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Whole Wheat Turkey Lasagna

Submitted by on March 5, 2010 – 9:34 pmNo Comment

I came up with this crazy recipe over the last two weeks. It is very tasty and very filling. I’ve fed it to my Husband, Son, Father-in-Law, Dad, and Nephew, all but one of them a bit picky eaters. None of them batted an eyelash, and actually, my Father-in-Law had compliments galore and went back for 2nds.  Here’s the funny part — not only does this recipe feature Whole Wheat noodles and Ground Turkey, but I snuck Sweet Potatoes, Carrots AND Spinach into the recipe and nobody knew the difference. **grin** for me, that’s a big success!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 pound ground sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 – 10 oz package of whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • kosher salt
  • 2 – 14.5 oz cans diced italian style tomatoes
  • 2 – 6 oz cans tomato paste
  • 1 cup “orange puree” — aka Sweet Potatoes & Carrots. See instructions below.
  • 8-10 basil leaves
  • 3/4 to 1 cup (“fluffed”, not diced yet) flat leaf parsley or cilantro
  • 3/4 to 1 cup (“fluffed”, not diced yet) baby spinach leaves
  • 3 cups lowfat ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated paremsan cheese
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated

For Orange Puree — a-la SNEAKY CHEF

  1. Peel 4 large Sweet Potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  2. Peel 6 large Carrots, cut into 3 inch long slices, slice lengthwise also
  3. Put into a pot of water, bring to a boil, boil for 20 minutes
  4. Drain
  5. Put Potatoes and Carrots into a Food Processor, add some water, and puree
  6. Separate into 1 cup increments and freeze. Pull from the freezer and use as needed.

Instructions

Bring a large pot of water, with some Kosher salt added, to a boil.  Add the lasagna noodles and cook according to the instructions on the box.

Remove the noodles from the pot one at a time. Let the water drain from the noodle back into the pot. Lay the noodles out flat onto a clean towel.

Drain the pot and wash it. Put it back on the stove top. Put the ground Turkey Meat, Sausage and Crushed Cloves of Garlic into the pot. Stir and Brown the meat.

Add the 2 cans of diced tomatoes and 2 cans of tomato paste.

Also throw in there 1 cup of the Orange Puree (this is optional, but fun as a sneaky, hidden way to get your family to eat more veggies).  I threw this in directly from the freezer and let it thaw as I was doing the melding of the meat/tomato flavors.
Simmer on the stovetop for about 20 minutes, stirring often.

I’ve found it easiest to use my little, handy cusinart food processor/chopper thingee to work the next step into a good consistency. You can always dice and chop this stuff to the right level too.  So — to my little cuisinart, I added the basil first.

Then stuffed in the cilantro.

Then on top of that, stuffed the spinach. It looked like a lot, but the little machine was able to do it’s magic with just a little opening, press the stuff back down, run the blade again, open up , press the stuff down, work the blade, I think 3 cycles did the trick. I added no liquid.

It all ended up turning into a nice, pesto like paste.

Next, in a stand mixer, put 3 cups of ricotta cheese, the green mixture from above, 2 eggs and the parmesan cheese.

Turn the mixer on low for about 1 minute and let it combine the combination into a nice green shade of hmmmm…..interesting.

Now, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

At this point, you can start assembling the lasagna.

Put 5-7 noodles down on the bottom of the pan. No need to grease or do anything funny, just lay those noodles down.

Next, add a layer of the Green Stuff and spread it evenly.

Now, add 1/2 of the Mozzarella cheese (grated)…I don’t like to buy mine pre-grated. I just takes a minute and a little muscle to grab the grated and go for it. Mozzarella cheese is really soft, you can whip through a 1/2 pound cube of it in 2 minutes. Add that evenly to the top of the ricotta.

Now add the Turkey/Sausage/Tomato/Sweet Potato/Carrot sauce! Ha ha ha!!! They’ll never know, I swear!!!

One more layer of noodles.

Ricotta w/Basil, Cilantro & Spinach

Grated Mozzarella

And Turkey/Sausage/Tomato/Sweet Potato/Carrot Sauce (I just love typing that). Then add a layer of grated parmesan. I ran out of it at this point, so I hand grated some romano from a cube I had in the fridge.

Put in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Take out of the oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes, as it will be very, very hot and sloppy unless you let it set awhile.

Cut yourself a piece…yum!

I know this sounds a bit odd with all these “healthy” ingredients, but everyone I had eat this (and I’ve made it 2X now) has raved over it. If I hadn’t told them about the sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach or whole wheat noodles, I really think they would have had no idea.

One thing to remember though (note to self after last night’s overly full tummy feeling), with the whole wheat noodles and all the fiber in this, you don’t need as big a piece of lasagna as you would normally eat. Cut a smaller slice and eat that first, then see how you feel before going back for a second. This left me full for hours with no desire to take a bit of anything else — which at nighttime is darn good as I get the nighttime “snackys”.

Enjoy!

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