Monday, May 30, 2011

Vegetable Lasagna: White and Light

I completely enjoy my homemade turkey lasagna with classic tomato sauce, but I figured I would mix it up a bit and make vegetable lasagna with a white sauce. I found the original recipe by Recipe Girl and loved the fact that it was full of so many fresh summer veggies. I altered the recipe a bit in order to give it a healthy twist. The sauce was light and provided just enough flavor to let the vegetables star in the creamy dish. While there was a good amount of prep work involved, in my opinion, it was absolutely worth it. It was a great summer entree paired with a fresh garden salad.

Vegetable Lasagna
adapted from Recipe Girl
serves 9

2 cups chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped zucchini
2 cups chopped yellow squash
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 cup flour
3 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
dash of nutmeg
10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups fat-free cottage cheese
2 cups fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese
9 whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes or until tender; add garlic and saute for another minute. Spoon onion mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Spray the skillet again with cooking spray and add zucchini and squash. saute for 4 minutes or until tender. Add to onion mixture.
  4. Spray the skillet again with cooking spray. Add carrots and saute for 4 minutes; add broccoli and saute for another 4 minutes until tender crisp. Add to onion mixture and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Stir well to combine.
  5. Place flour in a medium sauce pan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup parmesan, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until smooth blend in spinach.
  6. In a medium size bowl, combine cottage cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella; stir well.
  7. Spray a lasagna pan (or 9x13 baking dish) with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup spinach mixture on bottom of pan. Arrange 3 noodles over spinach mixture; top with half cottage cheese mixture, then half vegetable mixture, and about 1 cup spinach mixture. Repeat layers ending with noodles. Spread remaining spinach mixture on top of noodles; sprinkle with 1/2 cup parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella. 
  8. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition: 289 calories, 40g carbohydrate, 25g protein, 5g fat, 7g fiber
Weight Watchers points: 5
Weight Watchers plus points: 8
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Perfect Parfait

I eat oatmeal for breakfast year round, no matter the temperature outside. But for a lot of people, when the warm weather rolls around, they look for a cooler start to the day. This solution that I have to offer is a healthy yogurt parfait. It is very quick and easy to make, plus it has plenty of protein and fiber. While I use greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream and mayonnaise in cooking, I love the thick, creamy texture on its own as well. The only other ingredients are Fiber One cereal, Truvia sweetener, and cinnamon. The crunch of the cereal reminds me of granola and is the perfect compliment to the slightly sweet yogurt. I prefer to eat my fruit on the side but you could also add fresh berries. I learned about this delicious combination while interning last summer for Tanya Zuckerbrot in NYC. She is an amazing dietitian a founder/author of The F-Factor Diet. The F-Factor Diet is a healthy diet that is very easy to follow. It promotes whole-grains, high fiber, and protein which helps to keep you feeling full and avoid sabotaging your weight loss plan. Tanya has also created her own line of high fiber products which can be found at Kroger stores or can be ordered on her website. I would go in to detail about the different products, but I'll save that for another post. This yogurt parfait tastes indulgent but weighs in with a mere 160 calories. It is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Yogurt Parfait
serves 1

1 (6 oz) container Fage 0% plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup Fiber One original cereal
1 packet Truvia sweetener
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Add Truvia and cinnamon to yogurt container. Mix well. Stir in Cereal.

Nutrition: 160 calories, 32g carbohydrate, 20g protein, 1g fat, 14g fiber
Weight Watchers points: 4
Weight Watchers Plus points: 6
Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cut Calories with Cauliflower

If you love the flavor of a loaded baked potato, but aren't a fan of the associated carbs, this recipe is for you. In my cauliflower casserole, I use the same ingredients that you would add to a twice baked potato or potato casserole. Although the texture is slightly different, the flavor is very similar. Plus this alternative saves quite a few calories. The casserole is creamy and cheesy and everything that typically contradicts a healthy food. It is the perfect side item to add a bit of southern comfort. For a complete meal, I paired the casserole with baked chicken tenders and steamed green beans.

Cauliflower Casserole
serves 6

10 oz. frozen cauliflower
3 tbsp fat free butter
2 tbsp diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
2 tbsp egg whites
1 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Steam cauliflower until softened. Transfer to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher.
  3. Add butter, onion, garlic, greek yogurt, egg whites, and 1/2 cup cheese. Mix well.
  4. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray and transfer cauliflower mixture to dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Nutrition: 55 calories, 3g carbohydrate, 8g protein, 0g fat
Weight Watchers points: 1
Weight Watchers Plus points: 2

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About Lauren


Nutrition student with a passion for giving yummy recipes a healthy make-over. Future RD on a constant search for the best food finds. And new blogger trying to relay my tasty ideas to everyone else.

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