Ahh yes, another healthy crock pot recipe. I’ve actually got quite a few healthy, low sugar, crock pot recipes lined up, and I’m excited for all of them. Side note, did you know that you can make BREAD in the crock pot???
The other day, I picked up this little magazine at the grocery store and randomly decided to buy it. When I got home and sat down to read it, I was shocked by the truths it had in it’s tiny pages. The truth about SUGAR and how much sugar we all consume without even knowing it. Now, I wasn’t born under a rock. I know that there is added sugar in our foods, but I was clueless as to how much. Turns out this tiny magazine called Prevention, was filled page to page with little known facts about sugar and how it’s been secretly adding inches to our waistlines for 40 years. They don’t have each individual page that you can read, but they do have this article >>>> here <<<< that has a lot of the same facts I learned about the sneaky ways the food industry has been adding sugar to our “healthy” foods since 1967. Like this one: American women now eat 25 POUNDS of sugar each year. And it’s not like, “oops I ate this entire cake every day for a year and that’s how.” It’s, “I’m eating healthier so I’m reaching for WHOLE WHEAT pasta/bread/crackers (me), and low fat Greek Yogurt and Organic Peanut Butter,” that’s actually PREVENTING you from losing weight. It is for me, and that’s how I knew it was true. I WAS LITERALLY EATING WHOLE WHEAT RITZ CRACKERS WITH MY FAT BURNING SOUP AS I READ THAT, Y’ALL!!!! You wanna talk about being shooketh.
Ugh. So, on the last few pages of my new holy grail magazine were low sugar, healthy, feel-good recipes. And one for bread in the crock pot!! This butternut squash and swiss chard lasagna was one of them. Swiss chard!
I saw those two words, “swiss chard,” and thought, “what the hell is a swiss chard?” LOL!
This is Swiss Chard. The bright green leafy things with the bold, blood red stems. We’ve all seen them before. And then smiled and waved as we passed by on our way to our precious baby carrots. Well this year, I’ve made a commitment to expanding my pallet, and actually cook things that I’ve never tried. So far I’ve done that twice, once with collard greens, and again here with the Swiss Chard. SO FAR, I haven’t tried something that isn’t great (knocks on wood….).
So, before we start, do me a favor and read up on that website. Then, let’s both make a commitment this year to watch out SUGAR intake. Not fat, not calories, but sugar. Because in truth, our added calories come from secretly added calories, and that in turn is made into fat! And now, with our new resolve to fight back, let’s talk about this low sugar, protein packed recipe. 🙂
Take a butternut squash and peel it. Then cut it half, cut it into half moons, and slice 1/8 inch thick, like so.
The way we’re going to cut the Swiss Chard is the exact same we cut the Collard Greens. Fold the leaves in half, and run a knife along side the red stem to remove it. Set the stems aside. Stack the leaves from biggest to smallest, fold, and chop. It’s really easy!
In a medium size bowl, whip up the ricotta cheese, egg, salt/pepper, and nutmeg. Scoop out all but 1/2 cup into a smaller bowl and set aside.
Next add the chopped Swiss Chard to the bowl with 1/2 cup of ricotta and blend well!
Now we begin the layering. I really enjoyed the diced tomatoes in this recipe because it added the right amount of savory to the butternut squash’s sweet. Add 3/4 cup to the bottom and spread evenly. Then break apart some lasagna noodles (I’m using oven ready lasagna noodles) and make your first noodle layer.
You’ll add 1/2 of the remaining ricotta, and 1/2 of the Swiss Chard mix.
Then layer on slices of butternut squash, and repeat!
Ok! At the end, top with your favorite mozzarella cheese, (I used vegan cheese, MYKOS, to be exact. My tummy doesn’t like dairy anymore apparently…) parmesean, and pepper. You can see where I drizzled some olive oil on some exposed noodles because I knew they would need moisture to cook. Then you attached the lid and cook on low for 3 hours! EASY!
Recipe and Nutrition facts below:
- 15 oz part-skim ricotta
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp salt (I added more on my own slice while I ate it, btw)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 4 C chopped Swiss Chard (about 1 small bunch)
- 1 28 OZ can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 9 (ish) lasagna noodles
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, and sliced into 1/8 inch half-moons
- 1 1/2 Cup grated mozzarella
- 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan
- Olive oil drizzled on the exposed noodles.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Transfer all but 1/2 cup of the ricotta mix to small bowl and set aside. Gently fold in chard to the medium bowl of ricotta. Set aside.
- Coat 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread 3/4 cup of the tomatoes on bottom. Top with 3 noodles, breaking as needed to fit. Spread 1/2 cup of the ricotta mix over noodles, then layer in half of the chard mix. Layer half of the squash over chard mix, overlapping to fit. Spread 1 cup of the tomatoes over squash; top with 3/4 cup of the Mozzarella. Repeat, beginning and ending with noodles, reserving some Mozzarella and ricotta mix for top.
- Top with remaining 3/4 cup tomatoes. Dollop remaining ricotta and Mozzarella over lasagna. Cover and cook on low 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Remove lid and sprinkle with Parmesan. Replace lid, turn off slow cooker, and let sit 15 minutes before serving.
- Calories: 388
- Calories From Fat: 148
- Fat: 16g
- Total Sugars: 7g
- Carbohydrates: 37g
- Cholesterol: 87mg
- Sodium: 1035mg
- Protein: 23g
- Potassium: 349mg