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At this point you are probably tired of Thanksgiving comfort food and ready to start eating a bit more healthy to start off the new week.  We are thankful for many things this time of year but not necessarily for the abundant calories in the festive foods we love. 

You don’t have to sacrifice taste and satisfaction with this Italian meal.  Gooey baked lasagna filled with healthy vegetables, lean turkey sausage and topped with fresh, creamy mozzarella cheese.  My lasagna is “lightened up” with the use of lowfat cottage and ricotta cheeses.  The key to tasty, light cooking is using whole, fresh, quality ingredients.

This is a great recipe for the holiday season when family is coming and going.  Easily made ahead and refrigerated or frozen.  Bake up the rosemary bread and make a fresh garden salad and you’ve got a great meal for a crowd any night.  For a delcious dessert treat serve some of my homemade 90 calorie chocolate chip cookies (under the dessert tab). The rosemary bread also works great for sandwiches and garlic bread!

ROASTED VEGETABLE & TURKEY SAUSAGE LASAGNA

serves 12

  • 2 tsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN, 100% first cold pressed unrefined
  • 1 small ONION, chopped
  • 2 cloves GARLIC, minced
  • 1 medium RED BELL PEPPER, chopped
  • 1 medium ZUCCHINI W/SKIN, chopped
  • 3/4 cup MUSHROOMS, chopped
  • 1 tsp ITALIAN SEASONING
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
  • 5 oz SPINACH, BABY, FRESH
  • 16 oz LEAN TURKEY SAUSAGE
  • 15 oz RICOTTA CHEESE, PART SKIM
  • 16 oz LOWFAT COTTAGE CHEESE
  • 1/2 cup PARMESAN CHEESE, SHREDDED, FRESH
  • 1/2 tsp ITALIAN SEASONING
  • 1 EGG, LARGE
  • 2 tsp PARSLEY, DRIED
  • 24 oz PASTA SAUCE, TOMATO & BASIL OR MARINARA (1 JAR)
  • 12 oz LASAGNA NOODLES, OVEN-READY,  WHOLE GRAIN OR WHEAT
  • 1/3 cup PARMESAN CHEESE, SHREDDED, FRESH
  • 8 oz FRESH MOZZARELLA CHEESE
  • 1 tsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN, 100% first cold pressed unrefined

1. Saute onion, bell pepper and zucchini in a large skillet over medium, with the 2 tsp olive oil, for 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and cook an 3-4 additional minutes. Toss in fresh spinach, cover and steam with vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Stir and remove from pan; set aside.

2. Spray the same large skillet with cooking spray. Cook and crumble turkey sausage for 6-8 minutes or until starting to brown. Remove from pan and set aside

3. While sausage is cooking, combine ricotta, cottage and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese with egg, 2 tsp parsley and 1/2 tsp italian seasoning.

4. Set up lasagna assembly line.

Pour a small amount, just enough to cover the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish, with pasta sauce.

Layer 5 lasagna noodles over the sauce (may need to break 5th noodle to fit pan).

Spread 1/2 the ricotta mixture over noodles.

Then 1/2 the vegetables.

All the cooked sausage and 1/3 more sauce.

Continue layering 5 more noodles, remaining ricotta, vegetables, 5 more noodles, remaining sauce. Layer sliced mozzarella, 1/3 cup parmesan and sprinkle of parsley.

Drizzle or spray 1 tsp olive oil over the top (may cover and refrigerate or freeze at this point).

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 25-30 additional minutes or until cheese starts to brown. Cut into 12 pieces and serve. Serving size: one piece lasagna.

VARIATIONS: Use cooked shredded chicken, lean ground turkey or beef.  Add any vegetables like chopped carrots, broccoli or squash. To cut back the fat grams use lowfat shredded mozzarella cheese.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING:  390 calories, 16g fat, 85mg cholesterol, 36g carb, 3g fiber, 9g sugar, 27g protein

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