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Lighten Up: Veggie Lasagna Recipe

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Leaner Lasagna

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
21/2 cups zucchini, sliced
2 cups sliced fresh portobello mushrooms
1 cup fat-free ricotta
3 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 whole wheat no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups prepared pasta sauce
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/2 cup chopped, seeded tomato

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, zucchini, and mushrooms; heat 5 minutes or until tender, stirring. Remove from heat; set aside. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, and pepper.

2. To assemble, place 3 lasagna noodles in the bottom of a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Spoon half the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with half the veggie mixture, half the pasta sauce, and half the mozzarella. Layer with remaining noodles, ricotta mixture, veggie mixture, and sauce.

3. Bake, uncovered, in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with tomato and remaining mozzarella. Bake 5 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into 6 pieces.

Nutrition facts per serving (1 piece): 251 calories, 17g protein, 32g carbohydrate, 7g fat (3g saturated), 7g fiber

Healthy Cooking Tips

Take 10
Chopping onions releases their cancer-fighting compounds. Let them sit for 10 minutes after cutting to maximize the health benefits.

Trick Your Taste Buds
Portobellos provide rich flavor, so you won't miss the beef that classic lasagna contains, says Karen Friedman-Kester, a registered dietitian in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Use Your Noodle
"Whole wheat pasta is packed with filling fiber; plus, its heartiness adds texture and flavor," Friedman-Kester says.

Get Sauced
Cooked tomatoes supply more antioxidants than raw. Just be sure to choose a low-sodium pasta sauce.

Try This at Home
Restaurant lasagna could have close to 900 calories and 50 grams of fat, which is nearly an entire day's worth.

Restaurant Diet Shockers

We wish lasagna were the only pasta dish in need of a makeover. Check out the fat and calories in these favorites.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

You'll get the same amount of fat as you would from five 12-ounce chocolate shakes (50 grams).

Fettuccine Alfredo

This classic dish packs 47 grams of saturated fat, or eight scoops of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream.

Baked Ziti

Yikes! The calorie count is about the same as for 23 chicken nuggets (1,050 calories).

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2010.

More slim versions of your favorite recipes:

Lighten Up: A Healthy Pizza Recipe

Comfort Foods: Healthy Recipes for Your Favorite Foods

Lighten Up: A Healthier Burger and Fries

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