Lasagna: Heavy recipe gone light
Mar 21, 2012 (Daily Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
I am using the last of Colleen Bonnell's personal recipes she sent us. We have all enjoyed trying something new. Feel free to send me some of your favorites to share, by email or regular mail, or drop them off at the Daily Gazette in Sterling, or the Telegraph in Dixon.
I can't believe there are so many good recipes in this world, and right here in the Sauk Valley. If you are looking for a particular recipe, give us a shout. We do have a pretty good track record for coming up with those you are looking for.
Based on Colleen's most recent recipes, I believe she is thinking spring, as we all are with the beautiful weather we have been enjoying. She has sent a macaroni salad that would be perfect for a picnic in the park, or wherever you like to spread your red checkered tablecloth.
First, though, we are going to start off with a refreshing summer vegetable lasagna. The beauty of this dish is that anyone can be creative with it. It is basically a few lasagna noodles, layered with any kind of vegetables and cheese.
If you want it in your lasagna, put it in; if you don't like it, take it out. If you have trouble finding all the ingredients, substitute something else. Or just leave it out. You probably will have enough ingredients right in your kitchen to build this vegetable lasagna.
I am rounding out the column this week with a couple of other healthy recipes, too. It seems everyone I know got a little (well, a lot) off the path to healthy eating over the holidays. These recipes are made with good wholesome food and I have tried to keep the calories and the fat content low. They will work well for diabetics, as well. I have included the nutritional count where it was available.
Garden vegetable lasagna
Hands on: 30 minutes
Other: 3 hours, 14 minutes
8 ounces uncooked lasagna noodles
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
1/4 chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups 1 percent cottage cheese
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 egg whites
1 cup sliced, fresh mushrooms
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded, part skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine spinach, carrots, green onions, bell pepper, parsley, and black pepper in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine cottage cheese, buttermilk, yogurt, egg whites in food processor or blender, cover, and process until smooth.
Spray 13-by-9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange a third of the lasagna noodles in bottom of pan. Spread with half the cottage cheese mixture, half the vegetable mixture, half the mushrooms, half the artichokes, and 3/4 cup of mozzarella.
Repeat layers, ending with noodles.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Cover with lid or foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove cover; continue baking 20 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Per serving: 287 calories: 7g fat; 23g protein, 33g carbs, 3g fiber, 568mg sodium
Pork cutlets, Italian style
1 teaspoon olive oil
6 (4 ounces each) lean, boneless, pork loin slices
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups of sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small green pepper, cut into strips
1 small red onion, cut into strips
1 teaspoon dried Italian dressing
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup shredded low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 cups hot cooked rice
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meat, cook until browned on both sides.
Add tomato sauce, mushrooms, green bell pepper, onions, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, simmer 30 minutes or until meat is tender. Combine water and corn starch in a small bowl. Stir until well-blended. Add to juices in skillet. Cook and stir until thickened. Sprinkle cheese over meat mixture. Cover. Heat until cheese melts.
1 pork cutlet with 1/2 cup sauce and 1/2 cup of rice: 314 calories, 30g protein, 28 carbs, 8g fat 1g fiber, 45mg sodium.
Makes: 6 servings
8 ounces of uncooked pasta
Nonstick cooking spray
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 medium chopped onion
1 medium chopped bell pepper
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded, reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add ground meat, bell pepper, and onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until meat no longer is pink. If using beef, drain.
Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper and salt, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in pasta. Spoon mixture into casserole and sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted.
Per serving: 290 calories, 3g fat, 28g protein, 37 carbs, 3g fiber, 113 mg sodium.
Back to Colleen's recipes.
This is a little different from your regular pasta salad, and, although the recipe does not say how many it serves, I can tell you it serves a lot.
It starts off with 3 cups of uncooked macaroni, so right there you have 6 cups of pasta.
3 cups macaroni, uncooked
2 cups Miracle Whip
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 can peas, drained
8 ounces shredded cheese
Add to taste:
Cook macaroni and drain. Mix Miracle Whip, sour cream, sugar, half-and-half, mustard and salt. Add to macaroni, stir in peas.
Add half-and-half to the leftovers to make salad more creamy.
Optional: Cut up 4 or 5 hard-boiled eggs and add to salad just before serving.
Chocolate chip cookies
2 3/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups (11.5-ounce package) chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt; Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased or coated cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
Let cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets.
My kind of Tip of the Week
The more salad you eat, the more dessert you deserve!
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