Healthy White Lasagna

26 Jan

Hearty. Creamy. Filling. Healthy. Low fat. 600 calories per PAN. Lasagna. Enough intro, let’s get to it.

You will love this. Pinky promise.

You will love this. Pinky promise.


  • 340g cauliflower
  • 100g brussels sprouts (any other vegetable would be nice, too)
  • 510g zucchini, sliced into long flat noodles on a mandolin
  • 100g zucchini, spiralized, for texture
  • 100g eggplant, sliced
  • 226g Cabot No Fat Cottage Cheese
  • 50g onion
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 1.5tsp chicken base or vegetable base
  • minced garlic, to taste (I use about 2 tsp)
  • 45g Fat Free Mozzarella shredded cheese
  • 1 link Nature’s Place Chicken Sausage in Roasted Garlic (optional, hubby likes it in his)
  • 5g Parmesan topping
  • Sprinkle of preferred Italian seasonings


Heat oven to 375F.

Quarter the brussels sprouts and roast until golden on a sheet pan sprayed with oil of your choice. Set aside when done.

Place eggplant rounds on a cookie cooling sheet, on a cookie rack, and bake with brussels sprouts until tender and dry. It is VITAL that they be placed on a cookie sheet to elevate them. They will get squishy and nasty otherwise. Set aside.

White Sauce: Boil cauliflower until very soft. Place in blender with garlic, 1/2 cup of water, salt, pepper, and chicken/vegetable base. Blend until velvet in consistency. Set aside.

Fauxcotta (Who knew cottage cheese would be so reminiscent of Ricotta??): Place cottage cheese, salt, some garlic, and any desired seasonings, such as Italian seasonings, parsley, etc., in a small bowl. Blend with an immersion blender until it reaches the consistency of Ricotta cheese. Set aside.

While all this is happening, saute the diced onions. When they are done, wilt in the spinach. Set aside.

If you are choosing to add a meat/the sausage to your version, cut into small pieces.

Then, take an 8×8 or 9×9 pan and layer a set of flat zucchini noodles. Over them, spread some of each of the: sprouts, sausage, spiralized zucchini, fauxcotta, white sauce, etc. Then, in layer another set of the flat noodles in the opposite direction. Repeat until all ingredients have been used. Top with the shredded mozzarella.

Bake at 375 until cooked through. I recommend checking it a couple of times because the cottage cheese and zucchini will release some water. I’ve found it best to carefully drain some of this out of the side of the pan as it goes (be careful not to let any of the curds escape).

When it’s done baking, allow it to sit for a few minutes and drain again if needed. This is a dish that seems to work best reheated so it’s great to make in advance. I’ve got one prepped and ready to be reheated tonight for dinner 🙂 We’ve eaten it twice in one week, if that speaks to its deliciousness for you.

The nutrition on this is that the whole plan is 600 calories and contains hardly any fat, assuming you’ve used the optional sausage. Otherwise, it’s only 530 for the entire pan.


Cheesy Zucchini Gratin (with Broccoli-Cauliflower “Rice” Adaptation)

25 Jan

You know you’ve created something great when you find yourself on the couch, with a rubber spatula and a dirty blender bowl, alternating scoops of deliciousness between yourself and your husband.

In fact, I’ve altered the basis of these recipes a few different ways in the past week and we’ve been beyond happy when dinner has rolled around each day. I promise, if you try this, you will not be disappointed.

Utterly decadent. Without the calories.

Utterly decadent. Without the calories.

The base of the recipe is a creamy, rich, cheesy, cheddary sauce. It’s reminiscent of nacho cheese and a creamy cheddar sauce.

This will knock your socks off.

This will knock your socks off.

We keep coming up with tasty ways we could use this, ranging from the Zucchini Gratin and Rice Casserole shown here, adapted for Cheesy Broccoli Soup, poured over roasted vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower or potatoes, used as an actual dip with some salsa verde and jalapenos, poured over home fries or baked potatoes, etc.

This recipe makes 4 servings, or, if you are us, just 2! It’s enough to fill a 9″x9″ pan.


