Surprisingly, this is not my mom’s recipe, it’s mine. However, this spinach lasagna has quite the story behind it and one that has never graced my blog before.
Spinach lasagna is definitely one of my favorites. Actually, any lasagna is my favorite. I love it – all types. Meat, vegetarian, white, dessert…they are all delicious. I think I just like layers. I love food in layers. There is something hearty about it.
When my mom was going through chemotherapy and radiation, she didn’t have much of an appetite. She lost a lot of weight and she was on a strict neutropenic diet. If you’ve ever dealt with a disease with compromised immune systems, you know how strict a neutropenic diet is.
It made me sad to see her on this diet. I made this for her in May, when fresh fruits and vegetables taste the best. A neutropenic diet restricts all fresh fruits and vegetables. From a dietary standpoint, I understand the reason for it, but the restriction on the nutrients always rubbed me the wrong way.
My goal was to make her a dinner that she would eat. My dad stressed to me that she probably wouldn’t eat it. Not only was her appetite bad, but her nausea had taken away any sort of joy for eating. I made it anyway. I just had a hunch she would like it.
Not only did she like it, she ate it and ate some more. She asked for seconds and then she made sure that we had some leftovers for the next day. Sometimes homemade lasagna is all it takes. The spinach is lighter on the stomach than heavy ground beef or sausage.
I also keep the mozzarella on top, not in the middle. This also makes it a little easier to digest. The high protein content in the filling comes from ricotta and egg. And, because no one likes a watery lasagna, I make sure all of the extra water content in the cheese and sauce is soaked up in the noodles.
Don’t stress out about the tomato sauce. There are some amazing tomato sauces on the market today. Look for one with no added sugar. It’s not enough to look at the sugar content on the label, natural sugars are included on there. Look at the ingredients list. If there is sugar added, it will be on there.
The cooking time takes a while, but this is a special treat. This dish is reserved for evenings when we are home and the kids are outside playing.
Make this when you need a special dinner.
- 15 oz skim milk ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1, 8-oz package of thawed frozen chopped spinach, squeeze the water out
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or your favorite jarred sauce)
- 8 no bake lasagna noodles
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, spinach, egg, seasoning, salt and pepper
- In a 8x8 baking dish, pour 2 Tablespoons of tomato sauce
- Lay 2 lasagna noodles in the pan
- Spoon ⅓ of the ricotta mixture and spread on the noodles
- Take ⅓ of the tomato sauce and put on the ricotta
- Repeat until noodles, ricotta and sauce have all been used
- Top with mozzarella cheese
- Cover with foil
- Bake for 45 minutes
- Remove foil
- Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until browned on top