How to Make A Beef and Cheese Lasagne That Won’t Give You A Heart Attack

Lasagne.  Mmmmm….those Sunday Italian dinners with beef and cheese lasagne, garlic bread, salad…who wouldn’t want to sit down for a plateful??  While lasagne is a favorite comfort food, it’s also food that is high in cholesterol.  Too much cholesterol in our diets raises blood cholesterol making heart disease, heart attack and stroke a greater risk.

One average serving of beef and cheese lasagne has about 45 mg of cholesterol.  But- be honest, most of us have about 2 pieces..raising the cholesterol intake to at least 90 mg.  The RDA total intake for lasagne is about 300 mg per person–IF you are healthy and already have low blood cholesterol. For someone with elevated cholesterol the RDA limits you to 200 mg.  Let’s say you are healthy with low cholesterol.  You’re probably thinking that consuming 90 mg of cholesterol for dinner isn’t so bad then for those two pieces of lasagne.  Well- we have to take into consideration what you also ate earlier in the day.

Maybe 1 egg for breakfast? That’s 187 mg of cholesterol.  1 chicken breast over salad for lunch? A 6 oz. serving of skinless roasted chicken contains between 140 mg and 160 mg of dietary cholesterol. Did you have a cup of coffee with creamer?  Add another 12 mg of cholesterol to your daily intake.  So far, without the lasagne and estimating modest food portions, you may have already consumed well over 300 mg of cholesterol.  And we have’t even gotten to snacks or dinner yet.  You can start to see why diet related diseases (heart disease, stroke, etc) are now the leading cause of death in the US.  This is all preventable.  Take better care of yourself and your loved ones by making simple changes.

Vegan-beef-and-spinach-lasagne-smallerTry this cholesterol free beef and cheese lasagne for a family dinner.  Don’t tell anyone that you made it differently or that it’s healthy.

What you’ll need:

  • Oven ready lasagne sheets
  • 1 bag Beyond Meet Beefy Crumbles (Dean’s health food store in Ocean, NJ sells in their freezer)
  • 1 bag Daiya Mozzarella Shreds (you can also find this in Dean’s in their refrigerated section)
  • 1 bag frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 package of firm tofu (find this in Dean’s as well in refrigerated section or in Wegman’s nature’s market refrigerator)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • Seasonings: Nutritional yeast (optional.  Wegman’s and Dean’s both sell.), lemon juice, dried garlic, dried basil, dried onion powder)

How to Make Cholesterol Free Beef and Cheese Lasagne:

  1. Sautee entire bag of beef crumbles with frozen spinach over low to medium heat for 5 mins and set aside
  2. While that is cooking, make ‘ricotta’ cheese using your tofu, seasonings and a food processor (see recipe below)
  3. Layer your lasagne: Cover the bottom of your lasagne baking dish with some non-stick spray and then a layer of sauce. Add 3-4 sheets of lasagne noodles (depending on size of noodles and size of dish), it’s ok if they overlap. Spread another layer of sauce over the noodles and half of the beef and spinach mixture.  Sprinkle Daiya mozzarella shreds. Add another 3-4 sheets of lasagne noodles on top of that. Add half of the ricotta.  3-4 more noodles. More sauce and the remaining beef and spinach mixture and a sprinkle of the Daiya mozzarella shreds.  3-4 noodles and the remaining ricotta mixture. 3-4 noodles and cover WELL with tomato sauce.  Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes (***NOTE–check your lasagne noodles as they may have different baking times). After 40-45 minutes check to make sure noodles on top are soft.  If they aren’t, add more sauce, cover and bake another 5-7 mins.  When they are soft, remove tin foil, add mozzarella shreds to the top and put back in the oven just a few minutes to melt the cheese.  Let stand for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Recipe for Tofu Ricotta:

In a food processor place 1 package firm tofu, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried onion powder, and 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (if you have).  Pulse until everything comes together and it looks like ricotta.

Weight Loss Programs in Monmouth County

If you want to learn to eat healthier and make delicious meals like this, join our 6 week weight loss challenge at Ultimate Fit Zone in Monmouth County.  You’ll get meal plans with great recipes from our Nutritionist and 6 weeks of unlimited group boot camp training at our gym.  Text our nutritionist for more info: 732-757-7944


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