Note: This recipe is for anyone following a vegetarian (meat-free) diet.
This recipe may take a bit of time to cook, but it's well worth it. The calories are significantly reduced because zucchini and squash are used in this recipe instead of pasta.
Prep time: 80 minutes
1 lb. zucchini
1 lb. squash
¼ tsp. Italian seasoning
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 c. tomato pasta sauce
16 oz. low-fat cottage cheese
2 egg yolks
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
2/3 c. seasoned bread crumbs
2 c. mozzarella, part-skim
3 c. spinach
1 c. fresh basil
nonstick cooking spray
knife (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
stove (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
two 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pans
13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan
large skillet (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
food processor (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
Heat oven to 425° Fahrenheit (218° Celsius).
Coat the two smaller baking pans with nonstick cooking spray.
Cut all squash and zucchini lengthwise in half. Then, cut each half lengthwise into slices about ¼ inch thick.
Spread squash and zucchini on pans in single layer and season with Italian seasoning.
Bake for 25 minutes, turning over once halfway through baking.
Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375° Fahrenheit (190° Celsius).
In a large skillet, heat pasta sauce over medium-high heat. Mix trimmed spinach into the pasta sauce.
In a food processor, combine cottage cheese, basil, egg yolks, and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Blend until all ingredients are combined and smooth.
Assembly: Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs over the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Cover the bottom of the dish with half of the zucchini and squash slices. Next, spread cottage cheese mixture over the squash and zucchini slices. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs. Top with remaining zucchini slices. Sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs. Pour pasta sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
Bake for approximately 35 minutes. Cheese should be browned and bubbling. Let stand for 10 to 25 minutes before serving.
Serving size: 2½ x 4½ inches
Nutritional analysis (per serving):
16 g protein
7 g fat
3 g sat. fat
18 g carbohydrate
3 g fiber
792 mg sodium
263 mg calcium
2 mg iron
Note: Nutritional analysis may vary depending on ingredient brands used.
Variations and suggestions:
Add other vegetables to the sauce, such as onions and red pepper. Have it for dinner tonight and freeze the leftovers for another night.