Summer Lasagna

Summer is in full swing. Warmer weather often prompts people to start eating healthier, so they can look and feel good in their summer attire. While we encourage you to eat healthy all year long, if you’ve just started eating healthy now, we’ve chosen a light and easy version of lasagna for you to try.

This summer lasagna is full of delicious roasted eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes, which are rich in antioxidants. It also contains whole-wheat noodles for cancer-fighting fiber and natural plant compounds. These compounds are called phytochemicals and they protect cells from being damaged which may lead to cancer.

Serves 12

Ingredients:

2 eggplants (about 3 lbs.), quartered lengthwise
6 medium zucchini (about 3 lbs.)
Canola oil cooking spray
15 oz. low fat ricotta or low fat cottage cheese (or a combination of both)
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
4 cups low-sodium tomato sauce
1 lb. whole-wheat no-boil lasagna noodles
3 cups low fat mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan, set aside.

Slice the eggplant and zucchini in 1/2-inch slices. Layer on two baking sheets and coat both sides of the vegetables with cooking spray. Roast for about 40 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta and/or cottage cheeses, eggs, Parmesan, nutmeg and garlic powder.

To assemble: spread a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover with a layer of pasta. Spread with one-third of the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle one-quarter of the mozzarella over the ricotta. Spoon one-third of the roasted vegetables on top. Top with 1/2 cup of tomato sauce and continue the assembly as directed until you have 4 layers of pasta and 3 layers of filling. Spread the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

 

Credit: American Institute for Cancer Research