Lightened-Up Veggie Lasagna

standard February 8, 2017 Leave a response

While I am all for all the veggies all the time, pregnancy has made me rethink ways to include veggies into meals. Especially during my veggie boycott phase, where raw or cooked veggies on their own were just not appetizing. Many of us also have picky kids or picky spouses, so getting creative with their veggie intake is always a challenge. The best way to sneak in veggies? Puree them and stir them into delicious sauces, such as Sneaky Shells and Cheese or Pumpkin Alfredo. Another way? Blended into delicious, creamy, rich lasagna. The other benefit of sneaking in all these veggies? Fewer calories and more volume!

There is a layer of sautéed greens and mushrooms in this dish, but if your family doesn’t like either, blend them up with the rest of the veggies and stir them into the sauce. You can also add in crumbled seitan or tempeh for an extra protein boost. Or swap tofu for the cashews in the cheese sauce.

Lightened-Up Lasagna

Yield: Serves 6

Calories per serving: 421 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 c cashews
  • 1 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c winter squash
  • 1 c broccoli
  • 1/2 c carrots
  • 1 c mushrooms
  • 4 c spinach or kale
  • 32 oz crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 16 oz dry lasagna noodles (I used the no-cook variety to save some time)

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews in 1 c water overnight. Alternatively, soak in 1 c boiling water for 30-60 minutes. Drain and rinse cashews.
  2. In a high speed food processor, combine cashews, almond milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, and a pinch of sea salt. Process until smooth. Pour into a container and set aside. Rinse out blender.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add squash, broccoli and carrots and saute until soft. Blend veggies with 1/2 c crushed tomatoes in a high speed blender until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in remaining crushed tomatoes. Set aside.
  4. In same saucepan, add mushrooms and cook until softened and water is released. Add spinach and let wilt. Season with italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. In a 9x13 casserole dish, thinly spread 1/4 tomato mixture. Place one layer of noodles on top of sauce. Next add another 1/4 tomato sauce, followed by 1/2 of the spinach and mushrooms. Top with a 1/3 cashew sauce.
  7. Repeat with another layer of noodles, 1/4 tomato sauce, remaining 1/2 spinach and mushrooms, and 1/3 cashew sauce.
  8. For final layer, add noodles, remaining tomato sauce, and cashew sauce. Swirl sauces together, making sure all noodles are covered.
  9. Cover and bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and starting to brown at edges.
http://www.neatandnutritious.com/lightened-up-veggie-lasagna/

Nutrition

Per serving: 421 calories, 68 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat, 14 g protein, 273 mg sodium, 6 g sugar

Mediterranean Chickpea and Kale Calzones

standard January 25, 2017 Leave a response

Focusing on everything “on the go” this week, having quick and easy handheld meals can be extremely helpful, especially if you are juggling a busy work schedule, little kids, or midday appointments. While leftovers, sandwiches, or pre-made salads can be a fast go-to, these calzones also work in a pinch, especially if its chilly outside and you’re craving a hot meal. Full of protein and fiber from the chickpeas, calcium and iron from the kale, and healthy fats from tahini, this is a nutrient-packed meal that works for anyone on the go or as a slow, sit down family meal.

Mediterranean Chickpea and Kale Calzones

Yield: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 501 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head kale, shredded (or collard greens)
  • 1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c tahini
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1 premade pizza dough of choice
  • 2 c marinara sauce (optional)
  • 1 c shredded vegan provolone cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (or given temp for pizza dough of choice). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add kale to pan and let wilt down. Add chickpeas and stir to combine. Let cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add tahini and lemon juice to pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan to break up any browned bits. Add red pepper flake and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
  5. Roll out dough into four rounds. Divide kale mixture evenly among each calzone, leaving space around the edge to fold over. Top with vegan cheese if desired.
  6. Fold dough over in half, crimping the ends together to seal. You may need a little water to help the dough to stick together.
  7. Cut 2 slits in the top of each calzone. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until tops are lightly browned.
  8. Serve with marinara sauce.
http://www.neatandnutritious.com/mediterranean-chickpea-and-kale-calzones/

Nutrition

Per serving (1 calzone, no sauce or cheese): 501 calories, 77 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat, 20 g protein, 922 mg sodium, 6 g sugar

Super Quick Go-To Side Salad

standard January 18, 2017 Leave a response

This salad is hardly a recipe. But since I make mention of tossing together a quick side salad fairly often in meal plans and with clients, I thought it would be helpful to write it down. More of a template than a recipe, the goal is to use up extra produce, have fun with dressing flavors, and add fiber and volume to any meal.

Super Quick Go-To Side Salad

Yield: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 102 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 c lettuce
  • 1 c kale, shredded
  • 1/2 c carrots, diced
  • 1 c broccoli, finely chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T vinegar of choice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 T sliced almonds or sunflower seeds

Instructions

  1. Combine lettuce and veggies together in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss together with veggies.
  3. Top with almonds for texture and crunch.
  4. Serve alongside your favorite meal for extra veggie power.

Notes

Use any leftover veggies to clean out the fridge. The more, the better!

Use flavored olive oil or vinegar to add depth of flavor to this basic staple recipe.

http://www.neatandnutritious.com/super-quick-go-to-side-salad/

Nutrition

Per serving: 102 calories, 8 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat, 2 g protein, 247 mg sodium, 4 g sugar