Friday, December 30, 2011

Zucchini Lasagna (no pasta)

I LOVE lasagna! I usually make an eggplant lasagna but I got tired of the toughness that the eggplant sometimes has. Pasta is not going to be included so what to do?

Zucchini! I love it and it goes great with mushrooms, so that's what I did today and this is definitely a keeper!

Remember, cooking is an art, not a science so I am vague and don't typically measure, I will be giving approximations. Since I am in the off season and don't have to weigh everything out right now, it's OK.

This made two small lasagnas, I used two regular loaf pans. I ate about 1/4 of a pan myself...

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Pre-heat oven to 425

1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground turkey breast 
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 cups sliced mushrooms (sliced thin, I used my Cuisinart)
1 4 ounce can tomato paste
1 28 ounce can tomato sauce (I used Pato Brand spicy Mexican sauce, but regular will do just fine).
Salt and pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
4 large, slim zucchini, sliced thin (about 1/8 inch thick, I used my Cuisinart with the slicer attachment!)
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cup grated low fat mozzarella cheese (divided)
8 slices lite Jarlsberg cheese

Sauté the garlic and onion the olive oil in a deep skillet until lightly browned. 

Add the turkey and cook until the meat is cooked through, be sure to break up the large chunks. 

Add the mushrooms and let it cook until they have cooked down and the liquid is released. 

Then add the tomato sauce and paste, along with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and oregano and simmer, stirring occasionally about 20-30 minutes till thickened.

Mix the ricotta cheese with 1 cup of the mozzarella and a dash more oregano in a small bowl. This will make the ricotta less sticky and easier to use.

In two loaf pans, place a layer of the sauce, then a layer of zucchini. 

Next add 1/4 of the ricotta/mozzarella cheese mixture then 2 slices of lite Jarlsberg (I have each slice here torn in half, so two slices on each loaf pan).

Repeat again to make two layers. 

End with a small sprinkling of mozzarella on each lasagna.

Cover with foil and bake one hour. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, cut into serving pieces and serve.

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This was so good! David and Cooper really wanted no part in it since it was missing pasta; however, Cooper said "If it had pasta it would be good!"

The funny thing about this was I was heading out to train with Roy. David was in the garage and I said "At 5:15 can you turn the oven on to 325 and put  my lasagna in? I will be home about 6:00."

At 6:00 I walk in the door and David said "Was it 425 at 5:15 or 515 at 4:25?". I wanted to cook it slow at 325, but he cooked it at 425, and it turned out great! The zucchini was cooked through and tender.

You may feel that spicy tomato sauce and Jarlsberg cheese seem like odd additions to a lasagna, but when cooking with lower fat foods, a bit more flavor is required. If beef were used this would have a whole different flavor and would be fine with only mozzarella cheese. Use your imagination, do what tastes good to you!