I served this to my family, hesitantly. I mean, there aren't any noodles in it! I thought my kids would just look at it and immediately reject it. But I was pleasantly surprised. The kids didn't even notice there weren't noodles at first and began eating it.
But then the older one said, "Mom...this tastes like lasagna, but I don't see where the noodles are."
I sighed. This was it. Once I told them, it would be over. There would be a child-sized riot. Forks would be thrown at me and the dinner table would surely be turned over.
"Well, sweetie, there aren't any noodles in it. I used zucchini instead."
A silence came over the family. The children looked at me a moment, as if contemplating whether or not I deserved to have their dinner thrown at my head.
And then my precious child said to me, "Wow. I couldn't even taste them." And they all went back to eating. I just about had an aneurysm.
Another healthy recipe gets the stamp of approval from my children! That's a huge accomplishment to me.
But don't take their word for it. Give it a try.
Makes 12 servings
1 lb. lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
25 oz. tomato sauce
1 TBS dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8 inch thick
2 cups fat free ricotta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
Start with the zucchini by grilling or baking it until softened. Place on a paper towel to soak up the extra moisture and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large skillet, cook the beef, garlic and onion over medium-high heat until the meat is browned and the onions are tender. Add the tomato sauce and the seasonings. Reduce the heat to low and cover to let simmer until heated through.
In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, egg and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
To put the lasagna together, spoon just enough of the sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 dish to coat the bottom so the lasagna won't stick. Begin layering, starting with the zucchini, laying slightly overlapping them until the pan is covered. Next spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture evenly over the zucchini, spooning dollops all around and then gently spreading it around to coat. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat, using 1/2 of the remaining sauce, 1/2 of the remaining zucchini, 1/2 of the remaining ricotta mixture and 1/2 of the remaining mozzarella. Repeat one more time, ending with the mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the cheese on top is bubbly and lightly browned. Let set about 5 minutes before serving.
For 1/12 of the lasagna: 231 calories, 11g fat, 406mg sodium, 9g carbs, 1g fiber, 21g protein