Lasagna is a staple dish in many homes. It’s also one of the easiest baked dishes to customize to meet all nutritional needs at once, as well as to prepare in advance and freeze. Here are a few things to know about lasagna and how it can be incorporated into your senior’s nutritional plan.
The Basics to a Lasagna
A basic lasagna is layers of marinara, wide lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Other ingredients are welcomed to the mix. If your family has a favorite bolognese sauce, you could use that in place of a marinara.
Lasagna is hot and hearty. Pair it with a salad and some homemade ciabatta and it’s popular comfort food. The best part is, you can be creative and make sure it meets your parents’ nutritional needs.
Additions That Make a Lasagna an All-in-One Meal
How can you turn lasagna into a healthy meal that meets all nutritional needs at once? Turn to the things your parents need the most. Whole grains, vegetables, low-sodium, and dairy are probably at the top of the list.
Start by making your own pasta or buying whole-grain lasagna noodles and cook them until they’re al dente. You won’t need a lot of them. You’ll also want a yellow summer squash, zucchini, and eggplant. Slice those as thin as you can get them, sprinkle them with salt, and set them on a wire rack to drain off as much moisture as possible.
Make a quick pasta sauce. Start by sauteing chopped onions, red peppers, and garlic. When those are soft, add two large cans of low-sodium crush tomatoes, a can of tomato paste that doesn’t contain added sugar, and capers. In the last few minutes, stir in fresh spinach and a cup of chopped fresh basil leaves.
Layer the homemade sauce with zucchini/squash/eggplant slices, low-fat ricotta, noodles, and low-fat Italian grated cheese mix. Build it up so that sauce and cheese are your last two layers. Over the baking dish in foil and bake it at 350 F for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes.
Play around with ingredients to make sure your parents have their favorite vegetables and grains in the noodles. You can customize it in any way that pleases them.
Home care services are available to make sure your parents are eating healthy versions of their favorite foods throughout the year. They can have a healthy lasagna and keep eating whole grains, vegetables, and lean proteins. Call a home care agency to learn more.
If you or an aging loved one is considering homecare in Monroe, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care today. Call (732) 607-8870.
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