Everyday Gourmet (2/18/10)

Lighten It Up

Feb. 18, 2010

By Kim Dannies

The light is changing and we are finally on the other side of winter. While there are still plenty of cold weather-comfort meals ahead, this is a great time to lighten up traditional recipes.

I experimented with my usual lasagna recipe on Super Bowl Sunday, and was amazed that reducing the fat and spiking the flavor made for a new family favorite. I combined sautéed onions, non-fat cottage cheese, creamy goat cheese, and egg whites to substitute for traditional ricotta cheese. I added a generous layer of wilted baby spinach. I cut the amount of ground beef in half and sautéed it in chunks, rather than pellets. Finally, I topped the lasagna with a combination of sharp Cheddar and Fontina cheeses rather than bland mozzarella. The result was insanely good and re-heated in the microwave beautifully.

Spinach & Goat Cheese Lasagna

Chop 2 medium onions and sauté for 15 minutes. In a prep bowl combine 2 cups non-fat cottage cheese, 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, 2 egg whites, and 6-minced garlic cloves. Add the onions and season the mixture, to taste, with kosher salt and pepper.

Prep: 18 ounces commercial marinara sauce; 8 ounces of burger, cooked chunk-style, drained; 6 standard lasagna noodles, boiled 8 minutes, drained; 3-4 handfuls of baby spinach, wilted; 1 cup, each, of shredded sharp Cheddar and Fontina cheeses.

In a 7”X11” baking dish coat the bottom with 6 ounces of the marinara sauce. Layer three lasagna noodles; spread half of the goat cheese mixture over the pasta, 6 ounces of marinara sauce, and all of the wilted spinach. Layer 3 remaining lasagna noodles. Spread the remainder of the goat cheese mixture over the pasta. Scatter the burger chunks and drizzle remaining marinara sauce all over. Top with shredded Cheddar and Fontina cheeses.

Cover lightly with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

Before serving, rest the lasagna for 5 minutes. Serves 6.

Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France.  She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.