotta, fat free
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream, fat free
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 (15oz) jar light Alfredo sauce, like Classico (about 45 cal per 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, fat free, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, fat free, divided
  • 2 Tbsp Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 8oz chicken breast (optional)

For those of you trying to figure out why the title of the post sounds familiar…

Wrap the cloves of garlic on aluminum foil and broil 450 F for 30 min. Take this time to prep everything else. On a skillet or griddle, sprayed with non stick cooking spray, lay the eggplant and grill it, flipping after about 5 minutes on either side. Remove from heat and allow it to sit.

Add the chopped broccoli, carrots, onions, spinach, and roasted garlic in a skillet, sprayed with non stick spray, and 2-4 Tbsp water, over medium heat. Sweat the veggies down. In a medium sized bowl, combine the ricotta, sour cream, pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil together. By the spoonful, stir the hot, sweated veggies into the ricotta mixture, until all the vegetables and ricotta are thoroughly combined.

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Preheat the oven for 350 F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray. Pour about 3 tbsp of the jarred alfredo sauce into the sprayed pan, just enough to coat the bottom. Pour the remaining jar of light alfredo sauce into the ricotta mixture, along with 3/4 cup water. Mix well. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray. Begin to layer the cooled eggplant on the bottom. Spoon half the ricotta  mixture over the eggplant and spreas evenly.

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Chop the shredded mozzarella cheese finely and sprinkle half of it over the layered eggplant and ricotta. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of grated parm over top. Place another layer of eggplant down, followed by the remaining ricotta, mozzarella, and parm. Lastly, top with the bread crumbs. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 20 minutes to brown the bread crumbs.

The filling was so darn tasty, I just kept eating it with the spoon! Focus, Sammy, this is for dinner…

The layers are thin, full of flavor. I’ve figured out a few things with making this dish a meal:

  • Cook 1 ounce of pasta and serve the lasagna over top.
  • Make a protein (chicken works fantasticly well).

I shredded up about an ounce or so of chicken breast, tossed it with and ounce of cooked pasta, and served it up to pops.

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Dad devoured this plate in record timing… just saying…

Nutrition: (1/8 of dish)

Calories: 127, Fat: 3.3g, Sat. Fat: 1.9g, Cholesterol: 24g, Sodium: 467mg, Carbs: 15.8g, Fiber: 3.7g, Sugar: 5.2g, Protein: 8.1g

For those of you trying to figure out why the title of the post sounds familiar…