It’s week three in out quest to Fuel up the Family with nutrient rich meals featuring beef! The Texas Beef Council has provided an awesome recipe this week in a rich and delicious Beef, Arugula and Spinach Lasagna!
Check out the super easy but nutrient powered recipe below:’
- 1-1/2 lbs. 95% lean ground beef
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1-1/4 tsp. salt, divided
- 3/4 tsp. pepper, divided
- 4 cups prepared pasta or spaghetti sauce
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh baby arugula (about 1-3/4 oz.)
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh baby spinach (about 1-3/4 oz.)
- 1 container (15 oz.) fat free ricotta cheese
- 2 egg whites
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 9 uncooked, oven-ready (no boil), lasagna noodles
- 1-1/2 cups reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat oven to 375°F. Brown ground beef with garlic in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8-10 minutes, or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings; season with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Stir in pasta sauce. Set aside.
Combine arugula and spinach. Set aside. Combine ricotta cheese, egg whites, basil, oregano, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper in small bowl.
Spread 1 cup meat sauce over bottom of 11-3/4 x 7-1/2-inch glass baking dish. Top with 3 noodles, half of the ricotta mixture, half of the spinach mixture, 1/2 cup mozarella and 1-1/2 cups meat sauce. Repeat layers. Top with remaining 3 noodles and meat sauce.
Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in 375°F oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until noodles are tender and sauce is bubbly. Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake uncovered 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand, loosely covered, 10 minutes before serving.
Oven-ready noodles and prepared pasta sauce makes this a breeze to prepare. Make double and freeze for future meals.
As seen in The Healthy Beef Cookbook, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Nutrition info per serving: 520 calories; 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat); 127 mg cholesterol; 1260 mg sodium; 49 g carbohydrate; 5.1 g fiber; 47 g protein; 8.1 mg niacin; 0.4 mg vitamin B6; 2.3 mcg vitamin B12; 6.9 mgiron; 20.3 mcg selenium; 6.1 mg zinc.
This recipe is an excellent source of fiber, protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc.
My tips: Because there is not a lot of grease in the very lean meat, I found this recipe to be a tad dry. However, I know from my own lasagna’s that used to be dry that if I substitute the Ricotta cheese with cottage cheese, it helps add moisture. I don’t know why but it is does work. Additionally, from my own lasagna experience that the first layer should be the noodles. Most recipes call for the meat first. My lasagna always falls apart if I don’t noodle it first. So my lasagnas end up with three layers of pasta as I stack reverse order and then pretty pieces come out of the pan!
Check out my entire process below:
The arugula and spinach really add a layer of flavor to this lasagna. Complimenting the beef perfectly, you can really taste the layers in this lasagna! Plus, the basil and oregano that is freshly chopped adds another layer of deep flavor.
My husband and my five year old both got second helpings! I love that this lasagna offers the traditional beef layer and creamy cheese but also a lot of nutritious power! I am going to play around with making it a little more moist – per my husbands request – but other than that this is a winner for any family meal!
Need more nutritional tips on ‘healthing up’ some of your family favorites? Check out these tips below:
Portion size is always something of a mystery! But you can create the Perfect Plate using the USDA My Plate guide:
- Start with a small plate that measures 9 – 10 inches across (instead of the huge plate many of us are accustomed to).
- Fill half the plate with colorful fruits and vegetables – the more color you have, the more vitamins and nutrients you are consuming!
- One fourth of your plate should be whole grains for fiber and folate.
- The other fourth of your plate should be lean protein – a good rule of thumb for a portion is about the size of a deck of cards.
- You should also have one serving of dairy with your meal – older children, teens and adults need three cups a day while children 4 to 8 years old need 2 ½ cups and children 2 to 3 years old need 2 cups. (per USDA guidelines)
Additional tips to help you make healthy choices:
- Shop the perimeter of the store for the freshest, nutrient-rich foods including brightly colored fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and oranges and vibrant green, red, yellow and orange vegetables like tomatoes, spinach and orange bell peppers. The more colorful a fresh food is the higher in nutrient and cancer-fighting anti-oxidants.
- Choose whole grain, fortified and fiber-rich bread and whole-grain pasta products instead of white breads and pastas.
- Select lean ground beef that is at least 90% lean for hamburgers, chili or other dishes that use ground beef.
- Always eat breakfast and include a lean protein when you can.
- Make an easy breakfast or snack from low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit.
- When snacking, choose brightly colored red, green, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy or lean beef jerky.
- Make a healthy sandwich using whole-grain breads and lean protein such as roast beef and top with dark green lettuce and bright red tomatoes.
- Turn a salad into an entrée by including fruits, vegetables and a lean protein such as grilled steak. (Just like last week’s recipe challenge!)
What are your favorite ways to make your family favorites more healthy? I’d love to hear them!
Check out more great recipes and tips from the Texas Beef Council on Pinterest, too!
**I am a compensated blogger for a four week campaign with the Texas Beef Council. All opinions, writings and photos are mine. Recipes have been provided by the Texas Beef Council.**