Hungry Girl's Meal Expanders: Zucchini

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There's something comforting about eating a large, carb- and fat-filled meal. But meals like that aren't much help when it comes to losing weight. Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien developed a new diet plan that will fill you up and help you lose weight. Instead of filling up on meat, pasta or desserts, you can expand your meal using low-calorie, high-fiber, high-water content alternatives. Combined with daily exercise, Hungry Girl's meal expanders can help you lose 5 pounds in a month. 

Zucchini is an excellent expander for carbs. When cooked, it has a similar consistency to potatoes and pasta. Try to find fresh zucchini at the supermarket, but even frozen zucchini will do the trick!

Learn about the benefits and get the recipes for all of Hungry Girl's Meal Expanders:

EZ Cheesy Zucchini Lasagna


Makes 2 servings 

2 tbsp liquid egg whites (about 1 egg white)
1/2 cup light or low-fat ricotta cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 tsp salt
Dash ground nutmeg
Four 1/4-inch thick zucchini slices (cut lengthwise from long zucchini)
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning
2 sheets oven-ready lasagna noodles
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
Optional seasoning: black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix egg whites, ricotta cheese, basil, garlic, salt, and nutmeg.

Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Cook zucchini strips until softened, about 3 minutes per side. Remove zucchini, and pat dry. Remove skillet from heat, re-spray, and return to medium-high heat. Cook and stir mushrooms until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir mushrooms into ricotta mixture.

In another medium bowl, mix crushed tomatoes with Italian seasoning.

Evenly layer ingredients in the loaf pan: 1/4 cup seasoned tomatoes, 1 lasagna sheet, half of the mushroom-ricotta mixture, 1/4 cup seasoned tomatoes, 2 zucchini slices. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients.

Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and grated topping. Bake until cheese is lightly browned, 20 - 25 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!