The Trim Healthy Mamas share their philosophy and a recipe for quick, easy, and healthy lasagna.
With 15 children between them, sisters Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison know a thing or two about the challenges of staying svelte as moms. Three years ago, after numerous fad diets and and years of sliding up and down the scale, Pearl and Allison declared they were "in a place called done". Exit fad diets and enter Trim Healthy Mama, an eating plan the sisters created to help themselves and inspire other moms to look and feel their best.
Three books later the Trim Healthy Mama plan is more popular than ever, and the sisters' latest book, the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook, is a huge bestseller. It's easy to see why the plan is appealing. Pearl and Serene say they created the program with the idea of Food Freedom top of mind. "It's not about cutting out food groups or depriving yourself. Finding your trim doesn't have to be difficult; it can be enjoyable!"
The sisters' can-do food philosophy revolves around feeding your cravings in a healthier way, keeping refined carbs to a minimum, and finding clever substitutions for time-consuming recipes. Pearl and Serene are sharing the recipe for Lazy Lasagna, one of their favorites from their new book. You'll notice that they skip the noodles here, for a dish that is both lighter and simpler to prepare.
FEEDS 6 TO 8 (HALVE INGREDIENTS IF YOUR FAMILY IS SMALLER)
- 2 pounds ground meat (beef and venison work well)
- 2 (12-ounce) jars no-sugar-added pizza or spaghetti sauce (see Note)
- 1½ tablespoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon Mineral Salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 to 2 doonks Pure Stevia Extract (optional)
- 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1 (8-ounce) package 1/3 less fat cream cheese
- 1 (14-ounce) container 1% cottage cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1 (8-ounce) piece part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (for sprinkling over top; green can is fine)
PEARL SAYS: I've made plenty of zucchini and eggplant lasagnas in the last few years, but they call for cutting the veggies into thin layers as faux noodles, and sometimes also require pre-cooking the veggies. I'm so over that. These days my life is way too busy for those extra steps; I need ultra-easy meals, so I thought about spinach. It's super cheap when you buy it in frozen bricks, it doesn't require cutting— hmmm—couldn't that work as a lasagna noodle layer? My children are not the hugest spinach fans, but they scarf this down and tell me it is the best lasagna ever! This is my go-to lasagna now; I've ditched all the others.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Brown the meat in a large skillet over high heat, then drain off any excess fat if necessary. Add the sauce and seasonings, and simmer over low heat for several minutes.
- Put the spinach in a colander and squeeze and push to get all the liquid out.
- Put the cream cheese, cottage cheese, and eggs in a food processor and process until smooth.
- Layer half the meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 í— 13-inch baking dish. Top with half the cheese mixture, then layer on half the spinach. Follow with half the grated mozzarella. Repeat the layers, ending with the mozzarella. Top with a good sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly.
Reprinted from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. Copyright © 2015 by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison. Published by Harmony Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.