As I conclude this series of articles for “Heart Month”, hopefully you found some recipe suggestion for eating better, and in turn, feeling better. Being healthy does take a lot of effort and it’s not always easy to do. Make sure to consult your personal doctor to get further information for improving your personal health, as not every health activity is for everybody!
One of the most popular dishes among many is Lasagne. As much as I enjoy Italian food, I’m certainly no exception! Yet, you may be one of those that’s trying to eat healthier, but may tend to shy away from Italian food due to the richness of it. While it’s wonderful eating, we may be in the mood for Italian food that’s not so heavy, but retains all of the fabulous flavors connected with it.
My solution? “Vegetable Lasagne” may be just what you are looking for! This is a great lasagne that’s full of vegetables, but it’s low in fat and full of flavor! It’s just the dish if you’re trying to cut back on your meat consumption, too. This calls for regular lasagne noodles, but the whole-wheat lasagne noodles could be used instead, if desired. It calls for frozen spinach, which goes perfectly with all the other ingredients in the recipe, but frozen chopped broccoli could be a substitute, if you want something different or prefer it over spinach. Serve this with a good salad and some toasted whole-wheat bread, which can be buttered and sprinkle with garlic powder, if you’d like.
For dessert, something very refreshing and healthy, which is “Lemon Ice”. This is an easy-to-do dessert that’s very inexpensive to make. This is made ahead and formed into a slush just before serving. After an Italian dinner like this one, this is a welcome dessert that’s just the thing for topping off this dinner.
Let’s finish up “Heart Month” with an Italian theme with these two recipes!
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Lasagne Noodles, cooked and drained
2 (10 oz. pkg) Chopped Spinach, cooked and drained
2 C. Fresh Mushrooms, sliced
1 C. Grated Carrots
1/2 C. Chopped Onions
1 Tbls. Vegetable Oil (I prefer Olive Oil)
2 (8 oz.) Cans Tomato Sauce
1 (6 oz.) Can Tomato Paste
1-1/2 Tsp. Oregano
2 C. Low-Fat or Fat Free Cottage Cheese
1 Lb. Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
Prepare noodles and spinach according to package directions and drain each well; saute mushrooms, carrots, and onions in oil until tender; stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, and oregano; in a 9×13 inch dish, layer half of the noodles, cottage cheese, spinach, Monterey Jack cheese, and sauce; repeat these layers, reserving about 1/2 C. cheese for the top; sprinkle parmesan cheese over all; bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes; let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.
1 Small Lemon
1 C. Sugar
4 C. Water
Dash of Salt
About 2/3 C. Fresh Lemon Juice, strained
Cut the zest (the colored part of the peel) from the lemon with a vegetable peeler and dice into 1/2 inch pieces; using the metal blade of a food processor; process zest and sugar until zest is finely chopped; place in a 3 qt. pan with water and salt; heat just until sugar dissolves; let cool; stir lemon juice into cooled sugar syrup; freeze mixture in divided ice cube trays; when frozen, these may be transferred to plastic bags and returned to freezer.
To serve, using the steel blade of a food processor, process 4 to 6 cubes of lemon puree at a time (use on and off bursts to break up the cubes then run the processor continuously until a smooth, velvety slush has formed; scoop into serving dishes or process and store covered in freezer until ready to serve. Makes about 4-1/2 cups.