Cooking and eating foods that are healthier for us using our own tried and true recipes can be a challenge.
Many of our treasured family recipes are older and have ingredients we no longer consider healthy. Of course, many of these recipes were created before “healthy” was as big a consideration as it is today.
Taking these family favorites and lightening them up with substitutes or all new cooking techniques will allow us to enjoy without the guilt or falling short of reaching our health goals.
I have a great Recipe Renovation® for a dish many love but don’t often want to make because it contains carbohydrates, calories, and fat which could send you off the rails of your health plan.
The standard lasagna recipe made with meat sauce and cheeses has many layers of ingredients that add to the bottom line in both calories and fat, not to mention carbs and sodium. It also can take more preparation time than today’s busy family has to cook dinner.
My Recipe Renovation is a delicious (as I keep hearing in my home) Eggplant Lasagna.
Traditional and Recipe Renovation® Eggplant Lasagna differ greatly in the amount of calories and carbohydrates they contain.
The eggplant version is just as tasty and satisfying as the traditional recipe but adds essential nutrients found in eggplant, such as fiber, B1, copper, manganese, B6, potassium, niacin, folate, and vitamin K, in addition to phytonutrients like nasunin (fights cell damage by free radicals, especially in the brain and nervous system).
Here are the nutritional totals per 4″ x 3″ x 2″ inch piece:
Total Fat 22 grams
Total Carbs 27 grams
Sodium 751 mg
Meatless (and Carbless) Eggplant Lasagna
Here are the totals per 4 x 3 x 2 inch piece:
Total Fat 4 grams
Total Carbs 16 grams
Sodium 219 mg
My Recipe Renovation version of lasagna using eggplant layers and only a few other ingredients helps you avoid the extra calories and fat without using pasta and meat.
All you have to do is slice eggplant, layer it with your favorite prepared tomato sauce, shredded part skim mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with dried oregano. Bake about 20-30 minutes until bubbly!
It would be even better if you made your own pasta sauce. Try my favorite recipe for homemade Slow-Cooked Cherry Tomato Sauce, it is delicious and would add a great flavor profile to this dish!
You can add fresh sliced tomatoes or mushrooms, green pepper slices, or onions if you want to pack in the veggies, depending on what your family likes.
On days when you make this as the main dish, you can add crumbled veggie breakfast sausage, or even black beans, to make it heartier as the main course.
The stripped down version is a great side dish for baked chicken, poached fish, or other low fat protein sources when you aren’t looking to go meatless.
More Healthy Recipe Renovations
If you want to eat healthy using your family favorite recipes and add a few more to your repertoire, check out my cookbook, Recipe Renovation® for the Health of It, which discusses how you can renovate your recipes at the same time it inspires you with a few of mine!
I discuss nutrients of concern and how to add meals that nourish you and your family while not forgetting the flavor.
I hope you enjoy all your meals for the health of it!