I’m going to start this post with saying “I dislike lasagne!”. My dislike for lasagne is so strong and well known that it was mentioned in a speech at my wedding. You know what I dislike about lasagne? It’s the melted cheese on top that goes hard and crackly (ie. the part that is everyone else’s favourite).
But I put it out there on my Facebook page – Which recipe does everyone want to see me overhaul? The response: lasagne. At first I felt like gagging, but then I thought “hey, this could give me a reason to get lasagne back into my graces”.
I looked around for a few recipes, and combined a few of them, plus added a few of my own features – mostly to avoid the crackly cheese thing. Some nutrition plus’s for this lasagne: it packs 7!!! different vegetables (ie. lots of dif vit/mins), and is super low in calories, but high in protein and fibre. I would love to hear if anyone makes my lasagne, and/or if it passes the “kid-test” x
- 2 zucchini’s
- 1 eggplant
- Around 250g good quality mince (I used pork), or for meat-free you can omit this.
- 2 capsicums (any colour welcome)
- 1 diced onion
- 1 can diced tomato
- 2 tbs chopped fresh basil
- 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
- 1 egg
- 1 tub (medium) low fat ricotta cheese
- 1 packed frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained – remove as much moisture as possible)
- 1 punnet mushrooms
- Parmesan cheese to top
- Preheat oven to 165C. Line a family size baking tray or dish with baking paper.
- Slice the zucchini lengthways or on a wicked angle. Do the same with the eggplant and mushrooms.
- Cook the meat in a frypan, adding onion, capsicum and basil once browned.
- Drain the diced tomatoes to remove as much excess tomato juice as possible (this will stop the final product from becoming soggy). Add to frypan with meat, and simmer until the mixture starts to thicken (10-15min). Taste the mixture, and add salt/pepper (conservatively) if required.
- Mix chopped parsley with ricotta cheese and egg.
Assembling the masterpiece:
- Line the bottom of the baking tray/dish with eggplant.
- Follow by half of the meat mixture.
- Then goes a layer of sliced mushroom.
- Half of the ricotta.
- All of the spinach.
- Other half of the meat mixture.
- Rest of the ricotta.
- All of the zucchini.
- Top with parmesan cheese (not too much so as to drown the rest of the dish in cheese).
- Note: feel free to mix these layers up (go wild!)
- Cover with foil and bake in the oven for around 45 minutes.
- Take the foil off and crank the oven to 175, before baking for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese meets your desired appearance (ie soft and melted, or crackly and hard).
- Makes 6 big serves. Can be served to a family of 6 with a side salad, or a family of 3-4 hungry individuals.
Note: My first attempt turned out a little on the soggy side. This can be reduced by making sure your spinach is drained well, the diced tomatoes are drained well, and you don’t add heaps of cheese on top.
Nutrition information (per piece):
kj: 920 (220 cal)
fat: 10.7g (5.2 sat)
carb: 9.9g (7.7g sugar – mostly from diced tomatoes)
Zucchini noodles are the next new thing apparently. I can see the benefits – increasing vegie intake, replacing high carb pasta for dinner etc – but when I googled it I found out you need to buy a mandoline (a fancy cutting machine) to make them:(
Well, like always, looking for an easier and cheaper way to do things, I came across this tutorial on Top With Cinnamon.
Check it out – theres a quick vid, and some simple instructions. The recipe on the bottom of her post looks good too (I’ll add it to my list).
Below is my first attempt at zucchini spaghetti. I used 2 zucchini’s to feed two of us (plus some leftovers for lunch the next day), and grated half with the ‘cheese grater’ part of the box grater, and half with the part that makes thin ‘sheets’. It was abit sloppy (I only fried the zucchini long enough for half its moisture to seep out, but not long enough for it to dry out slightly). It still tasted pretty good. When I have another crack and ace it – I’ll keep you posted on some tips x
This recipe appeals to the stingy, time poor, too stressed to cook, university student inside of me. As a nutrition student, lunchtime at uni is a time for silently judging the eating habits of other nutrition students. Two-minute noodles or frozen meals are a target for judgement. Unspoken rules include: 1. Must contain 3+ veg (of different colours – e.g. broccoli, spinach and green capsicum count as one vegetable because you can’t really get close enough to differentiate between them without getting up in someones grill). 2. Rock solid frozen food is not acceptable because a) it all kind of mushes together after heating, so you can too easily lie about what is in it, and b) it hogs the one working microwave in the student kitchen. And Rule 3. Obvious showing off (eg salmon nicoise or duck confit with crispy potatoes) is disregarded because it shows that you have a) too much time, b) too much money, or c) your mum is too good to you.
Anyways, this meal is a goody for when your fridge looks like it has been ransacked, and your pantry is similar. It is healthy, easy and cheap (+ gluten free).
- 1/2 packet rice noodles
- 1/2 packet frozen vegetables
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- Basil or parsley (in dried form if not fresh)
- Pop frozen veg, tomatoes and basil or parsley into a saucepan and heat until warm.
- Cook rice noodles to instructions on packet.
- Mix the two together and divide into as many portions as required (you should get about 3-4 serves. Best refrigerated and eaten within a few days.
Note: this is the vegetarian version – if you have some meat or tuna around, these can be added aswell.
This freshie comes from the latest Lorna Jane clothing catalogue (of all places).
Recipe in top right hand photo x
Not that this beautiful sunny day needs anything else, but to top it off I enjoyed this frothie in the sun after a nice bike ride (new bike yay!!) to the shops.
- Cacao powder
- Cinnamon powder
Just like a chocolate milkshake, only YUMMIER! x