Note: This recipe is for anyone following a vegetarian (meat-free) diet.
This recipe may take a bit of time to cook, but it's well worth it. The calories are significantly reduced because zucchini and squash are used in this recipe instead of pasta.
Prep time: 80 minutes
- 1 lb. zucchini
- 1 lb. squash
- ¼ tsp. Italian seasoning
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 2 c. tomato pasta sauce
- 16 oz. low-fat cottage cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
- 2/3 c. seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 c. mozzarella, part-skim
- 3 c. spinach
- 1 c. fresh basil
- nonstick cooking spray
- knife (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
- measuring cup
- measuring spoons
- stove (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
- two 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pans
- 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan
- large skillet (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
- food processor (you'll need help from your adult assistant)
- Heat oven to 425º Fahrenheit (218º Celsius).
- Coat the two smaller baking pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cut all squash and zucchini lengthwise in half. Then, cut each half lengthwise into slices about ¼ inch thick.
- Spread squash and zucchini on pans in single layer and season with Italian seasoning.
- Bake for 25 minutes, turning over once halfway through baking.
- Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375º Fahrenheit (190º Celsius).
- In a large skillet, heat pasta sauce over medium-high heat. Mix trimmed spinach into the pasta sauce.
- In a food processor, combine cottage cheese, basil, egg yolks, and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Blend until all ingredients are combined and smooth.
- Assembly: Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs over the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Cover the bottom of the dish with half of the zucchini and squash slices. Next, spread cottage cheese mixture over the squash and zucchini slices. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs. Top with remaining zucchini slices. Sprinkle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs. Pour pasta sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for approximately 35 minutes. Cheese should be browned and bubbling. Let stand for 10 to 25 minutes before serving.
Serving size: 2½ x 4½ inches
Nutritional analysis (per serving):
16 g protein
7 g fat
3 g sat. fat
18 g carbohydrate
3 g fiber
792 mg sodium
263 mg calcium
2 mg iron
Note: Nutritional analysis may vary depending on ingredient brands used.
Variations and suggestions:
Add other vegetables to the sauce, such as onions and red pepper. Have it for dinner tonight and freeze the leftovers for another night.
Reviewed by: Allison Brinkley, RD, LD/N