To start, our home economists reduced the total amount of meat in the recipe and replaced it with a healthier alternative-bulgur, a form of cracked wheat. This resulted in a thick "meaty" tomato sauce with less fat and more fiber. To lighten the cream cheese sauce, they used less butter and Parmesan cheese, replaced the milk with the fat-free variety and used reduced-fat cream cheese in place of the full-fat kind. Finally, they used three fewer lasagna noodles. The slimmed-down lasagna has 35% fewer calories, about 60% less fat, and half the saturated fat and cholesterol of the original. After just one taste, you won't even realize it has been lightened up.
- 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
- 1/2 pound lean ground pork
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dry red wine or beef broth
- 4 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Dash paprika
- 2/3 cup bulgur
- 2 cups boiling water
- 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
- CREAM CHEESE SAUCE:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups fat-free milk
- 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt and ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
- In a large nonstick skillet, cook meat, onion and garlic until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the wine or broth. Simmer, uncovered, until wine is almost completely reduced. Add tomato sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Place bulgur in a bowl; add boiling water and let stand for 1 hour. Drain; set aside. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain. In a saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. In a bowl, whisk flour and milk until smooth; stir into butter. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low; add cream cheese and seasonings. Cook and stir until smooth. Stir bulgur into meat sauce.
- In a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray, spread 1 cup meat sauce. Layer with 4 noodles, a third each cream cheese and meat sauces and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles, sauces and Parmesan cheese. (Pan will be full.) Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake for 15 minutes. Let stand for 20 minutes before cutting. Yield: 15 servings.
Originally published as Makeover Lasagna with Two Sauces in Light & Tasty August/September 2004, p23
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