Low-Fat Soy Offers High Health Rewards: Lasagna al Forno

(NC)—Consume fewer calories. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Include lean protein. For some consumers, this is a flexitarian diet, one that includes some meat but more often than not, more plant-based proteins.

Dr. Alison Duncan, University of Guelph nutritionist, agrees with the flexitarian philosophy as a researcher of soy in a balanced diet and soy’s role in helping prevent heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. Just 25 grams of soy per day offers a host of benefits, not the least of which is helping to prevent heart disease. Research has shown that soy offers health benefits at every stage of life.

“I serve soy products regularly for my family,” says Duncan. Fridays are pizza days at our house, and we always use soy pepperoni slices. Soy-based veggie meatballs with pasta and sauce are another favorite for quick meals.

Here are more ideas for versatile and healthy meals in minutes, from www.soyforlife.ca.

The Bolognese-style sauce in this lasagna includes a low-fat soy protein punch. It serves 8.

12 lasagna noodles

1 pkg 340 g/12 oz veggie ground round, regular or Italian

1-15 oz/400 mL can tomato sauce

3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped onion

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 cup (250 mL) low fat ricotta cheese

1 egg

1/4 cup (50 mL) frozen spinach, thawed, drained, squeezed dry

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper

1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) nutmeg

2¾ cups (675 mL) grated low fat mozzarella

1 cup (250 mL) grated parmesan cheese

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180 C).

2. Cook noodles according to package directions.

3. In saucepan, sauté onion in oil over medium heat until it starts to brown. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, and ground round. Set aside.

4. In bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, spinach, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add to onion mixture and stir well.

5. On bottom of lightly oiled 9 x 13” (23 x 33 cm) casserole dish, spread 1/2 cup (125 mL) of sauce mix followed by 3 noodles.

6. Spread 11/2 cups (625 mL) sauce mix, 1 cup (250 mL) mozzarella and 1/3 cup (75 mL) Parmesan cheese. Lay down 3 lasagna noodles, 1½ cups (375 mL) sauce, 1 cup (250 mL) mozzarella, 1/3 cup (375 mL) Parmesan and 3 noodles.

7. Evenly spread ricotta filling, last 3 noodles and remaining sauce mix. Top with remaining Parmesan and mozzarella.

8. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the liquid on the sides of the dish bubbles. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.