Aug 3, 2010

Goat Cheese and Turkey Lasagna Infused with Fig Balsamic Vinegar

Things I crave:
  • Italian food/men
  • Pasta
  • Tomato sauce -- why is this??
  • Cheese
 Things I need:
  • Lean proteins
  • Carbs
  • Veggies
What to make, what to make? How about Lasagna! I put my body's wants and needs together and created a fabulous recipe. I love this lasagna recipe for several reasons. Ingredients include:
  • two lower-calorie cheeses (fat free ricotta and goat cheese)
  • lots of lean protein from using extra lean ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 the amount of pasta used in a typical lasagna recipe
  • colorful veggies with lots of fiber and vitamins

Goat Cheese and Turkey Lasagna Infused with Fig Balsamic Vinegar

1 1/3 lbs of extra lean ground turkey breast
2 medium zucchini, sliced
2 medium yellow squash, sliced
1 32 oz container of fat free ricotta (I used Sorrento)
5 oz goat cheese, separated (I used Whole Foods' 365 brand)
2 jars of tomato sauce (I used 1 Classico Four Cheese and 1 Classico Roasted Garlic)
1/2 box of Barilla oven ready lasagna (8 pieces)
2 large eggs
1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper
fig balsamic vinegar
fresh basil leaves, chopped

1. Spray a large pan with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey breast and cook thoroughly. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. Add zucchini, squash, crushed red pepper, and 1-2 tbsp of fig balsamic vinegar to the pan. Cook until veggies have softened. Set aside.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 4 oz goat cheese, eggs, and a few fresh basil leaves. Mix until smooth. Eat some.
4. Preheat oven to 375*. Begin lasagna assembly: In a 9x13 glass baking dish, spread 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce. Place 4 pieces of lasagna over the sauce. Top the pasta with 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Lay 1/2 of the veggies on top of the cheese. Add 1/2 of the turkey meat. Toss 2 tbsp of fig balsamic onto the meat. Repeat with 1 1/2 cups of sauce, remaining 4 pieces of lasagna, 1/3 of the cheese mixture, remaining 1/2 of the veggies, remaining 1/2 of the meat, and 2 more tbsp of fig balsamic. Finish off the lasagna with the remaining sauce, remaining 1/3 cheese mixture, and crumble the remaining 1 oz of goat cheese on top. 
5. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes. Let lasagna stand 10-15 minutes before serving. Makes approximately 8 servings.

Here are some pictures of the assembly. Adding the cheese was a lot of fun...
...and messy, how I like it:
Topping it with veggies, anal-retentive style:
 Perfectly browned after baking:
This is what it looks like when you let a man photograph you while he makes wonky faces:
This is what it looks like when you whine to him that all your readers don't want to see your fugly face and flinstone feet. Much better!

Notes about the recipe:
  • The fig balsamic is what makes this recipe special. It adds a burst of sweetness that compliments the tangy goat cheese and sweet ricotta. Add extra crushed red pepper for spice.
  • Because you are using half the amount of pasta, you're saving on carbs and your meal contains more of the protein and vegetables. Score!
  • Use any veggies you like - make it colorful!
  • This lasagna is more ooey gooey than structured. Forget all that layering you worked so hard on and just plop it on the plate!
My serving looked like the most delicious collapsed lasagna ever:

Nutritional Information for 1/8th lasagna:

Here are two similar recipes I have made:
I'm sure you all were wondering how my Saturday night drinking went. I drank 1 Sapporo at the restaurant and 1 1/2 glasses of wine at home. Then this happened. I now have the tolerance of a teenager. YEAH!
Ok, that picture is fake. I posed. I mean really, do you think I sleep with 2 laptops, a glass of wine, and my Blackberry?


  1. That recipe looks AMAZING - I love how you adapted it to your healthy lifestyle, I'm totally bookmarking it! I hope you catch some z's soon, and hey, I won't judge if you sleep with wine, your phone and laptop - it happens to the best of us, haha!