  • 550g golden cauliflower (a large head)
  • 50g onion, diced
  • 66g Philadelphia Fat-Free Cream Cheese
  • 45g frozen green peas
  • 15g Parmesan topping
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 13g chicken or vegetable base (I use Better Than Bullion brand)
  • 700g zucchini (about 2/3 sliced on a mandolin and 1/3 spiralized)
  • 2g of Molly McButter’s Cheese Powder (that’s about 1 tsp, and this is optional)
  • dash of Onion powder
  • salt


Boil the cauliflower until extremely soft. The golden kind is best for this because of the color it imparts; the resulting cheese will be the color of cheddar without adding anything else. They do cost about a dollar more a head but look at the bright side – you’re getting extra Vitamin A! They’re just selectively bred to create this effect, like heirloom varieties.

25 times more beta carotene than the typical white cauliflower!

25 times more beta carotene than the typical white cauliflower!

Meanwhile, saute the onions.

When the cauliflower is cooked, scoop into the blender, add the water, onions, cream cheese, Parmesan, salt, a tiny sprinkle of onion powder (I added this…I don’t know why but it didn’t hurt, so….), the chicken base (or vegetable if inclined!) and the water.

Blend thoroughly. I used the High/Liquid setting. Et voila! Try not to eat the entire thing in one sitting with a spatula. You will be tempted.

Have some zucchini prepared. You’ll need about 2/3 of it sliced thinly on a mandolin to resemble lasagna noodles. The rest will be spiralized.Zoodles!

Whip out that spiralizer and get crankin’!Oodles of Zoodles!

Layer some of the lasagna-like noodles on the bottom of the pan. Then, sprinkle some spiralized noodles on top. Glob a bunch of the cheese sauce onto the layer and spread evenly. Toss a few peas in and repeat this stacking process until you’ve reached the top!Stack 'em up!

Finish with the last remaining serving (5 grams) of parmesan over the top.

Ready to bake!. 375F for about 45 minutes.

Ready to bake!. 375F for about 45 minutes.

Bake at 375F for about 45 minutes. Allow to sit when done; it helps everything set up.

Dig in! The crunchy bits around the edge are worth scraping with a spoon...speaking from experience. Ahem.

Dig in! The crunchy bits around the edge are worth scraping with a spoon…speaking from experience. Ahem.

And the piece de resistance? Half a pan has only about 225 calories and barely any fat whatsoever. Each quarter pan yields under 115 calories. You can easily eat the entire pan for dinner without needing to skip dessert!

I had made a half batch of this sauce earlier in the week and spread it over 525g of white cauliflower that had been riced in the food processor. I had also boiled up 100g of broccoli and pureed it with an immersion blender. I mixed all of that up into a pan, sprinkled on more Parmesan topping, and baked again until warm.

Cheese Broccoli Rice. Riced Cauliflower with Broccoli and Cheese Sauce (150 calories for half of an 8"x8" pan!)

Cheese Broccoli Rice. Riced Cauliflower with Broccoli and Cheese Sauce (150 calories for half of an 8″x8″ pan!)

The Secret World of Zoats?

26 Sep

Autumn in New England means everything warm and fuzzy – from sweatshirts and scarves and thick wool socks to comforting flavors like pumpkin, spice, apple, oats, etc. Now, the clothing aspect isn’t likely to put a dent into your healthy eating (though there is something that makes junk food magically more alluring when you’re at home wearing sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and fuzzy socks). The pumpkin and spice and raisin and oatmeal and chocolate and peanut butter foods, however, are another story.

 Everyone who matters knows that the pumpkin donuts and pumpkin muffin and pumpkin coffees at Dunkin Donuts are wonderful, beautiful, evil things. Why?

1 pumpkin munchkin = 60 (and NO ONE eats just a couple)

1 pumpkin donut = 360 kcal

1 pumpkin pie donut = 380 kcal

1 pumpkin crumb cake donut = 450 kcal

1 pumpkin muffin =550 kcal and 24 grams of fat!

Let’s paint a common scenario. The air is crisp and cool. Maybe you’ve been apple-picking or pumpkin-hunting and your belly has a hankering for some warm, rich flavors…but you definitely don’t want to be loosening the drawstring on those sweatpants in a few weeks to satisfy those cravings.

What do you do? MAKE ZOATS.

I discovered these on Instagram and an Internet search wasn’t terribly helpful. Are these some sort of secret or something? They really shouldn’t be and you can thank me for this later!

