Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Low-fat dairy, lots of vegetables lighten 'designer' lasagna

 •  Juiced tomato

By Elaine Magee

Q. Dear Recipe Doctor, I'm looking for a nice lasagna recipe to try at home. I know it's almost summer, but I think making lasagna using some items from my garden would be lovely. Thanks for your help!

A. I'm calling this garden lasagna because I think it will work well with this reader's bounty of garden veggies. You can substitute whatever you have in your garden or crisper for some of the ingredients, too. Consider it a "designer" lasagna recipe.

The key to more healthful lasagna is switching to lower- fat dairy ingredients and incorporating as many high-nutrient veggies as possible. If you can find part whole-wheat lasagna pasta, use it. Otherwise, use the normal semolina-flour lasagna noodles and find comfort in knowing you are still getting 5 grams of fiber per serving because of all the vegetables and tomatoes.


  • 1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese

  • 1/4 cup egg substitute (or 1 beaten high omega-3 egg can be substituted)

  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk

  • 4 green onions, white and part of green, chopped

  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder (add more if desired)

  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning (add more if desired)

  • 9 long sheets of fresh pasta (about 9 ounces fresh pasta sheets)*

  • 3 cups zucchini slices, about 1/4-inch thick, slightly cooked in microwave

  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan

  • 1 cup bottled pizza sauce or marinara sauce

  • 1/2 cup red or white wine, or water

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and drained

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/3 cup well-drained julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes

  • 3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes cut into 1/3-inch thick slices

  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon chicken broth powder blended with 1/3 cup hot water

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

    Combine ricotta cheese, egg substitute, milk, green onions, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning.

    Line the dish with three pasta sheets. Spread half the cheese mixture evenly over the pasta and top with zucchini. Sprinkle 1/4 cup parmesan over the zucchini.

    Top with three more pasta sheets. Blend pizza sauce with wine or water and pour over the pasta. Lay basil leaves evenly over the top then sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup sharp cheddar.

    Top with three more sheets. Spread the remaining cheese mixture over the top and top evenly with the sun-dried tomatoes. Lay the fresh tomato over this and sprinkle with remaining parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar. Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning over the top. Pour 1/3 cup of the chicken-broth mixture evenly over the top. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour.

    * If you can't find the fresh pasta sheets, you can use the "No Boil" dried pasta by Barilla (use about 3 1/2 sheets per layer and about 11 sheets per recipe).

    Makes 12 servings.

  • Per serving: 244 calories, 16 g protein, 23 g carbohydrate, 9.5 g fat (4.7 g saturated fat, 4 g monounsaturated fat, .7 g polyunsaturated fat), 40 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 329 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 35 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids .2 g. Weight Watchers points: 5. Omega-6 fatty acids .5 g.

    Elaine Magee is a registered dietitian. Her latest book is "Comfort Food Makeovers." See www.recipedoctor.com.