  2. 2 laptops, a glass of wine and your blackberry?? yes, yes I do.

  3. I crave Italian food and men too. In fact, now I'm craving an Italian man feeding me Italian food.

  4. That looks awesome - I'll have to try it! Yeah!

  5. Yum! I love lasagana!
    and cheese!
    and Italian(s) :)

  6. owwwwwww I like my lasagna kind of sloppy. I hate when there is not enough sauce. I crave marinara too! And the extra veg? Yum. Great job chicky.

  7. Great recipe. Don't you love not having any tolerance after not drinking for awhile?

  8. Oh, wow, this recipe looks and sounds nothing short of awesome!

  9. A couple of things: I want that cheetah print bowl (all my bowls are boring...I have boring bowls). Where do you get the fig balsalmic? It sounds fancy.

  10. this recipe looks fantastic! glad you had fun back on the drinking train!

  11. I though the pic was a real candid shot??!!!

    lol kidding! So cute! Ahhhhhhhhhhh yes you are like me now, drink one glass of wine and done, story of my life!

    Thank you for reading my story, and yes thank you for recognizing it is from the heart, everything I do in life is : )

    U are the sweetest and you seriously need to be a chef! U are wonderful! Love the apron! U need your own show for real!!!

    love u!

  12. You crave tomato sauce? I can honestly say I've never experienced that. But I'd take lasagna anyday!

    And I think the next long race I do, I'm going to give up alcohol for two weeks (at least) before. My birthday weekend being right before my half was not ideal- although it worked out. But yeah, you make it seem like it won't be too hard if I attempt to go alcohol-free for awhile! Whew!

  13. OMG that looks soooo good! Where did you find your fig balsamic vinegar? I've not found any and read about it in a recent cookbook?

    You are too cute in the pic where you are presenting the final product fresh out of the oven! :)

  14. I LOVE the sound of this recipe for many reasons, but the fact that it includes GOAT CHEESE makes it bookmark worthy.

    I've never tried fig balsamic..yum!

  15. I love goat cheese and this looks great. I don't know why I haven't thought about Turkey lasagna before. Looks great.

  16. haha! i giggled at the passed out picture. i was thinking, wow, agressive! blackberry in hand, wine in the other and two laptops-my kind of girl!

    what a great list of ingredients in the lasagna.

    i heart sapporo. it reminds me of this awesome japanese karaoke bar i love oh so much.

  17. Where do I find this fig vinegar?!?!??!

  18. x, i'm 90% sure you might actually sleep with at least one laptop, a glass of wine, and your blackberry within 2 feet of your bed on a regular basis. hahahaha.

  19. I am looking forward to trying the lasagna! Good job with the alcohol-less month! But I think you made the right decision in embracing wine again :)

  20. I was totally sold after I saw that there is goat cheese in this!

    Haha I totally pass out after just a little bit of wine too. :P It makes some people giggly, but it just puts me right to sleep!

  21. YUM! That lasagna looks delish.
    I just had dinner at Monza downtown so I had my sauce and cheese fix too! :)

  22. you had me at: italian men, pasta, marinara sauce, cheese. the rest of this post was just fluff. just kidding. i loved and i must replicate ASAP. THANK YOU.

    ps. if you did pass out w/ wine and your blackberry i wouldn't judge.

  23. Lasagna sounds fabulous!!!

    I guess I shouldnt say how I once passed out with a empty bottle of wine in hand, phone in the other and McDonalds wrapper stuck to my face in the morning courtesy of their chicken sandwich with mayo? I guess not but apparently I keep it classy.

