I was a vegetarian for 4 years. That is when I discovered my love of spinach. My favorites were spinach lasagna, spinach manicotti, and spinach quesadillas. I have since discovered baby spinach salads! Mmm, yummy! I have been craving Spinach Lasagna for at least a month now.
Reshaping it All Tip #1:
If you are eating mostly meat centered dishes, look for some good vegetarian alternatives. We had a good conversation lat night with our friends last night about how meat lasagna usually makes you feel heavy after you've eaten, but the spinach lasagna did not have that effect. You really don't need another protein with all the cheese that is in a lasagna, or other similar pasta dishes. I like to use black beans instead of meat with my taco salad sometimes. Get creative, there are lots of ways to alter favorite dishes to make them healthier and lighter!
The Spinach Lasagna recipe I used to make had a white sauce, but my kids thought didn't sound good. I decided to research some Spinach Lasagna recipes and find one that sounded like what I wanted. I found my recipe match on Kraft Foods. You can see the original recipe HERE. I ever so slightly altered it. Here's how I made the lasagna:
2 eggs, beaten
1 container (16 oz) low fat cottage cheese
A Bunch of freshly chopped organic baby spinach
3 cups finely shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (1 cup reserved for top)
1/2 cup 4C home style grated Parmesan cheese (divided into two 1/4 cups)
1 jar (24 oz) Ragu Robusto Parmesan and Romano Spaghetti Sauce
8 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Lasagna noodles, cooked
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix eggs, cottage cheese, spinach, 2 cups mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan.
In a 13x9 inch pan, layer 1 cup spaghetti sauce, 3 lasagna noodles, and half the cottage cheese mixture. Next layer 2 noodles, staggered, 1 cup spaghetti sauce, the second half of the cheese mixture, 3 noodles, the rest of the spaghetti sauce, and top with 1/4 cup Parmesan and 1 cup mozzarella.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
I only used 8 noodles because I hate being left with 7 noodles when every lasagna recipe calls for 9 noodles! So, now I have the same amount that I used in my recipe and I can make another batch.
The 4C brand Parmesan cheese in my favorite! It is imported from Italy and is not coated with cellulose powder to prevent caking like most cheese is. I'm not sure if it tastes so good because it is missing the cellulose coating, or because the cheese is imported, or both... but you can taste a difference. You can order from 4C, Amazon, or you might find it at your local Walmart, like I do.
We had a Caesar Salad with Marzetti All Natural Light Caesar Vinaigrette Dressing, which is about as low in calories as any Low Fat Italian dressing, and many other Vinaigrette's, and so tasty! We also had garlic bread.
Reshaping it All Tip # 2:
The salad and the bread were really not necessary, but we had company, so that's a good excuse... right? The Spinach Lasagna is a meal in itself, with veggies, whole grains, and dairy rich protein (and some egg protein!). The key here is as Candace says many times in Reshaping it All, moderation! I had a small to medium serving of lasagna, a small to medium size salad, and I did go ahead and have one piece of garlic bread. I would usually go hog wild with a dish I had been thinking about for so long, and tasted so good. I remembered to eat slowly, wait (20 minutes for your body to tell you if you are full or not) and listen to my body to see if I was really still hungry. I wasn't still hungry. I was satisfied, and I knew I would be able to eat the Spinach Lasagna again for leftovers today! Win-win!