Essentially, zoats are a combination of shredded zucchini and oats. Oats are great; let’s be honest, it’d be great to sit down to a huge sinful bowl of oats. But at 140 calories per ½ cup, that adds up quickly.

Enter – the best thing ever. Okay, I concede, maybe not ever. But really close.

The zucchini bulks it out (it doesn’t taste like zucchini, promise!), the egg white adds protein and makes them nice and fluffy, and the oats make it hearty and happy.

Another awesome thing is that they are completely customizable. Want chocolate? Add cocoa powder. Want banana? Add banana. Caramel sauce, coffee, peanut butter, berries. The world is your zoat-oyster.

Although I’ve been making Chocolate Peanut Butter Zoats lately, I satisfied my fall flavor craving tonight and made Maple Cinnamon Zoats with Apple and Raisin. If you want them creamier, you can use almond milk or a dairy product instead of water.

Maple Cinnamon Zoats with Apple and Raisin

Maple Cinnamon Zoats with Apple and Raisin

Now look at this beauty. I’m about to go make this again right now because, man, it hits the spot.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Zoats. Made with cocoa powder and topped with sugar free Hershey's syrup and PB2 powder.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Zoats. Made with cocoa powder and topped with sugar free Hershey’s syrup and PB2 powder.

This is how easy it is:


  • 13g oats

  • 175g zucchini, shredded finely on a box grater

  • 1/8 cup sugar-free maple syrup – or anything similar you are comfortable with

  • 50g apple, finely diced

  • 4g raisin (just a sprinkle)

  • 1 egg white

  • cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, to taste

  • dash of vanilla extract

  • ¾ water

  • sweetener is optional (sugar, nectresse, splenda, whatever you like)


In a small sauce pan, bring your water to a boil. Whisk in the egg white and watch it turn all fluffy and frothy. Then, add everything else! Adjust the strength of the seasonings as you see fit. Cook down until it is the consistency you like. The longer you cook it, the smoother the zucchini will be in the mixture. I let mine simmer for about 10 minutes, being sure to stir it often.

I poured it into a little dish and topped with a few of the apple bits I reserved, another dash of spices, and the tiniest dash of syrup again.

Warm, very filling, and the perfect fall treat; and this comes in at 140 calories for the entire bowl. That’s about half of one donut. Sorry Dunks.

Zucchini Fritters

1 Sep

Healthy Zucchini Fritters

Slightly salty and crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, eaten plain or dipped in refreshing basil yogurt sauce – you can’t go wrong with these!

Secretly healthy and outwardly delicious.

Secretly healthy and outwardly delicious.

In fact, there aren’t many pictures at all because, let’s be honest, I was really freaking hungry when I was making these and ate them too quickly!

These were fun to make and even more fun to eat. It would be a great way to use up those seasonal zucchini from the garden without ending up with a dish that tastes much like zucchini (for those of you who might not be in love with the taste). These had the taste and feel of a healthier fried hashbrown.

I used garbanzo bean (aka chickpea) flour because it was on hand and the result was a very delicate and fine texture, but any type of flour can be used. I imagine a whole wheat flour would make a denser, more substantive feel that would be delicious. Even a seed-based flour could add a very tasty dynamic. Use what you have on hand.


  • 450g of zucchini, grated (~1 lb)
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Italian Seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • hint of minced garlic, optional
  • 2 teaspoons of oil for “pan-frying”


The quantities above made 12-14 fritters (I think I had 13) – and is only 406 calories total and includes the oil used for frying. It was perfect as a side dish but they were so delicious that we’re going to double up the recipe next time. That means each fritter is only about 34 calories!


They taste like salty, slightly greasy junk food - but they're not!

They taste like salty, slightly greasy junk food – but they’re not!


Salt the zucchini after it has been grated in a food processor or on a hand box grater. Set aside in a bowl and rest for at least 30 minutes (longer is better) to sweat out some of the moisture. Try to remove as much water as possible. Use either paper towels, cheesecloth, or a fine chinois to press out as much liquid as you can.

To the hopefully-much-drier-zucchini, beat in two egg whites and all other ingredients.

In a large cast iron skillet, have the oil hot and raring to go over medium-high heat. Drop the zucchini fritters into the oil and be sure to leave plenty of space to prevent crowding and make flipping them easier. Cook until the bottoms are crispy and golden then flip and finish cooking. Set aside in a warm oven to hold while the rest cook. I like mine salty like hash browns and so I salted each side again lightly.

