We’ve all been indugling these past few weeks and now its time to lighten up the diet- a bit. Taking small steps is the best way to insure success. Just remove one of two things from your diet each week until you have a new healthy habit in place.
Eating less animal protein like beef is the easiest thing for me to cut out of my diet. And it saves you in the wallet as well.
Make this vegetarian lasagna, which while meatless, is incredibly satisfying. This recipe takes a little bit of time- roasting the squash, making the puree, cooking the spinach and assembling and then baking. Make this on a Sunday afternoon and you’ll have it for your Meatless Monday. It’s such a large casserole, it’ll last your family for at least two meals.
This recipe is about 400 calories per serving. 23 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat.
Enjoy! Here’s to healthy habits…
Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna<br>
- For the Squash puree
1 butternut squash- about one small squash- 2 cups cooked
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
4 sage leaves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
- for the spinach
12 oz fresh spinach, about 2 cups cooked
1 cup ricotta cheese
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 TBSp olive oil
- Remaining ingredients
10 oz lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
1 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
7 oz fresh Bocconcini buffalo mozzarella, sliced into 1/2″ circles
2 tsp Italian Seasonings, divided
8 oz. shredded mozzerella cheese
Method- prep time 1 1/2 hours. Baking time- 45 minutes
- Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half- lengthwise. Rub squash flesh with 1 TBSP of olive oil and salt. Place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment papper. Bake for 45 minutes or until fork tender at 400 degrees. Let cool. Remove skin from squash. Cut into large cubes.
Reduce heat in oven to 375 degrees.
- Place cubed baked squash into the bowl of a food processor. Add in ricotta, milk, salt, sage and nutmeg. Pulse four to five times until mixture is smooth. If you do not have a food processor, you can use a high power blnder like a Ninja or a potato masher. You will need to chop the sage finely if blending by hand.
- Check for taste and add more salt if needed. Mixture should be creamy and not at all stiff. Add more milk if not creamy. Set aside.
- Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Rinse with cool water. Set aside. Trim pasta, if needed, to fit in your casserole dish.
- In a medium pan, sauté spinach with garlic, salt and pepper and 2 TBSP of olive oil . Cool completely. Add to spinach, 1 cup ricotta , mozzerlaa cheese. Set aside.
- To Assemble:
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a deep lasagna dish – (I use a 10″ x 15″) with olive oil.
Spread 1/3 of the squash puree on the bottom of the dish.
Add a layer of the sliced bocconcini cheese. You can spread the cheese out-
Top with a layer of pasta.
Spread half of the spinach filing over the pasta layer.
Top with another layer of sliced bocconcini cheese.
Top with another layer of pasta.
Spread another third of the butternut squash on top of the pasta.
Top with final layer of bocconcini. You can also substitute regular mozzarella if desired.
Spread remaining spinach over the cheese.
Top the last layer of spinach with the 1 cup of shredded mozzarella. Top spinach and cheese layer with final layer of cooked pasta and then with remaining butternut squash and parmesan cheese.
You can sprinkle the parmesan with more Italian Seasonings if desired.
- Place lasagna dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment.
Cover the lasagna dish with parchment and then a layer of foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and parchment and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Let rest, covered, for 15 minutes before serving.