Growing up in an Italian family, lasagna was always one of Houston Ballet principal Amy Fote’s favorite comfort foods. Now she adds a healthy Texas twist. “I use low fat cottage cheese instead of ricotta, salsa instead of spaghetti sauce, ground turkey instead of beef, and there is also a spinach layer because my rule is that I have to eat something green every day,” she says. Fote often makes a batch before a week of performances because it’s an easy meal to reheat. “And of course,” she adds, “the flavor gets even better the second day.”

 

TEXAN LASAGNA

 

Ingredients:

1 t. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 lb. lean ground turkey

4 c. salsa

2 t. cumin

2 cloves garlic, minced

15 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

15 oz. low fat cottage cheese

1/2 c. neufchatel cheese softened

1/2 c. parmesan cheese, shredded

1 egg white

10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach

15 no-boil lasagna noodles

1-2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

cilantro for garnish

 

1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray a glass lasagna pan with non-stick

cooking spray.

2. In a large skillet, saute onion in olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add the next four ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, cook the spinach according to directions and drain thoroughly.

4. In a medium bowl combine the cottage cheese, neufchatel, parmesan, egg white and spinach.

5. In lasagna pan layer noodles, spinach sauce, red sauce, cheddar cheese.  Repeat until pan is full, ending with red sauce on top and sprinkling with cheddar cheese. (It could be two or more layers, depending on the size of your pan.)

6. Bake for 45 minutes covered with foil and uncovered for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. After removing lasagna from the oven top with cilantro and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

 

Photo by Taylor-Ferné Morris.

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