NOODLE-LESS ZUCCHINI LASAGNA

This is an except from The Ultimate Bodybuilding Cookbook, copyright 2016, by Kendall Lou Schmidt

MAKES 9 (3-BY-3-INCH) SERVINGS

PREP TIME: 40 MINUTES / COOK TIME: 1 HOUR, 20 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME: 2 HOURS, 10 MINUTES

 

Zucchini make a lovely—and healthy—alternative to wheat, or any other grain, pasta, especially if you’re keeping calories and carbs in check, but crave that toothsome, cheesy deliciousness that lasagna offers by the forkful. My take on the Italian classic is packed with delicious authentic flavors and makes an amazing entrée, good for the whole family.

Gluten-Free

*for a delicious vegetarian dish, leave out the turkey.

 

FOR THE MEAT SAUCE

1 pound 99% lean ground turkey

2 tablespoons minced garlic

11⁄2 teaspoons freshly ground

black pepper

Dash salt

1 large white onion, diced

1 large green bell pepper, diced

3 cups baby spinach, chopped

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce

1 (12-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato paste

2 tablespoons dried basil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

FOR THE “NOODLES”

3 to 4 medium zucchini

1 small eggplant

Salt

FOR THE LASAGNA

1 (15-ounce) tub fat-free ricotta cheese

2 egg whites

2 tablespoons dried parsley

Extra-virgin olive oil spray

8 ounces fat-free mozzarella cheese, shredded

3 cups baby spinach

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast (what is this?)

Ingredient tip: Nutritional yeast is available online, in the bulk food section of many grocery stores, or in some health food aisles.

 

TO MAKE THE MEAT SAUCE

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Heat a large nonstick pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, garlic, pepper, and salt. Brown

the turkey for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

3. Add the onion, bell pepper, and spinach, and cook for about 5 more minutes more, stirring regularly. At this point the meat should be completely cooked.

4. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, and oregano, and stir. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

TO MAKE THE “NOODLES”

1. While the sauce simmers, slice the zucchini lengthwise into long, thin slices. The easiest way to do this is using a mandoline slicer. If you don’t have one, you can also use the slicing blade of a box grater or a knife. Lightly salt the zucchini slices, and place in a large microwavable bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, poking one small slit in the cover, and microwave for 6 to 8 minutes, until tender. This will steam the zucchini. There is no need to add water before microwaving. After steaming, place the zucchini in a strainer to drain any liquid. Drier is better.

2. Slice, steam, and drain the eggplant using the same process.

TO ASSEMBLE THE LASAGNA

1. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg whites, and parsley until well blended.

2. Lightly spray a 9-by-13inch pan with olive oil spray. Line up your ingredients, and begin to layer. Pour one-third of the meat sauce into the pan, spreading it over the bottom, top with one-third of the zucchini, then one-half of the ricotta mixture, half of the eggplant slices, and then half of the remaining meat sauce, followed by one-half of the mozzarella, all of the spinach, half of the remaining zucchini slices, the remaining ricotta mixture, the remaining eggplant slices, all of the mushrooms, the remaining meat sauce, the remaining zucchini, and the remaining mozzarella. Finish by sprinkling the nutritional yeast on top.

3. Place the pan on a foil-lined baking sheet for easy cleanup. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes.

4. Remove the foil, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

5. Allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes.

6. Once the lasagna has cooled, slice it into 9 (3-by-3-inch) squares and serve.

 

 

PEr Serving (1 square 3-by-3-inch)

Calories 202 Carbohydrates 20.7g Fat 1.5g Protein 31.2g