Monthly Archives: March 2011

Easy Cheesy Lasagna

When people talk about vegetarian lasagna, they typically mean a meatless dish. I like meat (if it’s lean) in my lasagna, though, but I don’t like all the carbs from the pasta. I got the idea for this healthy recipe from a waitress I met at an Italian restaurant. It’s bold and daring, especially for someone married to an eggplant bigot, but give it a try. I’ll be interested in your comments after you do. Tell me if you were able to fake out your dinner guests.


nonstick cooking spray
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 29-oz can puréed tomatoes*
2-3 cloves garlic, minced*
1 tsp. onion powder*
2 Tbsp. dried Italian seasoning*
1 tsp. vinegar (red wine, apple cider, or white wine)*
1 tsp. sugar or sweetener*
1 medium eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced long-wise (as in lasagna noodle fashion)
1 pint reduced-fat cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (Not fat free)
2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese or part-skim mozzarella
2 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese

*Or 1 quart ready-made pasta sauce


Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Spray the inside of a 10″ skillet and preheat over medium heat. Brown the ground turkey in the skillet.

While turkey browns, combine the puréed tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings (including the vinegar and sugar) to make a quick marinara sauce. Pour the sauce over the turkey after it has browned and remove the skillet from heat.

In the baking dish, layer 1/3 of the eggplant slices, 1/2 the sauce, 1/3 of the eggplant slices, all the cottage or ricotta cheese, remaining egg plant slices, remaining sauce, then top with the Italian and Parmesan cheeses. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow lasagna to cool for at least ten minutes.

Yield: makes six large or eight regular size serving.

Leave a comment

Filed under cooking, Recipes, Turkey Recipes

Olé for Salsa

Homemade salsa is so much better than jarred, but it can get expensive, especially if tomato prices are high. Here is a compromise. Try it. You’ll like it!


1 15-oz can stewed tomatoes (Reduced Sodium), drained
½ (or to taste) cup fresh cilantro leaves
juice of one lime
1 sweet onion (Vidalia if available), quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
½ jalapeño pepper, seeded*
pinch of salt


Combine all ingredients in a blender (I use the Vita-mix) and pulse until blended. Don’t overblend or you’ll have picante sauce. 🙂 Refrigerate. Keeps for 4-5 days.

*If you like mild salsa, substitute a milder pepper for the jalapeño. Be sure to wear plastic or rubber gloves when removing the seeds and membranes of a jalapeño (or any hot) pepper, a lesson I learned the hard way!


Don’t underestimate canned tomatoes. They are a bargain and come in many varieties. Try to find the cans marked “Low Sodium” if possible. Then you control the salt in your recipes.

©2011 Cheryl Norman


Filed under Cilantro, Healthful Eating, Recipes, salsa, tomatoes