Italian Inspirations · Turkey

Turkey and Spinach Lasagna

Lately I have seriously been craving some comfort food and to me that mean hearty meat sauces, pasta, and lots of cheese.  I know lasagna is definitely not a health food, but sometimes you just have to give your body what it wants.

Mine wants lasagna.

That’s what I go to the gym for, right? Right.

The only drawback to lasagna is the daunting preparation.  I remember the first time I made one I felt totally overwhelmed.  They are always worth the effort though.

This recipe called for an 8×8 pan, which I used, and I actually didn’t use up all the noodles.  I think a 9×13 would be better, personally, because the pieces of lasagna were huge.  I ended up with  6 really thick pieces.  However, it is a preference thing, so whatever you like best.

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The pan was packed to the max with lots of delicious flavor and of course a decent amount of gooey cheese!

Turkey Spinach Lasagna

Original recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 6 Lasagna noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce (pizza sauce)
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 16oz of part skim ricotta cheese or 1 3/4 cups
  • 5oz of spinach
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  1. In a large pot, bring several quarts of salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until al dente (still firm), about 7-8 minutes. Remove from water and place on a towel lined baking sheet.
  2. Place olive oil, onion and red pepper in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute until the vegetables begin to sweat (cook without turning brown). Add the ground turkey and garlic; stir to combine until the turkey is cooked through (10 minutes). Add sauce and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a frying pan with a touch of olive oil cook the spinach until wilted. Chop and add to the following cheese mixture.
  4. In a large bowl combine 1 cup mozzarella and remaining ingredients.
  5. Spray an 8″x8″ baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 3/4 cup of turkey mixture on the bottom of dish and arrange a layer of noodles (you will need to take some cleaned scissors or a knife to cut some noodles to fit). Spread half the cheese mixture over the turkey mixture. Repeat layers ending with the remaining turkey mixture.
  6. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

photo

Gigantic tall piece of lasagna. Om nom nom.

And butternut squash just because I like to eat weird things together.

Orange is a bad color to photograph….

Happy Hump Day!

Italian Inspirations

As Promised….Pictures!

So right as I was about to devour my meal I realized that I needed to take a picture of what I was eating. Sadly, I had already started to dig into one of my pieces of chicken and microwaving them made them less than photo ready. I had one large piece yesterday that looked much more appetizing (and less burnt) but this is as good as it gets! For the record, it was freaking delicious even if it doesn’t look pretty. I also apologize for my camera pictures…the iPhone will have to be replaced with a real camera if i keep this up 🙂

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Chicken · Italian Inspirations

Baked Chicken Parmesan…the best thing I’ve made for myself so far

Baked Chicken Parmesan…the best thing I’ve made for myself so far

So I’ve been living on my own for about 2 months now after a summer living with my parents. I gained some weight in college (about 20 lbs) and upon moving home decided I was going to shed the weight. I’ve lost about 15 of those 20 lbs in 5 months and have recently started training for a half marathon, which I’m expecting will melt away the last 5. I found this awesome blog called Skinnytaste that has delicious recipes that have been lightened up and it is the inspiration for most of my cooking now a days.  I’m lactose intolerant and with the exception of fro yo I avoid dairy at all costs, so I modify a lot of the recipes I find to make them dairy free if they’re not already.  In the case of this recipe, I used soy cheese that I found at Trader Joe’s. It was reasonably priced and I was pleased about that. The flavor isn’t as strong as regular mozzarella and of course it doesn’t melt quite the same, but I will definitely be buying it in the future and recommend it for those looking for a dairy free alternative.

Anyways, about the recipe: it is amazing! The chicken is lightly breaded and comes out moist and there is just enough sauce and cheese on it to make it delicious.  I used Progresso Italian seasoned bread crumbs and Classico tomato and basil pasta sauce (I haven’t ventured into the realm of making my own pasta sauce yet) and served it over whole wheat linguine with a side of broccoli. Absolutely fantastic. I’m going to be eating the last of the leftovers tonight and will post a picture of the final product this evening. In the meantime, I recommend browsing Gina’s website, she has some awesome recipes (the link is above…)

Follow up: I decided to add the calorie information for my recipes. Please note, I am NOT a registered dietitian (I will be some day!) so my ability to calculate calorie information is limited to an app called MyFitnessPal that I use on my iPhone.  It’s not perfect but I try my best to get the correct information out of it!

Servings (Chicken only): 3

  • Calories: 296
  • Total Fat: 13.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 71.7 mg
  • Sodium: 823.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 14.2 g
  • Protein: 33.4 g