Tip Tuesday – Lighten Up Lasagna

So I have been wanting to start a new “segment” on my blog called:  Tip Tuesday! As a registered dietitian (RD), I’m always interested in healthy food. I thought –  why not share my favorite simple tips for making meals a little lighter. I wanted to implement this on either a weekly, or bi-weekly basis, so let me know if you all like this idea!

But don’t worry, I make sure to NEVER sacrifice flavor. Let’s be real, no one wants to eat boring, bland food. #notyummy

For my FIRST tip, I went the Italian food route. Specifically lasagna.

Lighted Up Lasagna Who can say no to Italian food right? But lasagna is one of those items that typically get a bad wrap for being healthy and not the healthiest option. My tip for making lasagna a little lighter:

Switch up the Fillings

Instead of using the standard, full-fat ricotta cheese, swap it out for this combination:

1/2 part-skim ricotta + 1/2 small curd, low-fat cottage cheese

Yes you heard me correctly: Cottage Cheese!

A little unorthodox, but you will honestly never realize the difference. The “small curd” cottage cheese* is key though! Just whip that together with the ricotta cheese until smooth.

I also typically add a package of frozen, chopped spinach to the cheese mixture as well (thawed and squeezed dry in a paper towel first). The spinach will add some extra nutrients [iron, folate, and vitamin A], but doesn’t detract from the flavor or texture.

*Note: I actually prefer “whipped” cottage cheese, but it is difficult to find. Small curd works well, but you just need to whip it with the ricotta a little longer to achieve a creamy, smooth consistency.

Happy Eating!

“Get Well” Smoothie

I’ve been feeling not so great the past two days. Summer colds = NOT FUN.

Stuffy Nose

Sore Throats

Humid Days

Those three things combined means that I have been craving something cold and creamy.

Peach Mango Smoothie 1

Let’s be real…. eating healthy is the LAST thing you want to think about when you’re feeling under the weather.

BUT

I know my body is needing some nutrients to help heal and repair. So I turned to my trusty Vitamix to whip up a creamy and delicious smoothie PACKED with greens. My greens of choice?

Spinach!

Spinach is my favorite way to add hidden nutrients and iron without altering the flavor integrity of the fruit. And the added mangos really make you feel like you are sitting on a tropical beach, when you might just be curled up under blankets on the couch.

Peach-Mango Smoothie 2

Peach-Mango Green Smoothie

Print this recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flax milk
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop protein powder
    • I used Nature’s Way Vanilla = 120 calories + 15 g protein per serving
  • 3 large handfuls fresh spinach (56 g)
  • 2/3 cup frozen mango (100 g)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peaches (77g)

Directions

Layer ingredients in order listed in a high power blender. Blend until smoothie.

Enjoy with a straw in your favorite glass!

Nutrition: 286 calories – 44 g carbs – 4 g fat – 25 g protein