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HG’s Veggie-rific Noodle-Free Lasagna
HG’s Veggie-rific Noodle-Free Lasagna

Remember Garfield, that lazy orange cat with a lion-sized appetite? He’d scarf down anything in his path -- pizza, cookies, doughnuts -- you name it, he’d eat it. But his favorite meal in the entire UNIVERSE was lasagna. And who could blame him? That ooey, gooey Italian classic is pretty hard to resist (at least we think so). Good thing this all-veggie version makes it possible for everyone to pig out on the stuff. (Even our "meat" layer comes courtesy of beefy soy crumbles.) We know you’re probably thinking, "NO NOODLES?? Are you off your rocker?!?" Trust us -- this super-creative recipe definitely does the trick, and it's a HECK of a lot healthier than ANY lasagna you're likely to come across, well, ANYWHERE. Ours is SO GOOD, you won’t even miss the noodles (and you DEFINITELY won't miss the calories). Garfield would be proud...

1 lb. (about 3 medium-sized) zucchini; ends removed and sliced lengthwise into wide, flat strips
1 large portabella mushroom; sliced into strips
1 large eggplant; ends removed and sliced lengthwise into wide, flat strips
15 oz. frozen chopped spinach; thawed, thoroughly drained and patted dry 
16 oz. canned tomato sauce with garlic flavoring
1 cup frozen ground-beef-style soy crumbles
1 egg white
1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp. reduced-fat parmesan-style grated topping
1 tbsp. chopped basil
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat soy crumbles in the microwave for 30 seconds, and set aside. Set out a row of several paper towels (as you cook the veggies, transfer them to the paper towels to drain excess moisture). Spritz a large pan evenly with nonstick spray, and bring to high heat. Once hot, lay as many zucchini and mushroom slices as you can fit flat in the pan, and cook for about 2 minutes per side. Continue until all slices are cooked, removing the pan from heat and re-spraying it between batches. Cook eggplant slices for about 3 minutes per side, continuing to work in batches (removing and re-spraying pan each time). Next, in a large bowl, mix the spinach, egg white, ricotta cheese, basil, salt and nutmeg. Stir well and set aside. Spray a deep 8" X 8" pan with nonstick spray. Pour half (8 oz.) of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan. Then, layer half of the veggie slices on top in assorted order. Spread half of the spinach mixture on top. Next, sprinkle the soy crumbles evenly into the pan. Layer with remaining veggies, and then spread the rest of the spinach mixture on top. Cover with the remaining tomato sauce. Then, evenly top the lasagna with the mozzarella and grated cheese. Finally, bake uncovered for 30 minutes (or until the cheese on top starts to brown). Let cool, cut into 4 pieces, and dig in!

Serving Size: 1/4th of recipe (1 SUPER-LARGE portion)
Calories: 238
Fat: 2g
Sodium: 1,218mg
Carbs: 33g
Fiber: 11g
Sugars: 14g
Protein: 25g

*4 Points!

Average Restaurant Lasagna
Average Restaurant Lasagna

Scarier than a mobster. Cheesier than the series finale of The Sopranos. No, we’re not talking about some new Italian slasher movie -- unless Hollywood has decided to tackle the horrifying subject of LASAGNA!!! (And no, they haven't.) This tried-and-true staple of Italian joints (and freezer aisles) everywhere is typically LOADED with fat and calories (all that cheese... all those noodles!!). But if you order up some of this starchy stacked stuff at a restaurant, you'll be downing around 870 calories and 50 fat grams! For one freakin' serving?!? That don't make HG happy. (Psssst... that last part there was us doing our mobster impersonation. Like it?)

Serving Size: 1 entrée portion
Calories: 870
Fat: 50g
Sodium: 1,600mg
Carbs: 55g
Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 15g
Protein: 45g

*21 Points!

Today, August 14th, is National Creamsicle Day. Celebrate with HG's Creamy Orange Dreamfloat. Weeeeeee!
  HG Heads Up! Fat-free ricotta can be hard to find. Precious, Sorrento, and Polly-O all make it, so just browse around for it. If you absolutely can't find the stuff, the ones labeled Light are the next best thing (not the part skim -- those are way higher in fat!).
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