Quarter 2 Benchmark

Zucchini Lasagna Recipe: 
  • 3 zucchinis sliced long
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce
  • 1 pound of ground turkey or beef (optional)
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 12oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 16oz various shredded cheeses
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg



  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Sauté onions until golden over medium heat. 
  3. Then brown ground beef or turkey in the sautéed onions. 
  4. Then add the sauce and tomatoes and let that simmer. 
  5. Mix the ricotta, the beaten egg, nutmeg, 4oz mozzarella and parmesan cheese together.
  6. Grab dish for lasagna.
  7. Place the sauce at the bottom for first layer
  8. Begin layering the zucchini layer (salting slices to draw out moisture if wanted), then ricotta mixture layer, sauce again, then the shredded cheese. 
  9. Repeat this process until you have completed 3-4 full layers. 
  10. Place basil on top.
  11. Cover the dish with foil and bake for half an hour then let rest for 15 minuets and serve!




Although a lot of this meal has pre-packaged ingredients can easily be considered processed you can find organic non GMO versions of these ingredients. All of the packaged ingredients besides the meat are either vegetable based or dairy. You can also find organic meat that wasn’t injected with growth hormones. I’d say depending on your availability the meal could be partially processed or not at all.

This meal would not kill you if you attempted to eat it everyday. For many of the products including the cheeses and the tomato sauce the one problem that is seen is high sodium. But there are many other pros that come along with them such as low sugar, vitamins and no cholesterol. If you were to eat this meal everyday I would’t include the ground turkey or beef in it all the time because that is high in cholesterol which can lead to stroke and diabetes. Although cheese is a great source of protein if you are going to take the vegetarian route for this dish. The one thing that makes this dish healthy is by substituting the lasagna noodles for zucchini strips instead. It cuts down the carbs by a plentiful amount. 

I think pretty much every ingredient was made in the United States. I think if you were to find organic zucchini that would have to come from somewhere that’s able to sustain it’s growth. I would be using Barilla pasta sauce in my dish. They advertise that it is imported from Italy. This means that there is an extensive process that goes into keeping it fresh and getting it here in a reasonable time. 

I think this meal is especially economically friendly because many of the ingredients can be stored again to be used for another time and making lasagna comes with a lot of servings where you’ll have leftovers that you freeze or refrigerate for a later date. Compared to fast food it’s definitely a better choice, the preparation is quick and easy and it will go a longer way than fast food ever could. 

If you were to chop tomatoes instead of buying them in a can surely that’s the way to go if you have the time to spare but a lot of families don’t which is why they’re already buying fast food they feel as if they already don’t have time or money on their hands. Depending on whether the tomatoes were organic or not they would be grown either in a field or industrially. While at home you have your Oprah Winfrey styled garden and the vegetables are as fresh as can be because they still don’t need to be packaged and shipped. 

Personal Reflection

I've learned a lot about this unit that isn't just knowledge to harbor in my brain but is knowledge that can be applied to my everyday life. I liked it a lot because of this reason. My perception of what I think about food has changed dramatically from doing this unit especially when we relate it to certain diseases that can arise from eating poorly. 

I think a lot of people are familiar with the typical diseases that come along with having an unhealthy diet like obesity and diabetes but suffering from strokes is never something that I even considered to be dietary related. I think the negative effects with eating poorly is something people so easily overlook. They say that they’ll change their habits constantly but the promise is never followed all the way through. I think my role in the larger food system would start with me promoting a healthy lifestyle and also following through with it. The fact that the way American’s eat has a specific name for it that has such a negative connotation is a huge wake up call for me. So I’m going to continue to try and eat as healthy as a I can and encourage others to do so as well. 

I think some of the biggest problems with our food system is that they’re only priority is money and efficiency. They more stuff they shuffle out in a shorter amount of time means more money. This is all about the the means of production. The big businesses that control how most of the packaged food in America is produced are using such little expenses but making a huge profit from it. This is one of the problems with the systems; actual lives are not being accounted for. 

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with my food choices but I could definitely benefit from eating less candy. If I made these changes I’d be sad but healthier I guess. 

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