  24. Soo I am just sitting here with tears in my eyes because of your incredibly sweet and heart filled comment. like really, I am so filled with love right now!! Goodness gracious. you really just blessed me! Thank you so much. I am so thankful for your energetic and fun loving spirit! You always crack me up. like really! And i love you even more for taking a FAKE picture! HAHAHAH. and i love you even more for the fact that only you would do that

  25. you must be so proud of that lasagna!! im proud of you for making something this delicious <3 hehe looks like a lot of fun goes into the process too, and the crumbly goat cheese sticking to ur hands YUM

    ps. ur animal print bowl is ADORABLE <3

  26. Italian men... heh... I used to say I wanted to be a mafia wife :)

    this lasagna sounds SO good - I need to make this !!

  27. I LOVE that you crave italian food and men (don't we all?) haha! I LOVE italian food and always forget how much I do! I am DEF. trying this recipe :)

  28. Loved the passed out photo, too funny! Your lasagna looks great - it could easily be made veg with using soy crumbles too.

  29. Is that a TV in your kitchen or is that the microwave?! If that's the TV... well, I know I wouldn't ever leave the kitchen : P

  30. I love ricotta in my lasagna, too! Your lasagna looks really pretty, though I would have added more ricotta cheese, lol! Probably cover the entire dish,lol! I have started my kids with zucchini lasagna and they did take it pretty well, I think they'll have no problem with this one either. I'll be trying it real soon, thanks for sharing by the way.

  31. mm ricotta cheese is the best. this dish looks amazing. Love your sense of humor, your posts are so much fun!

  32. Loove the sounds of this lasagna! I grew up in a 100% Italian family, so lasagna was a frequent menu item..I like trying to lighten it up though--good job! :-)

  33. I WISH I had lower tolerance. I drink very rarely yet somehow can never get even the slightest buzz. Bec c'mon...when you decided to indulge in a little drink you want a bit of the side effects. LOL Otherwise, why not stick with some flavored water?

    You are so gorgeous!!!

  34. Great recipe - lots of veggies, yay!
    My lasagna usually finds itself plopped on the plate as well. Maybe that's because lasagna smells so good coming out of the oven, no one can wait 10 -15 minutes for it to set.

    Looks delic. and I have to check out your recipe for lasagna soup - how interesting!

  35. hahaha at first i was like you go girl cooking lasagna in a white dress, then you busted out a branded apron?! You're fabulous. Tolerance of a teenager?! haha You mean you don't sleep with two laptops a BB and wine?

  36. btw - i'm adding you to my blogroll!! I don't want to miss any of your shenanigans!

  37. That sounds like an incredible combination! I miss goat cheese!!! I will try this one out on my husband since I found gluten free lasagna noodles that work perfectly! As for the last picture...I just figured your tolerance was down on the wine from the month away!

  38. Oh my goodness, that lasagna looks SO good. Love the veggies on top!

  39. That lasagna looks delish! Love the extra veggies :)

  40. Baking lasagna in a WHITE dress... you brave girl.

    Looks delish :)

  41. Your lasagne look amazing! Good idea about the extra veggies.

    Since I finished college, I never drink alcohol anymore...I have to buy a bottle of wine soon :)

  42. You had me at goat cheese. Of course you know this is up my alley! :) Hey at least the lower tollerance makes your bar tab cheaper. Are you coming to brunch on Sunday?

  43. Love this post, love the cravings, love the dish, and love you hair... (side note: do you have thick hair? Can I have your hair? I'm seriously wanting to cut mine now. lol).

    Yum to the lasagna! I'm diggin' the healthy redo on it!

  44. That looks GOOD!! And I think the picture of you passed out on the bed is my favorite lol you're just too cute!

  45. I love your lists, the posed picture and lasagna! It looks delicious :)

  46. Yum! And who's the man and his laptop in your bed?? Your readers want to know, LOL:-)

  47. That looks really good, and I don't even eat turkey! I think I'm just really impressed when people make lasagna from scratch, since it's one meal I haven't tried to cook before. You've inspired me, but I'll probably wait until the cooler months when the heat isn't too hard to handle.

  48. Ok, can I come over for dinner?!?!? That looks and sounds FABULOUS!

    LOL - love the ending too. ;)