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Mar 26, 2013 01:35 PM

Healthier lasagna?

I'm looking for a healthyish lasagna recipe, preferably:

-with lots of veggies
-without a lot of milk/cream as I'm lactose intolerant (moderate amounts of cheese are OK)
-something that I can incorporate leftover roast chicken into.

Any suggestions?

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  1. I'm not being snarkey here, but what made you think you wanted lasagna??? :-)

    It sounds like a stir fry or even better yet, a Thai curry made with the meat, veggies, in a coconut milk base would do it.

    And you can make that healthy by not having rice or noodles or rice with it, just eat it from a bowl with a big porcelain soup spoon or other.

    Failing that, you can use thin slices of eggplant or zucchini, drained and blotted, then prebaked a bit (to prevent wateriness) in place of lasagna noodles, layer them with the meat and chopped veggies and aged cheeses (almost no lactose), topped with a sauce you like.

    1. Take any lasagna recipe and substitute whole wheat lasagna noodles (assuming you are not also going low carb). In place of the ricotta, blend a tub of soft tofu with a little olive oil, pesto and fennel seed. Just layer this along with your steamed veggies (wilted spinach, roasted red peppers, and steamed broccoli cut into small pieces are all great), using your roast chicken in place of the meat in whatever sauce you're using. On top, use freshly grated hard cheddar, which contains very little to no lactose, blended with parmesan.

      I don't usually use a recipe when making lasagna because it's pretty hard to screw up. I always preboil my noodles thoug. I think the no-boil kind have specific liquid requirements, so if you're using those, you probably should follow a recipe.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Isolda

        Barilla makes very tender, thin, taste like fresh, no boil noodles. They really don't require extra moisture at all, just a little sauce on the bottom of the pan before laying them down, and the usual going up.

        1. re: mcf

          I'll have to try those. I've had some bad experiences with starchy lasagnas in the past, which is why I prefer the old-fashioned kind (or fresh, when I have the time to make them.) Does Barilla make a whole wheat version of their no-boil noodles?

          1. re: Isolda

            You'll like these... so thin, flat and delicate... and not anything like the thick starchy ones. To save carbs, I tend to make a bottom layer and top only, with a ton of cheese, meat and spinach between, bound with eggs.

            Then I don't eat the bottom layer. :-)

            I'd been using the inferior Ronzoni no boil ones til someone on a forum tipped me to Barilla.

            I can't recommend the Trader Joe's or FiberGourmet no boil noodles at all.

            I believe they're all semolina, so lower glycemic and more protein than other wheat. I haven't seen whole wheat. They're a pretty traditional Italian product company.

            1. re: Isolda

              I'm not sure exactly what the OP means by healthy. In terms of calories WW is the same. While WW has bran and what not that white flour lacks, most white flour is enriched with vitamins that WW lacks.

              Just thought I'd point that out. I have several obese fans that made the switch to brown rice, WW pasta... and don't understand why they haven't lost any weight ;)

              Anyway for me I allow 1-2 layers of pasta and sub the rest of the pasta for sliced zucchini and/or eggplant. The key is to pre-cook/salt them to remove the moisture. Then I layer with ricotta and spinach mixture and reserve mozzarella for just the top. With tomato sauce of course.

              OP may want to reserve the roasted chicken til the last 5-10 min of cooking, top with chicken, tomato sauce and some cheese so it doesn't get overcooked.

              1. re: youareabunny

                Yeah, I wasn't sure what the OP meant either. Healthy means different things to different people, depending on their goals. No one in this house needs to lose weight or eat low carb, so to us, subbing whole wheat for white is a good idea, as is subbing vegetable fats for butter. But for someone who wants to cut back on carbs and fat altogether, I'm not sure lasagna made with noodles is the way to go.

        2. Doesn't sound like you're after lasagna at all, really. The first thing that came to mind is soft tacos with beans, onions, peppers, a little cheese and your chicken. I suppose you could layer them with some salsa if you were after the lasagna-esque look.

          1. Would a totally vegetarian option work? I have a good one, lots and lots of roasted veggies, from the Galloping Gourmet, after he quit with the booze and the high fat menus. Really good.

            1. What about lasagna rolls? I made these last night:

              No veggies in them, but you could probably experiment to add some into the filling. Or just have a big salad on the side. But they are great for using up leftover chicken. I use full fat everything and about 2.5oz of chicken in each roll, and they come in right around 500 calories per roll. Could be reduced of course if you use low fat milk and low fat ricotta or even (ugh) low fat cheese.

              Here's another version using spinach instead of the pesto, so the calories would be a bit less, and it would be easy to add in your chicken:

              Edit to add: I make mine with Lactaid milk, but use regular cheeses. SO is lactose intolerant but is OK with using some cheese as well.