For a refreshing dipping sauce, mix up the following insanely simple “dip”:

  • ½ cup of nonfat plain yogurt
  • finely minced or chiffonaded fresh basil


You could easily modify these to have different cheeses, include crumbled sausage, use different seasonings, include grated onions, bake them without pan frying them, or anything else you can dream up.

Healthy Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

20 Aug

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie – Without the Guilt

 This version replaces mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower, utterly loads up on nutritious vegetables, loses the meat entirely, and packs its own hearty, healthy gravy. It doubles as a completely fabulous way to use up left over vegetables in the fridge and can be made in advance to prep for an easy meal.

While I was organizing my classroom today, I had been thinking about what I’d make for dinner. I had lots of miscellaneous “extra” vegetables at home and wanted something hot and filling. A former student came in to chit chat and before we knew it, I had put her to work helping me to hang posters and curtain rods. We ended up talking food and healthy eating and it got my gears turning. The result? See below! (If you read this, Kibs, thanks for your help with the room, girl!)

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Shepherd’s Pie. It’s a classic. It has potatoes, corn, and beef (though to be pedantic, what Americans call Shepherd’s Pie is actually Cottage Pie; Shepherd’s Pie uses lamb whereas Cottage Pie uses beef). It’s hot, it’s filling, and it screams fall and winter. Of course, it’s loaded with calories and often butter and fat and doesn’t offer very much nutritionally with its white potato topping.

So, let’s redo it with nutrition and lower calorie counts in mind!

It takes a bit of prep work but can be doubled in size to make numerous servings and stores very well for packed lunches and left overs. And one of the best aspects is you can change nearly every component to suit your mood – or fridge contents. Add any combination of vegetables, for instance roasted brussels sprouts and butternut squash and add some sausage. Use a vegetable, chicken, turkey, or spiced based gravy. Use meat. Make the cauliflower topping cheesy. Give the dish a Mexican flare with spices and salsa and peppers.

Served as a side dish or an entree, it’s fabulous.


  •  1100 grams cauliflower, very roughly chopped (~1.5 heads)
  • 160 grams baby portobello mushrooms, diced (~half a pack)
  • 40 grams frozen or fresh green peas
  • 140 grams carrot, diced (that was 2 for me)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 100 grams onion, medium dice
  • 1.5 teaspoons Beef-Flavored Better Than Bullion stock base
  • 100grams eggplant, 3/4” chunks
  • 200 grams zucchini, large dice
  • 130 grams green beans, 1/2” segments
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or similar dairy product)
  • garlic flakes or garlic powder (or roasted garlic cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon Light Olivio (or butter ingredient)
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika
  • thyme, rosemary and/or sage (or substitute preferred flavors)
  • garlic flakes
  • olive oil/pan spray


Dice eggplant, zucchini and green beans and place in a preheated 375F oven on a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Mist with pan spray to keep moist. Roast until pieces are tender to your liking. Set aside when cooked.

Place all roughly chopped cauliflower into a large pot of boiling water and boil until very soft. You cannot overcook this part so don’t worry.

Spray a saute pan with oil and cook the onions, celery and mushrooms with some salt and pepper until the mushrooms are soft, brown, and have shrunk in size. Set aside when cooked.

In another saute pan, boil the carrots. You can roast these if you prefer. Set aside when cooked.

Once the cauliflower is done, take two large scoops and place in a blender. This will be the base of your gravy. The amount of gravy you want dictates how much cauliflower you use here. The rest of the cauliflower will be the topping for your dish. I used probably just under a quarter to a third of the cauliflower for the gravy.

To the blender cauliflower, add the beef stock, milk, salt, plenty of pepper and two spoonfuls of the mushroom mix (that’s key!). You can also add any additional gravy flavorings you enjoy. I added several grinds of the garlic flake and sea salt mix. Blend until velvet smooth. You can add water/milk to adjust to desired thickness. I suggest leaving the gravy quite thick because it will thin slightly with heat and with the water content of the vegetables during baking.  (Note: This gravy is passable enough to stand “alone” atop mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower, or over meat and would be a perfect way to avoid the butter and flour rue that “real” gravy uses.)

