I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weekend after that short heat wave. Today it is pretty perfect outside, sunny 85 degrees, and low humidity. Perfect day some “not cooking”, just eating. This make ahead lasagna totally did the trick for a quick filling meal without actually cooking today. Just heat and eat.
I must say, every time I make lasagna, I forget how much I love it. I think I only make it on occasion because I don’t really think of it as a healthy meal. But prepared the way I made it today, at less than 260 calories a slice, especially with a salad on the side, it is a much more waist friendly option that I can indulge in more often.
For this recipe, instead of using the 3 layers of pasta I would normally use, I made the bottom and top layer pasta and the middle layer zucchini “pasta”. This saves a ton of calories and adds a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals at the same time. It takes 4 noodles to make a layer or 1 medium zucchini sliced thin. I sliced the zucchini on my mandoline slicer. Four noodles of the organic brown rice lasagna noodles I used are 420 calories, a medium zucchini is only 31 calories. That is a calorie savings of 389 per layer! Believe me, you will not even miss that middle layer of pasta if you use my technique of completely covering and overlapping each thin slice of zucchini. Here is a picture of my lasagna while building it.
My recipe is pretty simple.
- 4 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
- 8 rice pasta lasagna noodles, cooked according to package.
- 1 medium zucchini sliced length wise is thin “noodles”
- 8oz mushrooms, sliced thin
- 16oz frozen spinach, defrosted and drained of liquid (squeezed dry)
- 3 Field Roast Italian Sausages, crumbled
- 3 cups tofu cashew ricotta* (see my recipage)
- 1/2 cup Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
Preheat oven to 350. When your noodles are cooked, cool them in cold water and lay them on damp paper towels in a single layer to keep them moist while assembling lasagna.
Cover the bottom of a large casserole dish with 2 cups of pasta sauce. Then, cover the sauce with four of your cooked lasagna noodles, overlap to assure complete coverage. Next, spread half of your tofu cashew ricotta onto noodles.
Now, cover the ricotta with half your crumbled sausage. To achieve perfect crumbles, pulse sausage in the food processor several times.
Over the crumbles, sprinkle half of the drained spinach and your mushrooms. Then, cover the entire area with overlapped layers of zucchini “noodles”.
Over the zucchini, repeat by covering with the remaining tofu ricotta, sausage, spinach and mushrooms. Then, top with remaining four noodles, and spread the other two cups of sauce over the noodles. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
Place in oven and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, if cooking immediately, bake for 50 minutes from the refrigerator. Allow to cool 15 minutes before slicing into twelve pieces.
Each slice of this fabulous lasagna is only 259 calories, 10g fat, 15g protein and 5g fiber. Pair this with a nice salad for a nutritious lunch or dinner.
Have a wonderful day!