Roast Pumpkin + Spinach Lasagne
I love making this simple lasagne when I feel like something warm and nourishing. I normally make up a big baking dish and enjoy for lunch or dinner the next day with a large salad or steamed green vegetables, as it keeps well for up to 3 days. It freezes well too.
What’s good about it:
This lasagne, gives your body a massive hit of antioxidants. Pumpkin is high in immune boosting vitamin A, which is important for eye health, protein synthesis, reproduction and a healthy immune system. It’s also high in fibre to help lower cholesterol and has good amounts of potassium which helps to regulate fluid and mineral balance in the body. Potassium blunts the effects of sodium which can help in lowering blood pressure. Spinach is my all time favourite and the ultimate super food. High in minerals potassium and magnesium as well as lutein, an antioxidant that can help protect the body against damage and disease. Tomatoes are high in antioxidants that include lycopene that can help support the immune system and fight disease. Ricotta adds calcium and protein your body needs for healthy bones and maintain lean muscle.
1 kg pumpkin, peeled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 onion, diced
800 g chopped, tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons, fresh chopped parsley
200 g baby spinach
500 g reduced fat deli-style ricotta (see notes)
Preheat your oven to 200 C.
Slice pumpkin into 1 cm thick slices + place onto a baking tray.
Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle over a little cinnamon.
Bake for 30 minutes until tender and remove.
Sauté onion in a pot.
Add tomatoes and paste + cook for 15 minutes until thickened.
Add herbs and season to taste, then remove from heat.
Spread 1/4 of the sauce into the base of a baking dish.
Add half of the spinach then ½ of the roasted pumpkin on top.
Spoon over ½ of the tomato sauce. Repeat.
Beat the ricotta and egg until smooth.
Spread over the pumpkin.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Serve with leafy greens or steamed green vegetables.
Nutrition per serve:
Protein: 16 g
Total fat: 9 g
Saturated: 5 g
Calcium: 289 mg
Carbs: 16.6 g
To increase protein add beans, lentils or chicken when making the tomato sauce.
There are 3 great ways of making a non-dairy white sauce for those who have lactose issues:
1 Substitute the ricotta for pureed, white cannelini beans blended with roasted garlic and a splash of olive oil. It makes a great replacement for the ricotta in the recipe, plus it’s high in protein and fiber to help lower cholesterol and keep blood sugars stable.
2 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.
3 Quickly steam 1 whole cauliflower then blend with roasted garlic and a splash of olive oil until smooth and creamy. Spread over the lasagne and bake. When using this version, you need to add protein to make this meal complete, so add 500 g chicken breast into the tomato sauce or brown lentils or beans.