Sneaky healthy lasagna

Lasagna, come delizioso!

Lasagna is a classic favorite recipe. It is also a recipe that is super simple to double or triple and freeze extras for later. Meat, cheese, and pasta, what’s not to love. It takes a little bit of work, but is very worth it. I’m also always looking for ways to sneak a little extra nutrition into recipes in ways that aren’t too noticeable. Lasagna presents a perfect triple opportunity.
1. When you make the sauce, combine a jar of traditional sauce and a jar of chickpeas (or other bean) in a blender and blend until smooth. This adds extra protein and fiber with nearly no change in taste.
2. Add a layer of spinach under the noodles. When baked it doesn’t have a strong flavor of its own, and is barely noticeable.
3. Use cottage cheese instead of ricotta. It is lower in calories (100 vs. 175) as well as fat (4.3 vs 13 g), though it does have 3x the sodium.

1 package lasagna noodles
1 large package cottage cheese
1 bunch spinach
1 pound ground beef
1 jar pasta sauce
1 can chickpease
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 cup shredded cheese (use mozzarella if you have it)

 Step 1: Make the sauce by blending beans and sauce. Add the diced tomatoes and mix well. 

 Step 2: Brown the ground beef and drain. Mix into the sauce mixture. Boil the noodles for about 7-9 minutes and drain.

 Step 3: In a large bowl, mix the cottage cheese and shredded cheese. I had mixed cheddar/mozz so that’s what I used.

 Step 4: Spray an oven-safe pan. Layer the noodles, spinach, beef/sauce, and cheese. Follow with more noodles and so on. Make one with four layers or two separate with two layers.

 Step 5: Bake, covered with foil, at 350 for 1 hour.

The result is a perfect taste meld of cheesy, tomato-y, beef, and noodles. You can see the spinach but really can’t taste it. And if you want a vegetarian version, just don’t add the beef to the sauce mixture. The only change I’d make is double the amount of sauce and it would be tres magnifique!

Do you have a special family lasagna recipe?

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