Low Calorie Lasagne

After my last rather depressing post I wanted to do a post that would bring a smile to your face and what better than an awesome spin on the Italian classic – Lasagne! Now I promise it really does taste pretty much as good as a full fat, calorie overload version. I say pretty much because lets face it, nothing really beats full fat mozzarella with its stringyness and a heavy flavoursome béchamel, but this is a definite close second and from my waistline’s perspective a clear winner! I am not kidding we are talking about 300 calories per serve and it tastes so good you won’t even be thinking of the absent mozzarella and béchamel!

300Cal Lasgna

There is a couple of secrets to this being so low in calories, besides the obvious low fat cheese, there is the “pasta” – wonton wrappers! Who knew they were so low in calories? They work perfectly for this as they are after all a kinda pasta! The next secret is the ‘béchamel’ – a slight spin on Pinch of Yum’s Creamy Cauliflower Sauce! This stuff is amazing and will change your life, no seriously Lindsay (from Pinch of Yum) is right “it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE!” There is also a few added veggies but that is pretty much the secret to keeping the calories down! Nothing complicated I promise – trust me this is easier than making that béchamel anyway! Lets get to it!

 

First up the ingredients. I have broken this down into the bolognese, the “béchamel” and then the lasagne. There is no reason why you can’t make a double batch of the bolognese and have a delicious spaghetti the night before now is there?

 

mince ingredientsbechamel sauce ingredientslasgna ingredients

1st up get the bolognese started. Heat up 1tbs of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat and add the carrots, onion and garlic. Sauté till the carrot has softened and the onion is transparent then throw in the mince. Stir till the mince is browned. Add the mushrooms and zucchini and give it a good stir. Next add the beef stock powder and tomato puree and about 1/3 of the empty tomato puree tin of water. Stir. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 30mins (shorter or longer won’t hurt it either. 30mins always feels like the right time to me). Stir through parsley.

Collage 1

While the bolognese is simmering away make the “béchamel'” sauce. Combine the vegetable stock powder with 3 cups of water and bring to the boil in a medium sized saucepan. Add the cauliflower and simmer for about 8mins or so, till tender. Melt the butter in a small fry pan over low heat and then sauté the garlic till soft and smelling awesome (don’t let it brown as it will make it bitter. Lindsay offer’s this warning and I second it. Who wants a bitter sauce?) Drain the cauliflower reserving 1/2 a cup of the cooking liquid. In a blender add the cooked cauliflower, reserved liquid, sautéed garlic, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, milk and a good grating a nutmeg (I use fresh nutmeg but if using ground a scant 1/4tsp should suffice) and blitz away till silky smooth. It looks like cheese sauce right?*

Collage 2

Ok, lets assemble this lasagne. First preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) then in a 20cm square oven proof dish evenly spread 1/4 cup of the “béchamel” on the bottom. Add 4 wonton wrappers in a single layer on top of the “béchamel”. Next evenly spread 1/3 of the bolognese on top of the wonton wrappers. Add another 4 wonton wrappers, then a 1/4 cup of “béchamel” and another 1/3 of the bolongnese on top. Repeat once more. Finally add the final 4 wonton wrappers, 1/4 cup of “béchamel” and sprinkle over the grated cheese. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake for 15mins. Remove foil and bake for another 15-20mins or until the cheese is nice and bubbly and golden. (I bet the house smells awesome!) Serve with a side salad of mixed leaves. (4 serves).

 

Collage 3

 

It’s pretty simple huh? And tastes oh so yummy, with 4 perfectly measured out serves for you. No guessing serving sizes the wonton wrappers make that a piece of cake……hmmmm cake……

 

Low Calorie Lasagne (Serves 4)

BOLOGNESE
300g lean beef mince
1 clove of garlic minced
1 brown onion finely diced
1 medium carrot finely diced
200g mushrooms finely sliced
1 medium zucchini grated
1 400g tin tomato puree
1/2 tsp beef stock powder
1 tbs parsley finely chopped
BECHAMEL”*
300g cauliflower roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tbs butter
1/4 cup milk
1 heaped tsp vegetable stock powder
2 tbs parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Nutmeg
LASAGNE
16 Wonton wrappers
1/2 cup 50% reduced fat cheddar cheese

 

Heat up 1tbs of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat and add the carrots, onion and garlic. Sauté till the carrot has softened and the onion is transparent. Add mince and brown. Add mushrooms and zucchini. Stir. Add beef stock powder, tomato puree and about 1/3 of the empty tomato puree tin of water. Stir. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 30mins. Stir through parsley.

 

Combine vegetable stock powder with 3 cups of water and bring to the boil in a medium sized saucepan. Add the cauliflower and simmer for about 8mins or so, till tender. Melt the butter in a small fry pan over low heat and sauté the garlic till soft and fragrent (don’t let it brown as it will make it bitter) Drain the cauliflower reserving 1/2 of the cooking liquid. In a blender add the cooked cauliflower, reserved liquid, sautéed garlic, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, milk and a good grating a nutmeg (I use fresh nutmeg but if using ground a scant 1/4tsp should suffice) and blitz till silky smooth.

 

Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F).

 

To assemble lasagne in a 20cm square oven proof dish evenly spread 1/4 cup of the “béchamel” on the bottom. Add 4 wonton wrappers in a single layer. Evenly spread 1/3 of the bolognese on top of the wonton wrappers. Add another 4 wonton wrappers, a 1/4 cup of “béchamel” and another 1/3 of the bolongnese on top. Repeat once more. Finally, add the last 4 wonton wrappers, 1/4 cup of “béchamel” and sprinkle over the grated cheese. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 15mins. Remove foil and bake for another 15-20mins or until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Serve with a side salad of mixed leaves.

 

Oh I almost forgot, you will have left over “béchamel”, it freezes really, really well to save for next time or head over to Pinch of Yum and test out one of Lindsay’s dishes that use the sauce! (I promise she is not affiliated with this post – the sauce is just that good).


The lasagne reheats really well – in fact I think it tastes even better the next day! It also freezes really well which is always a bonus!

 

300Cal Lasgna 2

 

* The “béchamel” is not my recipe nor do I claim it to be so. All I have done is halve it and added a few things, but the recipe is entirely Lindsay’s at Pinch of Yum – it is just toooooooo good not to use and share!!!!

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