Healthier Family-Style Recipes

One way to lose weight as a family is to create healthier versions of your favorite family style dishes. Here are some low-calorie options for the Italian-lovin' family.

Hearty Meatball Lasagna:
1 box Whole wheat lasagna sheets (cooked)
3/4 lb (about 5) Chopped portobello mushroom caps or white button mushrooms
1 bag (10 oz) Baby Swiss chard or baby greens (can also use frozen chopped spinach as a substitute, thawed and well drained)
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
1 lb Part skim ricotta cheese
1 Egg
Pinch grated nutmeg
1 lb Part skim mozzarella (thinly sliced or grated)
1/4 cup Grated Italian cheese
8 Meatballs
Your favorite high-quality jar tomato sauce (no meat in it)
Italian Barramundi with Tomato and Wine Sauce:
2 lbs Australia Barramundi fillets
1 Medium onion (minced)
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Dried basil
1 tbsp Dried oregano
1/4 cup White wine
1 lb Peeled diced tomatoes (canned or fresh, about a cup)
2 tbsp Cornstarch (mixed with 1/4 cup cold water)
Salt and white pepper (to taste)
Non-stick cooking spray

Hearty Meatball Lasagna
Preheat oven to 375.

Toss mushrooms with 1.5 tbsp olive oil on a baking sheet. Roast mushrooms until tender and cooked through, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer into a medium bowl and mash 8 meatballs into mixture. In a large saucepan, sauté chard in remaining olive oil and garlic over medium heat until wilted. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, cooked chard and egg. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Add sauce to the bottom of an 11x14 pan, add a layer of cooked lasagna noodles over, then spoon the ricotta mixture over the top. Then add some meatball and mushroom mixture on top of that. Then place a few very small pieces of mozzarella (spread out) and more sauce to cover layer. Repeat 3 or 4 times. Top last sauce layer with remaining mozzarella (this should be most of it) and sprinkle with grated cheese and fresh cracked pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, remove foil and cook additional 15 minutes.

Italian Barramundi with Tomato and Wine Sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Thaw fillets if frozen (about 20 min. under cold water) and pat dry. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Add white wine, basil and oregano. Simmer for 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes with juice. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, season to taste with salt and white pepper. Stir in cornstarch mixture to thicken to preferred consistency. Place fillets on lightly greased baking pan. Cover with tomato mixture. Bake at 350° about 10 -15 minutes, or until barramundi flakes easily.

Serves 8. Serving size = one 4 oz. fillet. Recipe is flexible and less fish can be used.