Somewhere along the way, I have been conditioned into thinking carbs are the devil. Even worse – if I’m going to go down the road of enjoying carbs, I better not eat them at night! And although I don’t religiously observe this message, I had a hearty dose of mac and cheese the other night even though I only had salad on my plate, I try to keep to this during the week while eating at home as much as possible. Perhaps that’s part of the reason Passover was soooo do-able this year. This recipe is so delicious and glutinous feeling, that you don’t even realize that it’s low-fat. The even bigger bonus was that my 7 year old had four helpings!!!!
- 2 lb. zucchini
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 lb. extra lean ground beef (I used ground turkey breast)
- 2 cups chopped fresh portobello mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 24 to 26 oz. jar chunky-style pasta sauce
- 1 8oz. can tomato sauce (I accidentally only had tomato paste which I googled to discover you can add water and have tomato sauce. Worked perfectly!)
- 1 tsp.dried basil, crushed
- 1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed (I omitted)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten (I omitted)
- 1 15 oz. container fat-free ricotta cheese (I didn't have so I used extra mozzarella)
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (8 oz.)
- Preheat broiler. Trim ends off zucchini. Cut zucchini lengthwise in to ¼ inch slices. Lightly coat both sides of slices with cooking spray; place half the slices in a single layer on a wire rack set on a large baking sheet. Broil 5 to 6 inches away from heat for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining zucchini slices. Reduce oven temp to 375 degrees.
- In a large skillet cook beef, mushrooms, and garlic until meat is browned. Drain off fat. Remove from heat. Stir the next five ingredients (through fennel seeds) into skillet. In a bowl combine egg and ricotta cheese.
- Spread 1 cup meat sauce in a 13x9 inch baking pan. Top with zucchini slices to cover. Spoon half the ricotta mixture on zucchini; use back of spoon to lightly spread over zucchini. Sprinkle with ¾ cup of the mozzarella. Top with half the remaining sauce. Repeat layers, ending with sauce.
- Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Since we are so deep into the trenches of activities and baseball games, this worked especially well for me to make hours earlier and dish it out as the hungry people trickled in. It says it yields 12 servings but didn’t prove to be true for our crew. #overeaters #tastedtoogoodtostop