Best Lasagna Ever

I really hate dieting.  I’m not one to deprive myself, hence all my vices; however, I do *try* to follow a sensible diet, allowing some room for “treats” be they wine, ice cream, and/or big-as-my-head bacon cheese burgers.  (Another great reason to keep up that running!)  I also consider myself a foodie (who doesn’t nowadays?) and love to eat and cook.  When I find recipes that are healthy and not only taste delicious, I keep them close at hand, repeating often- here’s one of my favorites.

The only diet I have ever followed is the Flat Belly Diet.  My boot camp instructor recommended it to me, so I picked up the book, did the 4-day 1200 calorie fast and dropped 9 pounds in 4 days and, yes, my belly was much flatter!  The recipes & meal plans that are included in the diet focus on the addition of healthy mono-saturated fats (avocados, nuts, olives, oils, dark chocolate) at every meal and snack as well as top-notch ingredients (read: organic, unprocessed, low fat, low sodium).  Truly scrumptious meals.

6am spin class today leaves me SO HUNGRY, it’s only 9:30am and I am already planning dinner from my Flat Belly Family Cookbook… make this for your family and they will not be disappointed!  Don’t let the tofu scare you- when I make this dish for guests, everyone thinks the tofu is really ricotta!  The kids love it too!

VEGETARIAN LASAGNA with TOFU

 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) no-salt-added basil-oregano-garlic diced onions

1 package (12 ounces) soft silken tofu

6 no-boil lasagna noodles (4 ounces)

1/4 cup pesto

4 cups baby spinach

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Italian cheese blend

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 375, coat a 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray

2) Cook the tomatoes in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes

3) Place a strainer over the sink or a bowl and crumble in the tofu, squeezing it dry of excess liquid, set aside

4) Spread one-third of the tomatoes over the bottom of the baking dish.  Layer ingredients in the order: 2 noodles, 2 tablespoons pesto, half the tofu, 2 cups spinach, 1/3 cup cheese, and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Spread one-third of the tomatoes over the top.  Repeat a second layer: 2 noodles, the remaining 2 tablespoons of pesto, the remaining tofu, the remaining 2 cups spinach, 1/3 cup of cheese, and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Place the remaining 2 noodles on top.  Cover with the remaining tomatoes.  Set the remaining 1/3 cup of cheese aside.  Cover the dish tightly with foil.

5) Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling.  Carefully remove the foil and, with a spatula, gently press down the corners of the noodles to submerge in the sauce.  Sprinkle with the reserved cheese.  Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned.  Remove and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

4 servings, 363 calories per serving
Make it a meal by serving with 2 cups mixed salad greens, 1 cup chopped cucumber, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (total meal, 426 calories) 

Delicious and nutritious!



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