Happy New Year, Muses! Have you made your resolutions yet? I’m still in the process of figuring all of mine out (I tend to go overboard), but one definite one is to continue to sneak more veggies into my diet. Last year, I snuck spinach into a smoothie, and I created a spaghetti and meatball recipe that used spaghetti squash instead of pasta, and they’ve become absolute favorites in my recipe repertoire.
This year, I’m taking on lasagna. Sure, sometimes the real deal is the only thing that will cut it, but I wanted to create a healthier version that’s packed with veggies and flavor, but still satisfies that cheesy-comforting craving. So, I’ve replaced the lasagna noodles with zucchini, added a healthy dose of spinach and basil, and subbed out the cheese for lower-fat versions. I promise, you won’t miss the noodles!
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then add to pan to brown for 3-4 minutes. Chop the onion and the garlic, then add to ground meat. After 3-4 minutes, add the chopped spinach, and cook until the spinach has wilted. Add the pasta sauce, mix everything together, then turn the heat off.
Next, slice the zucchini into thin strips. Try to cut these as uniformly as possible.
In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, fresh basil, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Now, it’s assembly time. Grab a baking dish (I used a 9” x 9” square dish), and cover the bottom with a layer of the meat sauce. Cover the sauce with slices of zucchini, then spread the cheese mixture over the zucchini, and then top with a layer of the shredded mozzarella. Repeat until you’ve filled your dish, finishing with a mozzarella layer.
Bake for 40 minutes, then let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
This recipe serves four (or makes four healthy lunches or weeknight dinners for you!). Enjoy!