by Thad McLaurin
I’m always on the lookout for healthy recipes. Something that’s good for my training and that the family will like too. Not always an easy task, but I hit the jackpot with a recipe for Black Bean Lasagna that I stumbled upon in the September 2010 issue of Reader’s Digestwhich they actually got from Taste of Home.
The Reader’s Digest article starts with a really amazing factoid—”You can cut your risk of heart attack by nearly 40% if you eat a 3oz serving of black beans daily.” I doubt most people are going to eat black beans everyday, but it’s enough of an eye-opener to want to add them as frequently as possible.
Actually, in my household, we eat beans (all kinds) rather frequently. Our problem is changing up the menu so we’re not always having the same old beans-n-rice dish. That’s why, this healthy version of a traditional lasagna recipe caught my eye. I made it for the family and it was a hit. Makes 12 servings so there were leftovers which were perfect for reheating for a quick lunch.
Black Bean Lasagna
9 lasagna noodles
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (16 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
1 cup water
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 carton (15 ounces) reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, water, cilantro and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
In a small bowl, combine the egg whites, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and parsley.
Drain noodles. Spread 1/2 cup bean mixture into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with three noodles, a third of the ricotta mixture, a third of the remaining bean mixture and 2/3 cup cheese blend. Repeat layers twice.
Cover and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
Prep: 25 min. Bake: 40 min. + standing
Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 279 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 25 mg cholesterol, 455 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 18 g protein.Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1-1/2 lean meat, 1 vegetable.