Vegetarian Lasagna

I hope everyone had a super fun Canada Day! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while – Dave and I spent the long weekend in Vancouver so I was away from my kitchen. Naturally I spent most of the trip doing research for Just Indulgence (read: I gorged myself at every restaurant). We had jumbo prawn garnished cesares, raw oysters, coconut curry, congee, fried rice, chow mein, wonton soup, miso baked tofu, tuna tataki, decadent sushi rolls, green tea ice cream, parsley and truffle fries, smoked salmon salad rolls, bean salads, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, antipasto plates, BBQ chicken, saffron rice, mango jicama salad, lemon baked cauliflower, raspberry cake with cream cheese frosting, rice crispy squares, omelets, huevos rancheros and organic raspberry rhubarb pie with vanilla gelato, to name a few…

Here’s a lasagna post I meant to make last week before I got caught with my mouth full in Vancouver:

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Lasagna is a bit of a pain in the a** to make, but it’s so worth it in the end. To help with time I chopped all the veggies the night before so it was much faster to get cooking after work.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 22 oz/700 ml low sodium pasta sauce
  • 19 oz/540 ml can diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 cups low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup light feta cheese
  • 300 g spinach
  • 3 egg whites
  • 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded light mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS

  • Soak sun-dried tomatoes in 1 cup boiling water, while you prepare sauce.
  • Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, stir until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add red pepper, zucchini and mushrooms and stir until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add dried spices, pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, basil, vinegar, pepper and drained and diced sun-dried tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce temperature and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Cook lasagna noodles as per package instructions.
  • Mix ricotta, feta, spinach and egg whites in a medium bowl.
  • Spread a thin layer of tomato-veggie mixture over bottom of 9″ x 13″ oil-sprayed lasagna dish. Cover with 4 lasagna noodles, followed by 1/3 of remaining tomato-veggie mixture, 1/3 ricotta mixture, and 1/3 mozzarella. Repeat. Finish with 4 lasagna noodles, remaining tomato-veggie mixture and mozzarella
  • Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes, plate and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 358 calories, 38 g carbs (11 g sugar), 13 g fat, 23 g protein, 6 g fibre

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Pork Tenderloin Gumbo

Gumbo is pretty healthy as it is, with all those onions, tomatos and other stewed veggies, but I figured why not make it even healthier?! So I cut the sausage and substituted it for some lean pork tenderloin! Though one serving is only 337 calories, I couldn’t even finish my plate with all the spice, super filling veggies and lean protein. Super comforting and super healthy – this is my kind of meal.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 large (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat olive oil in large pot. Add pork and stir until cooked on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, celery, onions and garlic. Stir until veggies soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, oregano, chilis, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add sweet potatoes and zucchini and simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once sweet potatoes are soft, remove from heat, stir in cilantro and serve hot. Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 337 calories, 39 g carbs, 6 g fat, 32 g protein, 8 g fibre

Braised Pork Tenderloin with Baby Bok Choy

I’ve never been a huge fan of pork, but figured I’d give it another try since I’ve been reading it is one of the leanest meats out there. At 143 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated) and 26 g protein per 100 g (3.5 ounces), pork tenderloin is a very healthy source of protein.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3 lbs (600 g) pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tsp coconut palm sugar (or white/brown sugar)
  • 4 baby bok choy

DIRECTIONS

  • Warm half of olive oil over medium heat in frying pan. Add pork, seasoned with salt and pepper, and saute until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Place pork on a plate and set aside.

  • Add remaining oil to frying pan with garlic, ginger and leeks. Sautee until leeks soften, about 4 minutes.

  • Add water, wine, soy sauce, sugar and pork. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and let braise for roughly one hour, stirring occasionally.

  • After hour has elapsed, lay bok choy over pork and leek mixture, cover and let cook until bok choy softens, about 7 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, plate with steamed rice and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving (excluding rice):  350 calories, 11 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 12 g fat, 40 g protein, 1 g fibre