Sunday, April 20, 2008

Garden Vegetable Lasagna

Like many North Americans, I've struggled with my weight for a number of years. I'd like to blame it on my beautiful baby, but the truth is that I was well above my ideal weight long before she came along. Anyway - I joined Weight Watchers this year but I hadn't really made much of a commitment so I'm "renewing" my Weight Watchers vows and I thought that in addition to some of the decedent baking recipes I share with you, I would also share some of the healthier choices we are trying to make.

So here is Garden Vegetable Lasagna. Now, I'm a big fan of that ooey, gooey, strings of cheese coming off the fork lasagna but really, how many of those can you eat before you're headed down the road to Heart Attack Alley. Anyway - as healthy lasagnas go, this one is quite tasty and its filled with good-for-you vegetables, fibre and low fat dairy.

Garden Vegetable Lasagna
1 pkg Cooked or fresh lasagna noodles
3 cups broccoli florets
1 red sweet pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 15-ounce cartons light ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
5 cloves garlic
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce (or to taste)
2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 jar fat-free pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 375•F. Spray a lasagna pan with cooking spray and set aside. Prepare lasagna noodles according to package directions. Fresh noodles need not be precooked.

Steam vegetables until tender-crisp - about 8 minutes. Remove from heat (or microwave) and set aside.

Combine ricotta, basil, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and hot sauce in a large bowl.

Layer lasagna noodles in bottom of prepared pan. Cover with 1/3 ricotta mixture, 1/3 vegetables, 1/3 jar of pasta sauce and 1/3 of shredded mozzarella in that order. Repeat two more times ending with the mozzarella.

Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 55 minutes covered. Let stand for a few minutes after removing it from the oven.

Makes 8 very large servings. This dish is quite filling so I would even suggest 10 or 12 servings for lighter eaters.

Nutritional info: 335 calories, 6 WW points

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