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Video: Cook off! Joy shows off healthy lasagna dishes

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    >>> today we're very excited, because we're kicking off a brand-new series joy-ful cookoff, get it? we asked you to send in the healthiest lasagna recipes, and we have flown in the three finalists to compete for the grand prize .

    >> here are the three finalists -- gail compton, and julia. so joy, you really had to narrow down a lot of recipes.

    >> this was intense. we had hundreds of outstanding, delicious scrumptious submissions, but these were three standouts. i'm going to walk through them. --

    >> and they're healthy.

    >> they're all healthy.

    >> are they all pretty much the same calorieic level. there's small differences. this is the skinny lasagna rolls.

    >> what's going on in here?

    >> i love this. this is a bit out of the box. they're automatically portion control. she's using light cheese -- she integrates spinach, so bumping up the nutrition.

    >> why didn't it look look that?

    >> it's going to cook like this in here, but they're individual rolls.

    >> these are actually whole wheat lasagna noodles, i including cottage cheese .

    >> my god, that's crazy.

    >> and pip spinach, of course.

    >> my mom always used cottage cheese as a result of ricotta. as a result, i don't like it in lasag lasagna.

    >> this is delicious.

    >> just a tad more.

    >> i also want to say she was diagnosed with cancer five years ago. she has kicked cancer's butt two times and her diagnosis is what got her into healthy eating .

    >> yes. yes.

    >> incredible.

    >> you are beautiful.

    >> oh, thank you.

    >> i see a prop.

    >> her italian stallion -- she was told years ago she would never be able to have children and her miracle arrived with a sign that says vote for my mom. like everybody else. she wants to cut carbs. this is a low carbs, no noodles. she layers it with eggplant. this is stuffed with vegetables, but also integrates lean ground turkey, so good for a man as wet, hearty.

    >> i tall it my italian stallion . i married into an italian family. you know guys. there is cottage cheese , but i had --

    >> only 260 calories were slice, and the first one was 240.

    >> hello.

    >> julia went vegan a year and a half ago together with her husband and her little daughter. this is a super-cool twist on traditional lasagna. it's gluen-free, dairy free, and totally vegan. it's all vegetables layered on corn tortilla .

    >> it has a members ka tate to it.

    >> but avocado cream. she blends avocados with coconut milk .

    >> only 160 calories per slice.

    >> oh, my gosh.

    >> good luck, ladies.

    >> are you nervous?

    >> i'm a little nervous.

    >> okay. here's the thing. this was hard, because all of these were delicious, and all unique and different. we're crazy about roqu reformfort -- but the winner is right here.

    >> and i'll tell you why. these are all great, but it most takes like --

TODAY recipes
updated 4/9/2013 2:26:14 PM ET 2013-04-09T18:26:14

Recipe: Skinny lasagna rolls

  • 10 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente (about 8 minutes), drain
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce, no sugar added. (I like Ragu Lite or Amy's Pasta Sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups baby spinach, loosely packed and finely chopped (use a food processor if available)
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups part-skim, shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese (small curd if available)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add 1 1/4 cups marinara to a 13-by-9-inch casserole dish.

In a large skillet, add oil and heat to medium-low heat. Sauté garlic for 1 minute.  Add finely chopped spinach and continuing sautéing until wilted, about 3 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine garlic, spinach, ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, cottage cheese, egg white, oregano, salt and pepper.

On a work surface, arrange lasagna noodles flat, add 1/4 cup cheese and spinach mixture to each noodle, spread evenly to cover noodles. Start rolling the noodle at the end closest to you. Place lasagna rolls seam side down, not quite touching, in the prepared casserole dish.  Evenly spread 1 cup marinara over rolls, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes, or until cheese is hot and bubbly. If desired, serve with additional heated marinara.

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