Here is a fantastic recipe for turkey lasagna, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. This one is gluten-free and made with potatoes instead of lasagna noodles. I always use fresh spinach to pack this recipe with leafy green nutrition. There are also some options for different variations.
A Turkey Lasagna with Potatoes
I really love potatoes and all their benefits. Potatoes are naturally gluten-free and make the perfect alternative to a wheat-based pasta noodle. Here is what you should know about this nutritious vegetable.
Potatoes Don’t Spike Blood Sugar
When potatoes are a part of a mixed meal, they don’t negatively affect blood sugar. This was confirmed by a 2020 study published in Clinical Nutrition. Researchers looked at how potatoes and rice affected post-meal and overnight blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. The mixed meals they tested were 50% carbohydrate, 30% fat, and 20% protein (many would consider this a “high carb” meal, but it’s actually a balanced macronutrient meal). The potato preparations included boiled, roasted, and boiled then cooled. The study concluded that potatoes are suitable for type 2 diabetics when they’re part of a mixed meal. But keep in mind, the cooking method matters.
The Way You Cook Potatoes Matters
One study looked at the impact of cooking methods on starch and nutrient content. Choose grilling, baking, or roasting as the preferred cooking methods. Boiling resulted in some of the nutrients being leached into the water, but boiled then cooled potatoes (as you would do for potato salad) significantly increased resistant starch. But you can preserve more nutrients with boiling if you leave the skin on. Read more about the benefits of resistant starch here.
Potatoes May Help With Weight Control and Exercise
Potatoes, especially when cooled to room temperature, provide excellent resistant starch. Resistant starch can help the body burn more fat and decrease its storage. Your body can’t digest resistant starch (similar to fiber), so when it makes it way to the large intestine, it feeds your beneficial bacteria. So in addition to fat-burning resistant starch, research shows that potatoes are more satisfying than other starchy carbs, such as rice or pasta.
If you are exercising regularly, consider potatoes in your diet to provide excellent energy for exercise. A 2019 study found that potato puree worked just as well as a commercial carbohydrate gel when they measured performance outcomes in prolonged exercise.
Potatoes are Highly Nutritious
Potatoes are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium. They are also a good source of vitamin B6 which helps the body make non-essential amino acids (proteins) for vital functions. The white potato is the 4th most important food energy and is grown worldwide. I recommend buying organic and using them with the skin since it adds more fiber and nutrients.
What’s a Nightshade?
The white potato (not sweet potato) is considered a vegetable from the Solanaceae family (nightshades). Nightshade vegetables, like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, goji berries, and white potatoes, contain small amounts of alkaloids. Alkaloids can be unhealthy in large doses and some plants in the nightshade family are poisonous to humans (tobacco, belladonna). Some claim the nightshade vegetables promote inflammation, but there aren’t many studies to back this up. Reactions to nightshades are person-specific, so there is no need to avoid them unless they don’t agree with you.
Enjoy this healthy recipe!
Looks great while making it too!
Turkey Lasagna with Spinach and Potato
- 2 large organic baking potatoes peeled and cut into 1/4 slices
- 1 pound organic ground turkey
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- avocado oil cooking spray
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced or 1 crushed garlic frozen cube
- 3 cups tomato or marinara sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried basil plus 3 fresh basil leaves for garnish
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1 cup organic mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Lightly brush potato slices with olive oil and layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 450 degrees. When lightly browned on edges, remove and set aside.
- Spray a skillet with some cooking spray and cook the turkey, onion, and garlic over medium heat. When the meat is fully cooked, drain fat and return to the burner. Add the tomato sauce and spices. Cover and let this mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, mix the egg with the ricotta and cottage cheeses.
- Prepare a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Arrange half of the potato slices on the bottom. Spread half of the cheese mixture over the potato slices. Spread half of the spinach leaves over the cheese layer. Add half of the meat mixture. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese.
- Repeat the layers again.
- Top with Parmesan or Romano cheese.
- Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove and allow 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
This meal was seriously delicious 🙂 The next day it was even better with some scrambled eggs.