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Zucchini Spinach Vegetarian Lasagna

Can you have a cheesy, saucy lasagna and a heart-healthy meal, too? This low-fat vegetarian lasagna delivers on both. Boost its heart-health quotient by using whole-grain pasta; studies show that whole grains have nutrients that may reduce blood pressure and lower risk of stroke and heart disease.

2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese (can substitute low-fat creamed cottage cheese)
1 egg
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried or 1 tbsp fresh basil
1 tsp dried or 1 tbsp fresh oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups fresh (chopped) or 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
4 cups marinara sauce, low-sodium
1 lb box lasagna noodles, (whole wheat or whole grain), cooked and drained
2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1½ cups low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, parsley, basil, oregano, garlic, and spinach.
  3. Spray bottom of 13 x 9-inch rectangular baking dish with cooking spray; spread bottom of dish with marinara sauce.
  4. Top with a single layer of noodles (about 3 strips per layer).
  5. Spread half of ricotta cheese mix and arrange half of zucchini on top.
  6. Add another layer of sauce.
  7. Top with noodles, second layer of ricotta cheese mix, then remaining zucchini.
  8. Add another layer of noodles, spread with marinara sauce, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  9. Cover with nonstick foil and bake 30 minutes; uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until browned.
  10. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Makes: 10 servings

Nutrition Information: Per serving: Calories: 322, 118 calories from fat; 13 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 61 mg cholesterol; 343 mg sodium; 31 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 20 g protein. Calories from fat: 36%.

Pecan-Crusted Roasted Salmon

Salmon is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids and that's good news for your heart. Studies show they decrease the risk of heart arrhythmias, lower triglycerides (a kind of fat linked to heart disease), and slow the development of plaque in blood vessels. Try to get two servings of fatty fish -- think salmon, tuna, and lake trout -- per week.

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