When I was dreaming up this recipe, I wanted to reduce the amount of ricotta, but still have it be healthy, cheesy and delicious.
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
8 oz fresh baby bella mushrooms, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, crushed
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
24 oz jar of marinara sauce
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 1/2 cups part nonfat ricotta
1 1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese, divided
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella
1 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
12 oz pack of oven ready lasagna noodles
Notes: Believe it or not, I'm not a huge lasagna fan. Every time I have it, it seems like it's overloaded with the ricotta filliing and it glops out the sides and collapses. When I was dreaming up this recipe, I wanted to reduce the amount of ricotta, but still have it be cheesy and delicious.
My solution was to make a ricotta mix with pureed white beans. The inspiration came from hummus, which has a creamy texture, but plenty of body. The half ricotta/half bean mixture was just right. While I was at it, I replaced half of the beef with minced baby bella mushrooms, which added no fat, but plenty of meaty flavor. I tried to use non-fat mozzarella and parmesan to further reduce calories and fat, but that just wasn't happening. Too gummy and weird tasting. Also, I stuck with a jar of Barilla marinara sauce to make this easier to prepare.
I tested this recipe out on my co-workers, only telling them that it was reduced fat lasagna. And when it was cooled for 10 minutes, it cut into perfect portions. I got a few e-mails back from my testers and none of them could tell there were beans or mushrooms in it at all. They all said it was excellent. Success! Hope you like it, too.