Flipping Food: Resolution Lasagna
Flipping recipes for fresher, local ingredients
It’s a new year and a new you right? You’ve made the decision that you’re going to eat healthier and maybe even have a goal of eating fresher, locally sourced foods…Well we’re here to help! Did you know that there’s so many recipes that you can swap out for healthier, fresher ingredients, and still enjoy all your favorite comfort foods?! Our first recipe for the new year is my “Resolution Lasagna” – rich, hearty, cheesy lasagna filled with locally sourced veggies that will definitely fill your belly and soul!
Living in the Sacramento region, we have awesome access to fresh ingredients that are locally produced that provide the most nutrients when it comes to fresh picked fruits and veggies. Living and eating “farm-to-fork” is a great way to eat healthier because you’re eating non-processed ingredients…fresh is key! So whenever you have the chance to use locally sourced meats, cheeses, fruits and veggies in a recipe, you’re going to be eating healthier, along with helping the environment and supporting local farmers and businesses.
So to begin prepping the ingredients for this yummy “Resolution Lasagna”, you’ll want to check out your local farmer’s market. Second stop, grocery store. Obviously, this recipe is taking some of the ingredients and flipping them to be fresher & healthier, so there will be some items you’ll want to get at a farmer’s market and the others you’ll need to purchase at a grocery store. Unless you’re going to make your own lasagna noodles, you’ll buy them from the grocery store, but there is actually a great local vendor found at the Sunrise Farmer’s Market that makes fresh pasta with local ingredients – she even has gluten free and whole grain options.
In this recipe I do call for jarred marinara and alfredo sauce…but don’t freak out! You totally have the option to make this with fresh, garden ripe tomatoes and a homemade béchamel (white sauce) with locally grass fed butter. AMAZING! But we want this recipe to be easy to cook and easy to assemble. By all means do what you like, just remember a full fat béchamel sauce does taste great but we are going for convenience with a healthy twist in this recipe. One of reasons I love this recipe is that it uses seasonal produce. It’s January, so lets use what I call winter’s harvest vegetables. This includes delicious multi-colored carrots, purple, tans burgundy and of course deep orange. I also include a beautiful hearty sweet potato for that sweetness that creates a homey, cozy vibe you can’t get with any other tuber. I picked up a deep green and yellow winter squash that lightens up a traditionally, very heavy and rich lasagna. One onion and one bulb of garlic finished my shopping trip at the farmer’s market. To finish out my fresher, healthier Resolution Lasagna, I used spicy Italian turkey sausage, which is less fatty than your traditional pork sausage. There are a lot of great local farms that allow you to order online an array of farm fresh meats without all the additives, or go check out a local butcher shop like V.Miller Meats or Taylor’s Market . Plus, by adding all the fresh local hearty veggies into the lasagna, you can cut back the meat or get rid of it all together. I also sub a lite alfredo sauce and use fresh mozzarella to cut even more calories. Please feel free to use this recipe in any season, not just winter. Just swap out the winter veggies for some fresh asparagus or green peas, broccoli or spinach and kale.
This recipe can definitely be altered even more to make it vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc…it just depends on how you like it. But I hope by swapping out some of the simple ingredients that I suggested, you’ll be able to enjoy a healthier, fresher tasting meal that will keep you on track for the new year, with the new you!
RESOLUTION LASAGNA RECIPE
- 1 lb. of Ground Spicy Italian Turkey Sausage or Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage
- Olive Oil
- 2 jars of high quality Marinara sauce (or you can make your own)
- 1 jar of high quality Lite Alfredo sauce
- 1 egg
- no boil lasagna noodles
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/2 pounds of skim milk ricotta cheese
- 1 lb. Fresh mozzarella cheese
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup of farmer’s market multi-colored carrots (cut into 2 inch pieces)
- 1 peeled and cut sweet potato (cut into 2 inch pieces)
- 1 zucchini, 1 yellow winter squash (cut into 2 inch pieces)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. On a sheet pan combine the chopped carrots, sweet potato, squashes and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast veggies for about 20 minutes. Remove sheet pan from oven and gently toss all veggies to make sure they roast evenly. Before returning the vegetables to the oven sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Once the vegetables have returned to the oven reduce the temperature to 400 degrees for 5-10 more minutes this allows you to monitor the vegetables to make sure they do not burn. Remove roast veggies and set aside to cool slightly and chop into bite-sized pieces.
Spray a 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. While the vegetables are roasting combine both jars of marinara and the Alfredo Sauce in a medium sized pot on medium heat until the flavors have combined and sauce is warm, not hot. Take off heat and set aside.
While the sauce cooks, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the chopped onion for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. At this point add all the ground turkey (make sure to remove meat from casings). Sautee the meat for about 10-12 minutes until all the pink inside is gone. Remove skillet from heat and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, thoroughly mix the ricotta, egg and oregano mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To assemble lasagna: in the bottom of the 13x 9 inch baking dish place one cup of the Salsa Rosa. Arrange the pasta sheets side by side, approximately 3 sheets. The sheets will expand during cooking so they do not have to touch. Evenly spread a layer of the ricotta mixture on top of noodles. Another layer of pasta, then another cup of sauce. The noodles should be completely covered in sauce. Next, layer 1/2 of the meat mixture and top with 2/3 of the roasted vegetables and about 4-5 slices of the fresh mozzarella. Add another layer of pasta, ricotta, the rest of the meat, vegetables and top with the remaining sauce. Before covering with foil top lasagna with smaller hand torn pieces of mozzarella and then sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan. Cover lasagna with foil and cook for 30 minutes. Remove cover and return to oven for another 15 minutes until cheese is nice and bubbly! Enjoy!
Content provided by: Kim Terrazas