Did you know that July is Lasagna Awareness Month? Celebrate this worthy cause with some healthier versions of the cheesy supper staple.
It may sound cheesy, but July is Lasagna Awareness Month. As far as I’m concerned, every month should bring awareness to this dangerously delicious combo of cheese and pasta. So hey, I’ll bite … with pleasure.
Alas, the extra cheese and bleached white noodles sandwiched in most lasagna recipes make the dish heavy and bloating. (Unless you’re an orange comic-strip cat with a penchant for pasta.)
Fortunately, with some simple but creative adjustments, it’s possible to enjoy dangerously delicious lasagna without hindering health.
Play with noodles
Thinly sliced zucchini is gluten-free and lower in carbs than traditional pastas. A mandolin slicer produces light-tasting, pefect noodles; zucchini pasta can be lightly salted to reduce moisture buildup during cooking. Sliced eggplant is another tasty replacement for grain-based pastas.
Pick whole grain pasta
If zucchini slices are a tad too adventurous (or time-consuming), trade white noodles for fibre-filled brown pasta. For cooks on the go, this fast Mexican lasagna dispels assumptions that the layering process requires hours in the kitchen: simply crack open a few cans, add some cheese, and voila! Easy, cheesy lasagna without the bloat.
Make it meatless
Beef can be boring. Beans or veggies are simple – and surprisingly tasty – substitutes. This recipe for tofu lasagna says “no thank you” to meat in favour of meaty-tasting mushrooms and nutrient-rich spinach. Even Garfield might approve.
Lasagna is about more than meat, pasta, and tomato sauce. There’s cheese too: Parmesan, mascarpone, ricotta … mmm. But back to vegetables. Be creative: why not include some bell peppers, spinach, or Swiss chard? For added ease, throw in a few handfuls of frozen chopped spinach. Just remember to thaw and squeeze the leaves dry beforehand to avoid the disappointment of soggy lasagna.
How are you increasing your awareness of lasagna?
Tell us how you boost the health content of traditionally heavy pasta recipes via the comments below, Facebook, or Twitter.