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5 secrets to healthier lasagna

By Carolyn Malcoun, October 27, 2009 - 10:42am

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Carolyn asks: Which comfort food would you like to see made healthier?

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Thanks for the tips! Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods. And I love that a batch can feed us on leftovers all week. I've tried this recipes without the sausage and it's really yummy. Is there a way to make this recipe without boiling the noodles first? I've heard that you can use uncooked noodles, but you just have to add water before baking. What do you think?

Anonymous

10/27/2009 - 12:01pm

Try using a high fiber, low fat cottage cheese mixed with some fat free ricotta cheese and an egg substitute. It makes a rich lasagna, but you do be mindful of the salt content and reduce elsewhere. I also use fresh spinach and just layer it with the mushrooms and roasted red pepper strips.

Another way to mix it up a bit is to make a Mexican style lasagna with cooked chicken breast, chopped green chiles, salsa, red peppers, rinsed and drained black beans and fresh corn. I also use some diced black olives and green onions, but the salt content in olives can be high

jferril

10/27/2009 - 3:31pm

I've used regular lasagne noodles in the layers without cooking first, and then just before putting the tin foil on, ring the casserole dish with water from a tbsp, having to fill it several times. Maybe this adds enough 'steam' in order to cook the noodles, or maybe the water from the sauce also is enough for them to cook... either way, I'm too chicken to try it without the added water. I also have not tried this with whole wheat noodles...

Anonymous

10/27/2009 - 5:25pm

I've tried whole wheat pasta and found it to be grainy and yucky. Do you recommend a brand that tastes better?

susanleslie11

10/27/2009 - 10:58pm

Check out this link for some good whole-wheat pasta options:
http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/kitchen_product_reviews/eatingwell_taste_test_the_great_whole_wheat_pasta_challenge

Anonymous

10/28/2009 - 1:15pm

I buy fresh lasagna sheets, therefore I don't need to cook them first. I also buy egg-noodle pasta that isn't meant to be boiled. The are about 3 x 5 inch sheets in a small box! Usually Italian brands. Love them. I hate boiling lasagna.... so I avoid it ;)

Anonymous

10/29/2009 - 2:39pm

If you want to skip the pasta-boiling, you can buy no-boil noodles in most supermarkets, but I haven't seen whole-wheat versions in our supermarkets yet.

carolyn

11/02/2009 - 2:48pm

I recently discovered the no-boil noodles, and they're wonderful. I got mine at our Trader Joe's, but the grocery stores have them as well. I also use spinach instead of meat, so the calorie count doesn't get too wild! I use low fat cheeses and my own tomato sauce (canned tomatoes, a small amount of EV olive oil, onions, garlic, oregano, basil, fennel seed) and we end up with a pretty nutritious meal, adding a green salad with a lo fat buttermilk yummy dressing. Oh, and I add plenty of cooked minced garlic and herbs to the ricotta mixture. I hope this is useful to someone.

Anonymous

11/05/2009 - 4:51pm

I like to use the No-Bake noodles also but I also make my own sauce using no -salt diced tomatoes, a can of tomatoe sauce, shredded zuchini, shredded carrots, chopped onion, sliced mushrooms and garlic along with the spices. Comes out VERY chunky and we get alot of veggies than normal with it. My 5 and 8 even love it! And ask for seconds!

Anonymous

11/06/2009 - 10:55am

How about some recipes using TVP? I'm surprised there is nothing on this site with that ingredient (texurized veggie protein)

Anonymous

11/06/2009 - 5:39pm

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