Drain the remaining cauliflower and place back in its pot. (If you want really dry mash, you can pat the cauliflower dry by pressing between cloth or paper towels. I just said “Ain’t nobody got time for that” and went full-steam ahead.) Add Olivio or butter substitute, some salt and pepper, and any flavorings you desire. I again used some ground garlic salt flakes and pepper. Use an immersion blender to puree.

Now, it’s assembly time! Layer the roasted vegetable, mushroom and onion mix, and carrots into an 8×8” baking dish. Throw in the frozen peas and stir to make sure every vegetable type is evenly distributed for what we will call “bite equity!”

Mom says to eat your vegetables!

Mom says to eat your vegetables!

Pour the entire gravy mix over the vegetables.

And this time, it's okay to smother your vegetables in thick gravy. Because, secretly, the gravy is made of vegetables, too. Shhhh!

And this time, it’s okay to smother your vegetables in thick gravy. Because, secretly, the gravy is made of vegetables, too. Shhhh!

Finish by scooping all of the cauliflower mash over the top. Sprinkle with paprika and any desired seasonings.

Layering: Phases Complete!

Bake at 325F for 30 minutes or so, until thoroughly hot. We broiled it the last few minutes to brown up the top.


 The entire pan is only 640 calories and it is a lot of food. We planned on eating only ¼ each and having something else to accompany it…but we ended up going back for seconds  and polishing off ½ the pan each. Did I mention that was only 320 calories? Did I mention we were stuffed?

I have recently discovered Molly McButter’s Cheese Flavored Sprinkles (thank you Internet) and couldn’t resist sprinkling this on my plate. Hubby ended up doing the same and we decided we liked it enough that we may use it in the mash next time for a cheesy flavored mashed topping. Is it natural and totally healthy? No, but it tastes darn good.

Possibilities are endless, I tell ya!

Manicotti-Style Stuffed Zucchini Rolls

17 Aug

What do you do when you make Eggplant Lasagna and have half of a container of Fiber One Cottage Cheese left over?

Make a delicious side dish in the form of Manicotti-Style Stuffed Zucchini Rolls, of course! The bonus is that you can eat the entire pan as a side dish and not even bat an eyelash.

Hot, healthy, and happy-inducing!

Hot, healthy, and happy-inducing!


  • ~10 strips of zucchini, cut lengthwise like a lasagna noodle
  • 200 grams Fiber One Lowfat Cottage Cheese
  • 125 grams Classico Tomato & Basil marinara sauce
  • 2 heaping handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 28 grams of finely shredded Mozzarella Style Almond Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Pan/Olive spray
  • Italian Seasonings (or blend of your choice)


  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • In a saute pan with the garlic, wilt down the spinach leaves until softened. Cool slightly before placing the garlic and spinach into a bowl (if using an immersion blender) or blender.
  • Add Italian Seasonings and some salt. I also threw in some extra Thyme.
  • Use the blender to process the cottage cheese and spinach into the texture of ricotta cheese. Set aside.
It's difficult not to eat this by the spoonful!

It’s difficult not to eat this by the spoonful!

  • Using a Japanese mandolin or knife, create lasagna-shaped “noodles” with the zucchini. I used 10 total, but this is adjustable depending on the size of the squash and how filled you prefer your rolls.
  • Place noodles on a cooling rack in a sheet pan. Lightly spray with a pan spray and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and more seasoning.
  • Cook for about 8 minutes or so.
Lined up and waiting for spoonfuls of creamy goodness.

Lined up and waiting for spoonfuls of creamy goodness.

  • Remove noodles from oven and allow to cool (for safe handling!).
  • In a baking dish, spoon just enough of the marinara sauce across the bottom to prevent the zucchini rolls from sticking.
  • Divide the cheese filling up among each roll by placing a dollop on one end of the noodle. Then, roll gently and place in the baking dish.
They looked so gorgeous in the pan.

They looked so gorgeous in the pan.

Kudos to you if you can keep the filling all inside! I couldn't.

Kudos to you if you can keep the filling all inside! I couldn’t.

  1. Spoon remaining sauce over the rolls and sprinkle with the almond cheese.
Toppings added.

Toppings added.

  • Dust with more salt, pepper, and seasonings, if desired.
  • Cover dish with foil, but leave a corner vented slightly. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil a few minutes before the end and broil to brown the cheese.


