The best thing about a long run? The pancakes which invariably come afterward. The second-best thing? Eating lots of carbs the two days before the run.
With some zucchini fresh from the farm (OK, Mark’s garden) and a busy Thursday, I decided to search through my binder of clipped recipes and found this one from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food for zucchini lasagna. (Yes, I said Martha Stewart. The woman knows how to cook and Everyday Food is usually filled with simple stuff.) It had been some time since I made this particular dish, but I remember really enjoying it. As I looked it over, I noticed it had quite a bit of cheese. But then I recalled a video clip of Olympic marathoner Deena Kastor demonstrating one of her favorite pre-run pasta dishes which also included quite a bit of cheese. She noted (with some humor) that the extra calcium was good for her bones. And hey, if the theory is good enough for Deena, it’s good enough for me.
This dish comes together quickly but takes some time to cook, so I assembled the lasagna in the afternoon, went off to the University at Buffalo football practice, and put it in the oven while I returned home to transcribe interviews. Apparently, I was a bit absorbed in the process and let the final stages go a a few minutes too long, slightly burning the top layer. But seriously, it was still all good.
- Cooking spray
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
- salt and pepper
- 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise (think half moons)
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 6 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 2 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, ricotta, salt and pepper. In another medium bowl, combine zucchini, garlic and oregano and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread 1/3 zucchini mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with two lasagna noodles then with 1/3 ricotta mixture. Repeat twice, layering zucchini, noodles and ricotta mixture finishing with the ricotta mixture. Top with mozzarella.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30-35 minutes, until noodles are tender. Remove foil. Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Per serving (4 servings): 457 calories; 24.5 grams fat; 26.4 grams protein; 32.9 grams carbohydrates; 2.4 grams fiber.