One way to lose weight as a family is to create healthier versions of your favorite family style dishes. Here are some low-calorie options for the Italian-lovin' family.
Hearty Meatball Lasagna
1 box whole wheat lasagna sheets, cooked
3/4 lb chopped portobello mushroom caps (about 5) or white button mushrooms
1 10 oz. bag baby Swiss chard or baby greens (can also use frozen chopped spinach as a substitute, thawed and well drained)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb part skim ricotta cheese
Pinch grated nutmeg
1 lb part skim mozzarella, thinly sliced or grated
1/4 cup grated Italian cheese
Your favorite high-quality jar tomato sauce (no meat in it)
Preheat oven to 375.
Toss mushrooms with 1.5 tbsp olive oil on a baking sheet. Roast mushrooms until tender and cooked through, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer into a medium bowl and mash 8 meatballs into mixture. In a large saucepan, sauté chard in remaining olive oil and garlic over medium heat until wilted. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, cooked chard and egg. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Add sauce to the bottom of an 11x14 pan, add a layer of cooked lasagna noodles over, then spoon the ricotta mixture over the top. Then add some meatball and mushroom mixture on top of that. Then place a few very small pieces of mozzarella (spread out) and more sauce to cover layer. Repeat 3 or 4 times. Top last sauce layer with remaining mozzarella (this should be most of it) and sprinkle with grated cheese and fresh cracked pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, remove foil and cook additional 15 minutes.
[ pagebreak ] Italian Barramundi with Tomato and Wine Sauce
2 pounds Australia Barramundi fillets
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps, olive oil
1 tbsps dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/4 cup white wine
1 pound peeled diced tomatoes (canned or fresh, about a cup)
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water
Salt and white pepper to taste
Non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Thaw fillets if frozen (about 20 min. under cold water) and pat dry. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Add white wine, basil and oregano. Simmer for 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes with juice. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, season to taste with salt and white pepper. Stir in cornstarch mixture to thicken to preferred consistency. Place fillets on lightly greased baking pan. Cover with tomato mixture. Bake at 350° about 10 -15 minutes, or until barramundi flakes easily.
Serves 8. Serving size = one 4 oz. fillet. Recipe is flexible and less fish can be used.