I love all aspects of food; eating it, preparing it, educating myself about it and shopping for it! Instead of letting my family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol as well as having reactions to food stop me, I decided to start modifying my recipes to make them healthier. Doing this has lowered my cholesterol, helped me maintain a healthy weight and helped me feel better all around with my symptoms associated with food restrictions!
Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food to so many. But it is a calorie bomb! I like to make recipes lighter. This is sometimes difficult when the recipe is already light to begin with. BUT….I call that a challenge!
Gluten Free as well! (be sure to read your labels to confirm that all of the ingredients you are using are)
- 2 Large Zucchini, ends trimmed off
- 1 Medium Eggplant, ends trimmed off
- 1/4 c. Egg substitute (I use Egg Beaters)
- 3/4 lb. Non-fat or Low-fat small curd Cottage Cheese
- 1 T. Basil
- 1/2 t. Black pepper
- 1/2 t. Italian Seasoning
- 1 clove of Garlic, minced or use a grater, such as this Microplane.
- 1/4 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
- 4 c. Marinara sauce
- 1/2 lb. shredded, Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese-divided
First, we need to get those vegetables ready to serve as our “noodles”.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly spray baking sheets with cooking spray, I usually need 3 baking sheets but this will vary depending on the size of the zucchini and eggplant. Slice the zucchini and eggplant to approximately 1/4″. I use a handheld mandolin and use the thickest setting. The slices end up between 1/8″ and 1/4″. Place the zucchini and eggplant in a single layer on the baking sheets. Spray the vegetables with cooking spray (Sometimes I give them a little sprinkle of Italian Seasoning). Roast for 8 minutes and then remove the pans from the oven and flip the zucchini and eggplant pieces. Place the pans back in the oven and roast for an additional 6-10 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the oven and set aside. *If you cut the zucchini and eggplant too thin – they will burn and/or dry out when roasting.While the vegetables are roasting, in a medium bowl mix all ingredients listed from the Egg Substitute to the Parmesan Cheese plus 1/4 c. shredded mozzarella.
Now you are ready to put this together! Spread just enough sauce in the bottom of a 13X9 pan to cover the bottom and prevent the “noodles” from sticking to the pan. Layer enough eggplant over the sauce, overlapping them slightly, to make a layer. Cover the eggplant with one-third of the cottage cheese mixture and then spread a quarter of the marinara sauce over it. Repeat layering with a layer of zucchini, one-third more of the cottage cheese mix, quarter more of the sauce. Another layer of eggplant and the remainder (last 1/3) of the cottage cheese mix, quarter of the sauce. One last layer of zucchini and/or eggplant – this layer’s vegetables will vary depending on the size of the vegetables and it is perfectly fine to do a mixed layer! Put the remainder of the sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes and then remove the foil. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and the mozzarella cheese is melted to your liking. If you like the cheese darker and crispy, you can always throw the broiler on high for a few minutes but keep an eye on it! Remove the lasagna from the oven and allow it to rest for about 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
There are so many different adaptations you can come up with for this recipe. Here are a few changes:
- Use all Zucchini or all Eggplant.
- Sprinkle some additional Mozzarella on top of the sauce when assembling each layer.
- If you would like a smaller yield, you can use one Zucchini and One Eggplant and then use a square baking dish, I use 8″ in this case.
- You can run the cottage cheese through a food processor to make it smooth, if you would prefer that texture or visually prefer not to see the curds. My children like the curds and that it is chunkier, so I do not take the time for this extra step.
Tracie L. Long
For the Health of it Foods, LLC.
315 373 3945