I suppose the best way of starting this out wouldn’t be by admitting that I’m not a huge fan of spinach and cheese lasagna. Most of the time, it comes across as a mushy mess in my mouth, and I’m put off by the texture. I typically crave lasagnas with a little more stability to their structure. And in the case of my new cooking project, exploring the entirety of ATK’s Light and Healthy book… Well, I found the same thing to be true. However, I really enjoyed the taste and, put on a plate next to a cool, crisp salad and some crunchy garlic bread, I liked it.
What brought this dish to the home plate was the addition of shredded Fontina. Even though I couldn’t get a decent Fontina (I could only find a local brand – no Italian), the taste was still there. And to be honest, I’m not a big fan of pungent cheeses so maybe that’s why I liked it so much.
The other reason I liked it was because of something ATK is very conscientious of: texture.
You probably already guessed that making a lasagna light and healthy involves cottage cheese and, I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like a mouthful of curd in my lasagna. Even if it’s small curd, it doesn’t matter. I feel like I’m eating diet food and the thrill of indulgence is gone. You may as well take that away and stick a bowl of dry lettuce in front of me.
ATK curbs this nicely by blending the cottage cheese with the eggs in a food processor, producing a creamy sauce:
Everything else about the recipe was actually pretty predictable in terms of how to lower the fat content: using lowfat cottage cheese, lowfat milk, etc. But all of those little things together brought the nutrition numbers down to something I was actually pretty happy about. I also did my own part in a few different ways, such as not adding as much Parmesan as the recipe called for. I cut it in half and was still happy about the result.
Putting the whole dish together was also a fairly standard process. Here’s your food montage, a la Eye of the Tiger:
And what that all boils down to (rather, bakes up to) is a delicious and creamy spinach and cheese lasagna. It’s pretty rich, so I suggest small pieces to be served with a little salad and bread.
Next week, join me for Vegetable and Tortellini Soup!