Julie's Low Fat Beef Noodle Casserole

My friend Julie is an absolutely great host and entertainer. We stay overnight when we visit, since the Luker family lives out of state, and Julie never fails to have some sort of yummy breakfast casserole for us when we wake. She always has great healthy recipes, and she’s one of the few people whose recipes I trust completely. They are always good.

I was a bit sceptical when I saw this recipe in her file (yes, I snoop through her book of recipes), but she told me it was a favourite and that I should give it a try. Plus, Julie’s refrigerator always has a little list showing what she’s cooking each night, and this recipe seems to be on the list every time we visit.

One weekend I had all of the ingredients on hand, so I decided to give this casserole a shot. Up until I took the first bite, I was still doubtful about how great it would taste. Much to my surprise, David and I both loved it! I thought it was a different take on lasagne…maybe Americanized lasagne? David loved it because it was so filling while still being healthy.

It’s easy enough to make, and all of the ingredients are basic (I did switch out the beef for ground turkey, of course). I prefer to put this together on the weekend so all I have to do on a weeknight is bake it. The last time I made it, I made two batches and froze one which worked out well for my busy schedule.

5 oz. egg noodles
1.5 lb. ground turkey
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup low fat sour cream
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 cup low fat cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook meat and drain (I added onion and garlic to mine while cooking), then return to skillet. Add salt, pepper, garlic salt and tomato sauce and simmer five minutes.

Meanwhile, combine cottage cheese, sour cream, and noodles.

Layer meat and noodle mixture in a casserole. Top with cheddar and parmesan and bake for 30 minutes.

Six servings, 369 calories each (when turkey is used)