Lasagne is that totally irresistible dish made from layering aldente pasta sheets with a rich tomato and bechamel sauce and plenty of good cheese. I’d say most of us have eaten our fair share of the stuff and it’s also one of those easy entertaining meals I always make at home for a casual dinner party with friends because you can just place it in the oven and allow it to do it’s magic!
It‘s a little scary when you think that an average serve has about 750 calories and 50 grams of artery clogging saturated fat, a lot of it coming from the meat, béchamel and cheese. Making a healthy version of lasagna is not rocket science, all you need to do is to make some simple changes to the ingredients and amount you use.
I’ve replaced the white pasta by using thin layers of roasted eggplant – this not only lowers the calorie and carb content but also makes it gluten free. You can also use a good 100% wholemeal pasta made from spelt, quinoa or buckwheat which is lovely. I’ve added a heap of veggies to this version, but you can also use a good grass fed lean beef mince and make the bolognaise base healthier by adding plenty of grated carrot, chopped celery, mushrooms, spinach and lentils.
Traditional béchamel is the common topping and layering sauce for a lasagne. It’s basically made by combining butter and flour in a pot over a stove then whisking in enough hot milk and cream to form a creamy white sauce. Ricotta Is my first choice when finding a good replacement for béchamel, it’s just totally delicious in lasagne and makes a tasty and healthy simple white sauce that has a good amount of complete protein. If you are dairy free, pureed cannellini beans with a little roasted garlic and olive oil makes an awesome white sauce to layer into and on top of a lasagna – silken tofu also works well.
Just by making a few simple changes to the ingredients you choose, how you cook it and your portion size, you can make improvements to your health that will last a lifetime. Eat Well and Stay Healthy . x
2 eggplant – cut into slices lengthways
1 red onion, roughly chopped
500 g pumpkin
1 tbsp olive oil
500 ml tomato passata or napolitana
handful of fresh basil, chopped
500 g ricotta
30 g Parmesan
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Grill eggplant until soft.
Combine the onion, pumpkin, zucchini and capsicum with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little cinnamon.
Roast for 30 minutes until soft then remove from the heat.
Fold through tomato sauce and fresh basil leaves.
Layer the eggplant to line the base of a large baking dish.
Top with half of the roasted vegetables.
Place another layer of eggplant over the top then proceed with the final vegetable filling.
finish off with the final layer of eggplant.
Combine ricotta and nutmeg into a food processor and Process until smooth and creamy.
Spread over the top of the eggplant followed by a light grating of Parmesan.
Bake for 30 - 40 minutes until golden and heated through.
Serve and enjoy.
To make the non-dairy white sauce combine 500 g silken tofu with 60 g raw cashew nuts into a high speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy and use to replace ricotta. Cannelini beans can also be used but you need to blend with roasted garlic and a little olive oil.
Zucchini can be used in place of the eggplant.
To add more protein: Add 1 x 400 g tin drained cannelini beans or lentils to the roasted vegetables.
calories: 228 / 954 kj
protein: 15.2 g
carbs: 13.5 g
fat: 12.7 g
Fiber: 5 g