Brussels sprouts may not be a typical Italian pairing but they were good so...who cares?

Brussels sprouts may not be a typical Italian pairing but they were good so…who cares?

The entire pan of 10 rolls was only 290 calories. Insane, right?
There are so many ways you could spruce these up, too. Spinach can be replaced by Kale, or a pesto, or sundried tomato, or even mushrooms….the “ricotta” filling was tasty enough that it can be used as a dip cold or hot with bread, chips, or vegetables. This could take on a Tex-Mex vibe by changing the seasonings to be more chipotle, taco seasoning, and using cheddar to top them with instead.

Garlic Cream Alfredo Sauce – Low Calorie and Healthy?! Oh yes!

16 Aug
This was in a molten hot state; as it became a reasonable temperature for eating, it thickened right back to perfection.

This was in a molten hot state; as it became a reasonable temperature for eating, it thickened right back to perfection.

Creamy Garlic Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

I cannot even comprehend how delicious this is. We are really fond of having zucchini pasta as a way to still enjoy pasta several nights a week (without the calories and without the upset stomach afterward) but that has been with marinara based sauces or just a hint of olive oil and herb. But Alfredo pasta was gone. Given the choice, I used to love ordering Broccoli Alfredo Pasta when we ate out. The cream based sauce on pasta at Radici or even the Broccoli Alfredo Penne at a chain like The 99 or Unos were my go-to. But that sinful sauce was gone because it had too many calories and wouldn’t sit in my stomach anymore…until now.

Enter – cauliflower.

Now, bear with me. It sounds lame. It sounds like some weird rabbit food that would taste all “healthy” and stuff. But trust me. This simple concoction is creamy and flavorful and belly-warming and we weren’t even finished eating dinner when we started planning when we could eat it again.

With adaptations, it can be used in so many ways. It could go on pizza, it can top mashed potatoes, it can be baked into a casserole, it can be used as a dipping sauce, it can smother vegetables, it can be a pasta sauce. With more cheese, it can make macaroni and cheese. It can creamify soups. You can add spinach or greens and turn it green. You can add sundried tomato. You can add bacon for a carbonara style sauce. You can add tomato and black olives. You could substitute chicken or beef broth. You could use coconut oil. Or coconut milk. Or cow milk. Or use nutritional yeast instead of the cheese. You could add in roasted red peppers. The list goes on and on. By substituting an ingredient or two this can even be totally vegan.

creamy and rich

creamy and rich

So how do you make this amazing Alfredo Sauce?


  • 1 head of cauliflower (520 grams was mine)
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • ¼ Parmesan cheese (28 grams of shredded)
  • 1 TBSP butter (I used Light Olivio)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

(Looking at that pathetic list, it is hard to understand how it tasted so freaking amazing!)


  1. Cut the cauliflower florets into large chunks. Boil until they are fall-apart-tender and mushy. The only risk is under cooking them so go nuts and don’t worry about overdoing it.
  2. In a sauce pan, saute the minced garlic in the butter. Don’t let it brown, just let it release its garlicky-goodness. Set aside.
  3. Once the cauliflower is thoroughly mushy, strain and place into the blender. Add the almond milk, the vegetable stock, Parmesan, and the garlic and butter mix. Add a healthy dose of salt and be liberal with the pepper, too. Blend on the highest setting for a couple of minutes…I set it as high as it could go: liquify. It will be velvety and will gain some volume. Taste for seasoning and try not to eat the entire thing in amazement.
  4. Transfer the sauce back to the sauce pan and simmer over a low heat to keep warm.

I wanted to add some vegetables, so I added the following to the sauce to heat them up:

  • Frozen Green peas (80 grams)
  • Broccoli florets (200 grams) – I gave these a quick boil to prep them.
Zucchini pasta just isn't the same if you don't have the julienne peeler (or at least a spiralizer).

Zucchini pasta just isn’t the same if you don’t have the julienne peeler (or at least a spiralizer).

As for the pasta, we use zucchini and I had already prepped (okay, so Chris did it for me this time; yay!)

  • 1200 grams of julienned zucchini spaghetti

That’s a lot of “pasta” that you get to eat!

Add andouille for a whole new flavor in the dish.

Add andouille for a whole new flavor in the dish.

