Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Turkey Spinach Lasagna with Zucchini Noodles

Sounds like it can’t get healthier, right?

I merged a few recipes I had found (here and here) and tweaked  a few things. I was looking for a lasagna that had lots of veggies in it and used ground turkey. I had been wanting to try out the zucchini noodles for a while too.

The zucchini noodles…now if you have a fancy mandoline then that will just make your life a whole lot easier. After slicing 5 zucchinis thinly and trying to “pull the water” out of them, I only had enough for 2 layers. I think slicing by hand they ended up much thicker than if you have a handy tool. I ended up using 3 whole grain lasagna noodles in the middle layer to make up for the lack of zucchini noodles.

It turned out really well! Super flavorful and packed with veggies. I actually liked it with the middle layer of regular noodles – that way it’s still lower in refined carbohydrates but you aren’t missing out too much on that lasagna feel. This would also be a great idea for those in your life skeptical about a “healthy” item not tasting like it should! I only used a pinch of truffle salt because the tomato sauce was prepared (one day I’ll make my own!) and pretty salty itself.

5 medium zucchinis
1 container of white mushrooms, sliced (other varieties work as well)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1-lb lean ground turkey (93% fat)
3 whole wheat lasagna noodles, boi
23-oz jar of pasta sauce
2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 cups part-skim riocotta cheese
7 cups spinach leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 tbsp Italian seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
2. Slice zucchini thinly, length-wise. Cook in pan for 1-2 minutes on each side and place on paper towel to absorb extra moisture. Set aside.*
3. Boil water and add wheat noodles, follow package instructions.
4. In a medium-large sauce pan, saute onions with olive oil, add garlic and mushrooms. Add ground turkey and cook until browned.
5. Add pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, pepper, and salt. Reduce heat and let simmer 5-10 minutes.
6. Chop spinach and add to ricotta cheese, mix well.
7. In baking dish, arrange 1/2 of zucchini noodles, spread 1/3 ricotta mixture, sprinkle with 1/3 mozzerella, 1/3 of the parsley. Repeat this process with rest of ingredients, leaving parsley off the top.
8. Bake 45 minutes covered. Add remaining parsley, then bake 15 minutes uncovered.

*As I was having a conversation with my fellow dietetic intern about the whole zucchini noodle process, she mentioned she had a similar experience with eggplant but just microwaved them with paper towels to catch the extra water. And voila – there you have it. Much less effort. time I will do that!

NUTRITION: (based on 1/8 serving of above recipe)
Calories: 404
Carbs: 29g
Fat: 22g
Protein: 31g
Sodium: 647mg
Sugar: 9g
Fiber: 4g

Barre Bars

Most of you involved in dance have probably heard of or seen Barre Bars, a nutrition bar designed specifically for dancers. Created by two professional ballerinas at the Pittsburg Ballet Theater, they combine fruits, nuts, and, dates, and other natural ingredients of  to create a bar that is both vegan and gluten-free. They come in three different cleverly named flavors: Pirouette (cinnamon pecan), Black Swan (chocolate berry) and Ballerina (spirulina). Last semester I had a pointe shoe fitting at a dance store in Boulder and scooped up one of each flavor to try. Especially for long rehearsals and performances, these yummy bars provide 200 calories 24g of carbs for a boost of energy. I definitely recommend trying them!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dressy Watches: Kate Spade & Chanel

Chanel: $1,795                                       Kate Spade: $225

Everyone needs a dressy watch - how pretty are these?  The Chanel reads a more classic look but a more affordable Kate Spade adds some glitz, and who doesn't love that?