By: Jodie Shield, RD
Need help surviving those hectic week nights? Here’s a beat-the-clock menu that can be prepared in 15 minutes or less – - from the time you walk in the door until you sit down at the dinner table. Here’s my secret time-saving tip: Prepare this dish on a day when you have time to cook. Then after it has cooled, cut the lasagna into single-serve portions and freeze. On a night when you need a home-cooked meal in a hurry, simply take out a portion of lasagna, heat and eat. There’s no need to follow my recipe exactly. Use whatever vegetables, grains, meats, or seasonings your family enjoys – in other words, just wing it! If you have a quick and tasty meal you love to serve your family, do share!
Tossed salad with oil and vinegar dressing
Low-Fat or Fat-Free Milk
(makes 8 servings)
nonstick cooking spray
12 ounces Italian turkey sausage
16 ounces reduced-fat ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 whole wheat lasagna noodles, dry (no need to cook them; they’ll absorb the liquid from the sauce as they bake)
2 cups fresh spinach (optional) – use the ready-to-eat salad bags
16 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 26-ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I recommend low-sodium!)
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Coat an 8-inch -by-12-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Brown the turkey sausage in a large skillet, and drain the fat. At the same time, mix the ricotta cheese, eggs, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese together until well blended.
Next, layer half the lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, spinach leaves, turkey sausage, shredded mozzarella, and pasta sauce atop one another in the pan. Repeat the layers (in the same order), using the rest of the ingredients. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Variation: For meatless lasagna, omit the turkey sausage.
34 grams protein
30 grams carbohydrate
5.5 grams dietary fiber
23 grams fat
9 grams saturated fat
120 milligrams cholesterol
840 milligrams sodium