So I’ve been on a Hungry Girl kick lately. I want to make everything in her new 300 Under 300 cookbook and I’ve been trekking right along. Tuesday nights are my biggest cooking nights during the week because after work and the gym, all I want to do is make new recipes for my family. So far, they have turned out pretty well.
I decided on a complex, no-noodle veggie lasagna recipe with so-simple-I-could-make-it-with-my-eyes-closed bacon & ranch chicken. I say the lasagna was a bit complex because it requires a good amount of prepping before the actual oven cooking begins. It was worth it. It takes about 30 minutes to cook at 425 degrees so when there was about 15-20 minutes left on the timer, I slid the chicken in too.
Now, just a heads up about the serving size. Obviously, it’s one chicken breast per person but the lasagna also serves 4. When I read the recipe in the HG cookbook, it said 4 SUPER-HUGE portions. I didn’t believe her. I mean, an 8×8 isn’t that big. The portions can’t be that big either. How wrong I was. I couldn’t even eat the whole portion. You’ve been warned.
1 large eggplant, ends cut off and sliced lengthwise into wide, long strips
2 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed, sliced
3 medium zucchini, ends cut off and sliced lengthwise into thin, long strips
2 cups crushed tomatoes with basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 (16-ounce) package chopped spinach, thawed, drained and thoroughly dried
2 TB liquid egg subsititute
1/8 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 TB reduced-fat parm-style topping
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large skillet to high heat and spray generously with nonstick cooking spray. Lay some paper towels next to the stovetop to drain excess liquid from veggies as they cook.
Cook as many zucchini and mushrooms you can lay flat in the pan at a time for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to paper towels. Continue until all zucchini and mushrooms are cooked, respraying in between each batch. Cook the eggplant 4-5 minutes per side, also respraying in between batches.
Next, stir garlic powder and onion powder into the crushed tomatoes. In a seperate big bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta cheese, salt, pepper and egg substitute and mix thoroughly.
To assemble: Spray a deep 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray. Even spread 1 cup of crushed tomatoes on the bottom of the dish. Layer half of the veggies over the tomatoes, eggplant first, then zucchini, then mushrooms. Top veggies with half of the spinach-cheese mixture. Lay the rest of the veggies over the spinach-cheese mixture in the same order as before, followed by the rest of the spinach and cheese. Top with the remaining crushed tomatoes and spread evenly. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and parm-style cheese over the crushed tomatoes.
Place on a large baking sheet and pop in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until heated through and the cheeese on top is bubbly and golden brown.
Bacon & Ranch Chicken
From Hungry Girl
4 (5-ounce) lean chicken breast cutlets
2 TB dry ranch dressing mix (I used DIPS)
2 TB real bacon bits
Spray a small baking sheet with nonstick spray. Lay the chicken on the sheet and spray the tops with nonstick spray as well. Rub 1/2 TB of ranch mix on each breast, front and back, and repeat with 1/2 TB bacon bits for each. Lay flat on the baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until cooked through and tender, 15-20 minutes.