Transfer the “pasta” to a very large saute pan….we actually use two every time so that the amount is manageable and so that Chris can add meat to his. He added some of the Al Fresco Chicken Sausage Andouille.

Saute the noodles for a few minutes then split the sauce over the noodles. If you want to sprinkle a bit more cheese of any kind on top, go nuts – because the ENTIRE RECIPE, noodles, broccoli, peas, sauce, all but the sausage, is 660 calories. That’s 330 for the entire plate FULL of hot, creamy, rich, delicious pasta and sauce. It was too much to even EAT at once and made for fabulous left overs. Plus, I mean, the peas alone were 70 total calories but I was craving peas like woah.

If you make this and you follow the recipe, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Eggplant Lasagna (low calorie, low fat)

15 Aug

Ever since our recent trip to the Dominican Republic where it was almost impossible not to be served anything with eggplant in it, we’ve been on an eggplant kick! We both used to seriously dislike it at best. But now, oh baby! When it’s done right and/or allows us to eat foods that are typically full of fat and calories in a healthy way, it’s as right as rain. And this was definitely delicious.

Hot and melty

Hot and melty

Because I’ve calculated this for nutritional needs, the ingredients and amounts can be fairly specific, but if you aren’t counting every little thing, substitutions and eyeballing it is fine. It does take a fair bit of work and prep, so it’s not a fast meal for the night, but it can be frozen ahead of time and pulled out any night you don’t have time to cook. So let’s get to it!


600 grams eggplant (the better part of a large eggplant, minus the core)

70 grams onion (about 1/4 of a large onion)

160 grams portabello (2 large caps, de-stemmed and de-gilled)

250 grams zucchini (a medium zucchini)

226 grams Fiber One Lowfat Cottage Cheese (1 cup)

500 grams Classico Tomato & Basil red sauce (2 cups)

1 Al Fresco Italian Chicken Sausage

3 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves

84 grams Lisanatti Almond Cheese “mozzarella style)

1 tsp olive or coconut oil

Minced garlic, salt, pepper, Italian herbs, to taste


  • Cut the eggplant into lasagna noodle shaped-pieces. I used a mandolin to ensure consistent thickness. I’d say the pieces were definitely under 1/4″ thick. You can use a knife if you have the time….but yuck.
  • Place eggplant “noodles” between paper towels and sprinkle salt and italian spices onto them. Stack them together, give them several good presses and let them sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Once eggplant is done sweating out, place noodles on a cooling rack on a baking sheet. Spray very lightly with olive oil or pan spray and cook at 375 for 6 minutes. Set aside when done and turn oven down to 325.
Cooked and waiting for construction

Cooked and waiting for construction

  • In a large skillet with olive oil, saute diced onion with minced garlic until translucent. Then add diced portabello. Cook for several minutes. Add some seasonings if you’d like, then add diced zucchini. Cover and cook until zucchini has lost its snap. Throw in several handfuls of spinach, stir around, and cover. Cook until spinach has wilted.
  • Pour red sauce into skillet and incorporate ingredients.

  • In a glass or metal bowl, place cottage cheese. Add Italian seasonings and/or garlic. Use an immersion blender and blend until it reaches the consistency of ricotta cheese (only a few seconds; this can be done in a blender if you do not own an immersion blender).
After blending with herbs, this was ricotta-esque heaven!

After blending with herbs, this was ricotta-esque heaven!

  • Dice sausage.
  • Finely shred the almond cheese and set aside.
  • In an 8X8 baking pan, begin layering ingredients. You may need to cut the eggplant noodles to size. After first layer of noodles, spoon enough sauce to cover, follow with dollops of the cheese mix, spread out. If using sausage, sprinkle evenly over surface. Cover with another noodle layer and repeat process until everything is used up.Sprinkle surface with the almond mozzarella and sprinkle some more Italian herbs and salt and paper on top (this will help the almond cheese have even better flavor).
Building layers.

Building layers.

Smothered in healthy "cheese"

Smothered in healthy “cheese”

  • Cover with foil and bake at 325 about 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove foil during the last few minutes to brown top slightly.


The entire pan will have just under 950 calories and barely any fat. Each slice comes in at only 240 calories!

Nearing completion…

5 Mar

Another portrait

1 Mar

She’s not quite finished, but she’s getting there!