Sunday, 24 November 2013

Pasta-Free Turkey & Zucchini Lasagna


This is a great alternative to a classic meat lasagna recipe. Using zucchini to replace the pasta noodles reduces the caloric intake immensely; one lasagna noodle is approximately 70 calories where as a whole medium zucchini is only 33 calories. 



First, start by making the tomato and basil sauce by heating up one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan. Add three minced garlic cloves and three quarter cup of white onion to the pan and cook until they brown. Add in three cups of diced tomatoes, one and one half tablespoon of basil paste and sea salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on medium heat for ten minutes, Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside.


In a large frying pan coated with one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, cook one pound of extra lean ground turkey until it browns. Add three cups of chopped spinach to the mixture and cook until it becomes tender. Finally, add the tomato and basil sauce to the blend, mix well and remove from heat.

To make the lasagna noodles, cut a zucchini in half lengthwise and shave into thin slices. You may have to use an additional half of a zucchini to yield enough slices.

Assemble the lasagna by covering the bottom of a medium dish with half of the meat sauce. Next, layer zucchini slices over top as you would with normal lasagna noodles. 

Evenly spread half a cup of light extra smooth ricotta cheese over top of the zucchini slices and cover with a quarter cup of light mozzarella cheese. 

Next, evenly coat the cheese layer with a quarter cup of the meat sauce. Cover this layer with more zucchini slices. Top lasagna with remaining quarter cup of meat sauce and top with remaining half cup of mozzarella cheese.

  Cook in the oven at 350oF for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut in four slices and serve!



Pasta-Free Turkey & Zucchini Lasagna  
 Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 lbs. Extra lean ground turkey
1-1 ½ Zucchini, shredded
3 cups Tomatoes, diced
¾ cup White onion, diced
3 cups Spinach, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tbsp. Basil paste
½ cup Light extra smooth ricotta cheese
¾ cup Light mozzarella cheese
2 tsp Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

Tomato Sauce:
  1. Heat up 1 tsp olive oli in a saucepan. Add garlic and onions and cook until they brown.
  2. Add tomatoes, basil paste, sea salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer sauce to a blender and blend until smooth.

Meat Sauce:
  1. In a large frying pan, heat up 1 tsp of olive oil and add ground turkey. Add salt and pepper to taste Cook until browned.
  2.  Add spinach to the meat mixture and cook until tender.
  3. Add tomato sauce to the blend, mix well and set aside. 

Lasagna:
  1.   Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and shave into thin slices.
  2. Assemble lasagna in a medium side dish. First, first cover bottom of dish with ½ meat mixture.
  3. Next, top with layer of zucchini slices.
  4. Spread ricotta cheese evenly over zucchini and top with ¼ cup mozzarella cheese.
  5. Cover lasagna with ¼ meat sauce and top with layer of zucchini slices.
  6. Spread remaining ¼ meat sauce evenly over zucchini and top with remaining ½ cup of mozzarella.
  7. Cook in oven at 350oF for 20-25 minutes.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving is approximately 320 calories.