Wish Upon A Dish: Diabetic's Dream Lasagna

April 29, 2011

Diabetic's Dream Lasagna

I am dangerous in a farmer's market. I tend to buy more vegetables then I can eat in 1 week. I did it again today only this time I brought a list.

I have had a hankering for lasagna lately and I wanted to make a non-traditional one using goat cheese, mushrooms and spinach with homemade whole wheat pasta.

I never made whole wheat pasta before because I am not a fan of the dried variety. I just don't like the way it tastes with tomatoes but I think wild mushrooms and spinach along with the tangy goat cheese will actually go well with the whole wheat pasta.

Making it fresh will allow me to bake it uncooked and we all know that as a diabetic, we should eat fresh pasta over dried anytime we can. I bought a bag of King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour. It is a softer, whiter wheat flour that still has all the nutrients and fiber that is in regular whole wheat.

You do not have to make your own pasta to make this lasagna. Any no-cook or regular lasagna noodles will work just fine. Read the directions on the recommended cooking time but always remember, al dente means 'with a bite', so chewy is good, mushy is not.

The use of goat's cheese instead of mozzarella will make it ooey gooey good (and a little goes a long way) but tasty and the addition of pureed low-fat ricotta instead of cream in the bechamel will make this dish, not only decadent, but low cal, low-fat and healthy. Goat's cheese is so much better for your digestion and full of vitamins. Much better then cow's milk cheeses.
Imagine that!!! Yay for us.

This time of year screams mushrooms in any shape or form. What could be better than sauteing them until they caramelize and then baking them in a lasagna??

Nothing. I am even adding a few tablespoons of wild mushroom powder. If you don't have any or have any time to order it online, you can take dried porcini's and grind them in your spice grinder until it is a fine powder. If there are hard bits that refuse to cooperate just use a small strainer and sift them out.

Fresh Mushroom Whole Wheat Pasta Dough
* 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
* 2 tablespoons mushroom powder
* 1 egg, beaten with s sprinkle of EVOO
* a small cup of water

Place the flour and mushroom powder in the bowl of a processor. Pulse to mix.

Beat the egg with EVOO and about 1 tablespoon of water. With the machine running, slowly pour in the liquid until the mixture starts to spin around the bowl in one cohesive ball. Remove to a piece of plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

Using a roller attachment or pasta machine, roll out the dough to the thickness you would like. Remember it will expand as it soaks up the liquids in the sauces. I like the #5 thickness setting.

Once rolled, lay out on a flour kitchen towel on a sheet pan. Let it rest until you are ready to assemble your lasagna.

If you do not have the equipment to make your own pasta, then use the Barilla No Cook Lasagna Noodles or any lasagna noodles you prefer. I imagine Dreamfields will be a good choice also.

Roasted Garlic Bechamel
* 2 cups milk
* 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated, divided
* 1 head garlic, top sliced off
* 1 tsp EVOO
* 1 small container fat-free ricotta, pureed
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1 tablespoon flour
* 4oz. package goat cheese
* Pinch of nutmeg
* salt to taste

In saucepan melt butter and saute flour in it until no lumps. Add milk and whisk constantly until it comes to a boil. Add garlic, goat cheese and nutmeg. Stir until cheese is melted. Blend in 1/2 cup Parma cheese and ricotta. Stir and set aside to cool.

Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna
* 1 batch lasagna noodles
* 1 package each of different mushrooms...cremini, oyster, shiitake and dried porcini (soaked in hot water for 15 minutes) or whatever you can find.
* 1/2 cup cooked fresh spinach or frozen that is squeezed dry

Spray a 9x13 Pyrex or lasagna pan with PAM.

Saute spinach in a non-stick pan using only the water clinging to the leaves.
Saute the mushrooms in a small amount of EVOO until the edges are browned and caramelized.
Season mushrooms and spinach with salt & pepper but keep them separate.

Spread a layer of bechamel to cover bottom of baking pan.

Lay pasta sheets to cover and spread the mushroom mixture on that.

Spoon some bechamel over the mushrooms.

Another layer of pasta, then spinach and bechamel, more pasta, then mushromms and bechamel and the last layer of pasta and mushrooms, bechamel and then the last layer of pasta. You should have 4 filled layers.

Finish with the bechamel sauce.
Sprinkle a good amount of parmagiano cheese so the top will get crusty and brown beautifully.

Bake, covered with foil at 375F for 55 minutes on a sheet pan. Remove foil and sprinkle more cheese on top and return to the oven to brown the top, about another 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle some chopped parsley for color before serving.

You MUST let it rest for at least 25 minutes if not overnight. Lasagna is notorious for being way better the next day.

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