Friday, October 22, 2010

Slow Cooker Turkey Lasagna

Posted by PicasaI love lasagna. I rarely eat it though as it is not unusual for a serving to contain well over 1000 calories, not to mention all the saturated fat.

I saw a recipe on Facebook from Recipes for Gals in Figure and Bodybuilding, Jen posts all sorts of recipes that are simple and usually really low calorie. I decided to give this a try and I was really pleasantly surprised!

I will make a few changes and adjust a few things next time. First, I am not a slow cooker kinda gal! I actually got a beautiful, huge one for Christmas in 2009, and I just opened it today. So that means I have had it for 10 months and never even opened the box.  I need to use it a few more times to get used to it I think.

Some of the edges of my lasagna were extremely dark and crispy, I guess you might say "burned" but as long as I chucked out those pieces, the rest was fine. The recipe said to cook 4 to 5 hours on high, I set it for 4 1/2 and I guess 4 was sufficient! I would suggest that you just check it periodically.

Also, I think I might saute my onions and garlic first, then add the turkey. This way the onions can get a caramelized, sweet flavor. I also realize as I type this that I forgot the nutmeg...and as far as "cooking wine"- never cook with anything that you wouldn't drink!

I must caution you, this isn't going to satisfy anyone who loves lasagna.It does not have the silky, tender pasta or rich, meaty sauce with the melting cheese running throughout.  But, I love a lean body, and the thought of eating all those calories just puts me off, it would undo everytihng I work so hard for.

So, given my goals, and the fact that I need to make a choice and also like some variety in my life, I enjoyed this.
What did the family think? My husband David didn't say much, (his mother taught him that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all), and he didn't finish it .

My son Cooper said it was OK, but then said "this is turkey isn't it?! Lasagna  needs beef!" and he ate almost all of it, but only because he was hungry.
Maybe the fact that I slightly burned it had something to do with this, I have never prided myself on "slow cooker cooking" because I don't consider that cooking at all, so maybe it was my lack of technique.  I mean I can whip up a souffle, a cassoulet, a tart, but this dumb as a doornail slow cooker recipe seemed to get the better of me.
I will make it again (for myself) though!

Here is the recipe as she gave it:
Makes 10 servings (10 average servings or 8 large ones)

6 oz whole wheat lasagna noodles (basically enough for 2 layers)
12 oz 99% fat-free ground turkey (precooked on the stove top)
1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (could sub for fat-free, but I didn't have any one hand)
8 oz low-fat ricotta cheese
6 oz low-fat part skim mozzarella cheese
6 oz can tomato paste
29 oz tomato sauce
1 cup chopped white onion
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tbs dried parsley (divided)
Mrs. Dash to taste
1/4 cup red cooking wine
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg


Saute turkey, onion, and garlic til browned and tender. Add tomato paste, sauce, 1 tbs parsley, and Mrs. Dash to meat mixture. Simmer for a few minutes on low. Remove from heat. Stir in cooking wine and set aside.
In another bowl mix all cheeses along with 1 tbs parsley and nutmeg.
Spoon one layer of turkey mixture into bottom of slow cooker. Add one layer of dry lasagna noodles (you'll have to break them to make them fit). Add layer of cheese and then turkey mixture. Repeat again with noodles, cheese, turkey. Top lasagna with a pinch of parsley, cheese (optional) and 1-2 more tbs of cooking wine.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for around 4-5.

Calories: 266
Total Fat 7.4g
Cholesterol 36.7mg
Sodium 868.8mg
Total Carbohydrate 25.85g
Dietary Fiber 3.38g
Sugars 10.51g
Protein 23g
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