Eat Lasagna and Still Lose Weight

Lasagna is definitely the ultimate comfort food that is normally paired with a giant Caesar salad and cheesy garlic bread.

Moreover, it is really easy to make, it is filling and it feeds the whole family. You can prep it ahead and even freeze it for a quick meal on a busy day, plus there are always tons of leftovers for the next day.

However, this comforting meal comes with tons of calories, processed carbs, lots of cheese, meat and sauce that is full of sugar. If you are trying to limit gluten, animal products or simply trying to manage your waistline this meal may not be your best friend.

But, the good news is that you can swap out almost any ingredient and make it healthier. What is more, lasagna can taste amazingly and be healthy.

 Here are some great ingredient swapping ideas:

Cheese -Use some vegan cheese like Daiya or make your own vegan cheese with ingredients like nuts, tofu, and nutritional yeast.

 Tomato Sauce – Use sauce that’s low in sugar or make your own. Making your own sauce has many benefits, you can add extra veggies, limit the amount of sugar and you can even make big batches to freeze for later.

Lasagna noodles – Use gluten free noodles, eggplant slices or zucchini slices.

Meat – Opt for organic and grass-fed options where possible, and if you’re skipping meat simply add in tons of veggies as a replacement

Read on to find out how to make a healthier version of this dish, as we provide some recipes.

VEGAN RICOTTA

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (402 g) of raw macadamia nuts, soaked blanched almonds, or 1 16-ounce block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed dry for 10 minutes)
  • 2 tablespoon (6 g) of nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 lemon, juiced (2 tablespoons or 30 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt + pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) of water, plus more as needed (reduce if using tofu as it requires less)
  • 1 28-ounce (793 g) jar of marinara sauce (look for brand with little amount of sugar)
  • 3 zucchini squash, thinly sliced with a mandolin

Optional:

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (for flavor + richness)
  • 1/4 cup of vegan parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (176 C). Put the macadamia nuts into a food processor or blender and mix to combine, scraping down sides as needed. Then, add the remaining ingredients: nutritional yeast, fresh basil, oregano, lemon juice, olive oil (optional), salt, pepper, water and vegan parmesan cheese (optional).

You need to get a well-puréed mixture/paste. Add seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper for flavor, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, and lemon juice for brightness. Pour about 1 cup of marinara sauce into a 9×13-inch (or similar size) baking dish and line with thinly sliced zucchini.

Next, scoop small spoonful amounts of ricotta mixture over the zucchini and gently spread into a thin layer. Spread on a layer of marinara sauce and then top with more zucchini slices. Continue until all filling and zucchini are used up. The top two layers should be zucchini and then sauce. In the end, sprinkle on some vegan parmesan cheese (optional), and then cover with foil.

Bake covered for 45 minutes, then remove  the foil and bake for 15 minutes more. The zucchini should be very easily pierced when cut with a knife. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve immediately with additional vegan parmesan cheese and fresh basil. you can keep the leftovrers for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, or up to 1 month in the freezer.

SKINNY VEGETARIAN LASAGNA

 

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 6 cups of Portobello mushrooms, cut in quarters
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 2 cups of mixed walnuts and hazelnuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups of frozen spinach leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegan Béchamel Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons of chickpea flour
  • 2 cups of almond milk
  • ½ cup of low sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg powder

Assembling

  • ½ package of lasagna sheets
  • 2 organic eggs

Instructions:

Heat the oven at 180°C/356°F. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a large skillet, add the onions, carrot, celery and two garlic cloves, and cook for 7-10 minutes at low heat , stirring from time to time. Then, add the mushrooms and nuts, stir to combine and cook until the released liquid evaporates completely.

Add the white wine, stir to combine and cook for 3 more minutes.Transfer everything into a food processor bowl, and pulse two or three times, until the mixture resembles to minced meat. Next, put the mixture back in the skillet, add the tomato sauce and stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat.

Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet, add one garlic clove, fry it for 30 seconds, just to flavor the oil, then add the spinach and stir to combine. Cook the spinach until the liquid evaporates, season with salt and pepper and transfer it in a bowl.

Heat the coconut oil in a sauce pan over low heat, add the chickpea flour and stir to combine. Add the almond milk and vegetable broth, bring to a boil and simmer on low heat whisking continuously until the mixture thickens.

Adjust the texture with some almond milk. Season with nutmeg. Grease a baking pan with olive oil, and add layers of lasagna sheets, topped with mushroom ragu, and béchamel sauce. Repeat with the rest of the composition, and top with a layer of lasagna sheets and cooked spinach. Beat the eggs, season with salt and pepper and pour on top of the dish. Cook for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Lasagna is definitely the ultimate comfort food that is normally paired with a giant Caesar salad and cheesy garlic bread.

Source: theheartysoul.com

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