It’s lasagna! It’s soup! It’s lasagna soup, and it’s delicious

Are your New Year’s resolutions beginning to fade? Use this quick dinner to avoid breaking your calorie or bank budget. Stay on the straight and narrow with tasty food that happens to be good for you, too.

Everyone loves lasagna. This is a new and popular variation that is served in bowls as a thick soup. The soup is served with dollop of ricotta cheese mixed with parmesan cheese.

Pair it with a nutritious, easy spinach salad with walnuts.

Helpful hints:

Any type of lasagna noodle can be used instead of whole wheat.

Pecan halves or other nuts can be used instead of walnuts in the salad.

Wine:

Fred Tasker’s wine suggestion: Lasagna soup is comfort food, requiring comfort wine. How about a nice, soft merlot?

Countdown:

Prepare all ingredients.

Start soup.

While soup cooks, toast walnuts and make salad.

Shopping list:

To buy: 1 package shredded carrots, 1/2 pound 95 percent lean ground beef, 1 can reduced-sodium diced tomatoes, 1 orange, 1/4 pound whole-wheat lasagna noodles, 1 bunch basil, 1 package washed, ready-to-eat spinach, 1 package walnut halves, 1 carton plain low-fat Greek yogurt and 1 piece parmesan cheese.

Staples: Olive oil, frozen diced onion, minced garlic, no-salt-added chicken broth, reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing, salt and black peppercorns.

Lasagna soup

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer.

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup frozen diced onion

1/2 cup shredded carrots

2 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 lb. 95 percent lean ground beef

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups no-salt-added chicken broth

1 cup canned, reduced-sodium diced tomatoes with the liquid

Zest from 1 orange

1/4 lb. whole wheat lasagna noodles broken into 1- to 2-inch pieces

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion and carrots. Saute 3 minutes and add the garlic for 1 minute. Add the ground beef. Brown meat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chicken broth, diced tomatoes and orange zest. Bring to a boil and add the noodles. Lower the heat and simmer 10 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Stir in the basil. Serve in soup bowls and dollop yogurt and cheese on top.

Per serving: 599 calories (28 percent from fat), 18.5 g fat (6.2 g saturated, 8.6 g monounsaturated), 86 mg cholesterol, 49.8 g protein, 62.6 g carbohydrates, 8.9 g fiber, 439 mg sodium

Yield: 2 servings

Spinach salad

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer.

2 Tbsp. walnut halves

3 cups washed, ready-to-eat spinach

2 Tbsp. reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

Place walnuts in a toaster oven for 1 minute to toast. Or, warm them in a small skillet without oil for a minute. Watch them, they burn easily. Add spinach to a bowl and toss with salad dressing. Sprinkle toasted walnuts on top.

Per serving: 69 calories (77 percent from fat), 5.9 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 1 g monounsaturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 2.5 g protein, 3.3 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber, 40 mg sodium

Yield: 2 servings

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