Happy October!!! After spending the past four years working on my nursing degree in Nashville, TN, it is certainly wonderful to return to my New England roots for the fall season. It seems that the very sight of a changing leaf, sends just about anyone into a pumpkin fever. Between pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin beers, pumpkin cream cheese spreads, and pumpkin martini's it appears the the orange gourd will be taking over New England's taste-buds for the next few months. As I sip on my pumpkin spiced coffee, I am not complaining one bit!
Come each fall, I stock pile cans of pumpkin puree in my pantry. It is just too hard to find this fall staple any other season, and I cannot get enough of it in my oatmeal, smoothies, and baked goods. With a great nutritional compositions, pumpkins are loaded with carotenoids which prevent premature aging, infections, and cardiovascular diseases. Pumpkins are also rich in vitamin A, C, potassium and magnesium, making this fall produce a healthy addition to any recipe. Feeling a bit ambitious, I decided to test the versatility of a can of pumpkin puree in a savory lasagna. The verdict: pumpkin puree has yet to disappoint me.
Pumpkin, Sausage, and Sage Lasagna (Serves 8)
- 1 package of whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 2 TBSP. of olive oil
- 4 gloves of minced garlic
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
- 2 large links of sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
- 2 TBSP. of fresh sage, chopped
- 2 cups of part skim ricotta cheese
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cook the lasagna noodles according the package directions
- Heat oil in a medium sized skillet, over medium high heat, add the garlic and onions
- Saute the garlic and onions, when they begin to sweat and become translucent, add the chicken sausage and sage. Using a spatula, be sure to break the chicken sausage up into "crumbles"
- Once chicken sausage is cooked through, add to a mixing bowl
- Add the pumpkin puree and ricotta cheese to the sausage and combine with the two egg whites
- Make sure lasagna noodles are drained and dry and place on the bottom of a greased baking dish
- Cover the noodles with 1/4 of the cheese and pumpkin mixture
- Repeat until all the filling and noodles have been used
- Top with mozzarella cheese and cover with aluminum foil
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
- With 5 minutes remaining, remove the foil and place under the broiler until cheese becomes brown and bubbly
- Calories: 361
- Carbohydrates: 45 grams
- Fat: 14 grams
- Protein: 20 grams
- Fiber: 8 grams
- Calcium: 28 grams
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