Enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal on a budget this holiday season

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — If you’re looking for ways to stay healthy during the busy holiday season, look no further than this recipe. The best part? It’s also good for your financial health!

This lasagna features a popular winter staple with butternut squash and a popular leafy green –kale. Butternut squash is packed full of nutrients, like vitamin A. Kale also holds vitamins A, C, and K, plus Folate –a B vitamin key to brain development.

Kale also has Phytochemicals which are thought to prevent cancer. If you’re worried about being tempted by all those holiday goodies, butternut squash is actually a complex CHO that helps keep you full longer.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Kale Pesto, courtesy Clean Eating magazine:

Serves: 4
Hands-on Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes.

COST PER PLATE: $2.51
TOTAL COST: $10.04

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp 
+ ½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 1/3 cups peeled, seeded and finely chopped
    butternut squash (¼-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tbsp organic unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp white whole-wheat flour
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 whole-grain lasagna noodles
  • 5 cups
chopped kale, thick stems removed (about ½ bunch)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup 
blanched unsalted almonds or walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup 
grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Mist a rimmed baking sheet and an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium and brush with ½ tsp oil. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, 2 minutes. Add squash, ¼ tsp salt and nutmeg and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add orange juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until squash is tender but still holds its shape, about 6 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan on medium, melt butter. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low until sauce thickens slightly, 3 to 
4 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Using tongs, transfer noodles to prepared sheet, separating gently. Cut each noodle in half crosswise to yield 12 pieces. Set aside.
  5. In same pot of boiling water, cook kale until wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain. In a food processor, pulse garlic until finely chopped. Add almonds, pepper, kale and remaining 1 tbsp oil and ¼ tsp salt; process until a paste forms. Stir in 1 tbsp Parmesan. Set pesto aside.
  6. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, egg and 2 tbsp Parmesan.
  7. Spread 3 tbsp sauce on bottom of baking dish and cover bottom with 4 noodle pieces. Spread with half of ricotta, one-third of pesto then half of squash mixture. Top with 4 noodle pieces then with half of remaining sauce. Repeat with remaining half of ricotta, half of remaining pesto and 4 noodle pieces, and spread remaining sauce on top. Add remaining squash and dollop with remaining pesto. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp Parmesan. Cover loosely with foil and bake until cheese is melted and filling is bubbly, about 30 minutes.

PER SERVING (1/4 of lasagna): Calories: 568, Total Fat: 32 g, Sat. Fat: 13 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12.5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.5 g, Carbs: 55 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 23 g, Sodium: 452 mg, Cholesterol: 105 mg

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