Since I went through weight loss surgery, I developed this recipe from some I’ve seen online. It was important to up my protein intake and still have soft foods. I wanted to eliminate the pasta and this is what I came up with. It’s a cross between pizza and lasagna. It’s not too hard to put together and my family seems to love it! It’s pretty yummy.
4 bags of frozen broccoli and cauliflower
1 jar of pizza or alfredo sauce
1 bag of Italian cheese blend
1 tub of low-fat ricotta
1 package of diced or sliced pepperoni
Basically, you boil or steam the veggies. Make sure they are thoroughly cooked, if you need the softness. If you like your veggies a bit firmer, that’s fine. But remember, you’re going to mash these up like potatoes, so don’t leave them too firm for that.
Next, drain the veggies if you boiled them. Now mash! I use my potato masher to smash the veggies to a very soft consistency. Then drain using cheese cloth or clean, dry cloth towel. Either will work. I tried cheese cloth and a towel works just the same. Make sure the towel is lint-free! The veggies are enough fiber for anyone. 🙂 You should squeeze almost a cup of liquid off the cooked veggies. Gather up your veggies in your towel or cheese cloth and wring them out. Just twist. You might have to wait until they are cooler if they’re steaming hot.
Drop your veggies into a bowl or back in the pan you just boiled or steamed them in (make sure the container is dry). Mix the veggies with your sauce. Make sure you don’t over-sauce the veggies, they should be flavored, not drowning in sauce. Unless you like that. 😉 Scoop half of the mixture into your baking dish. I used my two-handled skillet to bake in. Whatever works! Spread half of the mixture in your dish to cover the entire bottom surface. Make sure the dish isn’t too big, the layer should be at least 1/2 inch. You shouldn’t see any part of the dish.
Then, spread 1/2 of the ricotta on top of your veggie layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the Italian cheese. Repeat the layer! But this time, before you add the last of the shredded cheese, add a good sprinkling of parmesan. Don’t have to, but I like it.
The top should be covered with the other 1/2 of the Italian cheese and peppered with the pepperoni! Bake at 400° for about 30 minutes. Then broil for 5-10 minutes at 400° to really brown the top and crisp up those pepperoni. Looks like a deep dish pizza when you take it out.
Look, it’s not lasagna. It’s not pizza. But it is a lot healthier without the noodles. Bread is the devil. Lots of protein and veg. It does have sodium, but portion-control is key. Cut into 6 equal portions. I cut mine like a dessert pie. My husband eats probably two portions (1 portion and whatever we can’t finish), but my daughter and I can only eat about 1/2 of 1 serving. So cut it up however you like or just plain scoop it out with a spoon. It’s all ending up in the same place. LOL
Hope you like it. Let me know if you make it and what you think.
We love it! Mangia!
Enough for leftovers. Two nights of Veggie Pizzagna. MMMM!