Now that the cooler weather is finally upon us, I thought I would share one of my favorite comfort foods --with a healthy twist of course! What I love about this dish is it can be cooked in the crockpot, or in the oven.
I never used to even eat lasagna. It always turned me off because I absolutely cannot stand ricotta cheese. But when my mother in law made this for me and ricotta was not in the recipe, I fell in love and its become one of Max's favorite meals. I usually swap out turkey for beef, and whole wheat pre cooked lasagna noodles to make it a little bit lighter. I add tons of veggies as you will see below.
1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
1/2 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic (optional)
1 red & 1 green pepper chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1.5 jar of any red sauce of your choice- or homemade if you choose
Salt, pepper, italian seasonings to taste
300 ml milk
2 tablespoons flour (I use Arrowhead mills organic unbleached white flour)
1 cup- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
Pre baked lasagna noodles (I choose whole wheat DeLallo in the organic section)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese to garnish (for top)
Chop all of the vegetables, onion, and garlic. Cook in pan with olive oil on medium for 5-7 minutes. Add meat. Cook thoroughly and add salt, pepper and italian seasonings. Add jar of sauce and set aside. In a pot, heat milk and flour and whisk. Add cheese and stir until melted. You can always adjust amounts if you feel as though the sauce is not thick enough/too thick. Grease pan or crockpot with olive oil. Place pre baked noodles as bottom layer. Put meat sauce on noodles as second layer, then add white sauce. Repeat until you have no more meat/white sauce. I usually finish it with one layer of the noodles, with extra sauce on the top and garnish with motzerella cheese. Bake for 45 mins in the oven, or 4-6 hours on medium/low in the crock pot and you have your light lasagna ready to go!
I feel as though you can add a ton of veggies to this meal other than the ones I have listed including spinach. I have actually also pre made the meat and veggie mixture and frozen it for when the baby comes so all I have to do is defrost, throw a can of sauce in it, and make the white sauce which literally takes 3 minutes! Amazing!