Veggie Lasagna with Whole Wheat Noodles

Try this high-fiber, lower-fat, lower-sodium version of the Italian classic made entirely from ingredients available at the America’s Food Basket (formerly ShopSmart) convenience store at 217 Bowdoin Street!

Click here for a downloadable/printable version!

At under $1.65 per serving, this healthier option is an affordable alternative to its frozen entrée counterpart which generally costs around $3.00.  Check out the side-by-side nutrition comparison following the recipe.  And if you still have a hankering for meat, keep an eye out for lean ground beef and turkey – making an appearance in a corner store near you soon!

 

Total Cooking Time: 75 min.
(20 min. active preparation)

Servings: 12

Total Ingredient Costs: $19.69

Cost per Serving: $1.64

Ingredients:

  • Whole Grain Lasagna Noodles (13.5-oz. package, $2.99)
  • Fat Free Tomato Sauce (26-oz. jar, $2.99)
  • No Salt Added Crushed Tomatoes (28-oz. can, $2.89)
  • Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese (15-oz. container, $5.39)
  • Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese (16-oz. package, $2.29)
  • Chopped, Frozen Spinach (10 oz. package, $1.39)
  • 1 Egg ($0.20)
  • Fresh Carrots (1/2 lb., $0.67)
  • Large Yellow Onion ($0.88)
  • 1½ cup Water

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350º F
  2. Defrost spinach and drain excess water.  Reserve for use in spinach layer.
  3. Chop carrots into ¼-inch rounds and gently steam on stovetop or in microwave.
  4. Lightly coat a large saucepan with non-stick olive or canola oil spray.
  5. Chop onion and sautée over low-medium heat until translucent.
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine carrots and onions with half of the ricotta to create filling for the carrot layer. (OPTIONAL: Run carrots and onions through a food processor until just under puréed before adding ricotta)
  7. Pour half of the jar of light tomato sauce into (now empty) saucepan, followed by half of the can of crushed tomatoes.*
  8. Add the water to the sauce mixture and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occaisionally.
  9. While sauce simmers, complete preparation of spinach layer.  Place spinach in a mixing bowl, and add the egg, the remaining ricotta cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella.
  10. Once sauce has simmered sufficiently, pour about 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish.
  11. Arrange 3 UNCOOKED pasta pieces lengthwise over sauce, cover with spinach layer, followed by an additional cup of sauce.
  12. Over sauce, add the next layer of pasta, followed by carrot layer, and a cup of sauce.
  13. Over the final layer of noodles, pour remaining sauce (should be slightly more than last two layers) leaving a minimum of a ½-inch of space between the liquid and the top of the dish.
  14. Sprinkle remaining cup of mozzarella cheese over top and cover with foil.
  15. Bake 45 minutes.  Remove foil, bake an additional 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  16. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

*Combining the pre-made sauce with plain, crushed tomatoes helps lower the total sodium content of your final sauce.  Reserve remaining tomatoes and sauce in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  Utilize this combination method to create your own low-sodium sauce with cooked vegetables and/or non-salt spices like crushed red pepper, black pepper, basil, oregano.  A great weeknight meal over whole wheat pasta with just a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Comparison:
In addition, check out this side-by-side nutrition comparison:

          Standard Frozen Lasagna                  Our Healthier Version  
    
 

 

So, what does this all mean?  Our healthier version provides significant benefits over the standard frozen lasagna – especially with regard to the maintenance of healthy weight (lower in calories and fat), heart health (low sodium, lower in saturated fat and cholesterol), strong eyesight (100% DV of Vitamin A) and control of diabetes (lower in sugar and carbohydrates with increased complex carbohydrates).

Take the route to a more nutritious AND more affordable meal!

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