Tag Archives: easy white sauce

Lentil Lasagne and Lasagne made easy

Lasagne is one of those meals that is loved the whole family. Let’s face it, if you don’t love lasagne then you are very usual! Often seen as hard to make, time consuming and more comfort food than “healthy” I want to share my top tips for making it a standard weeknight family meal.

  1. Pack in the veggies. Lasagne does not have to include meat! I rarely use mince to make lasagne these days. Instead I use lasagne as a way to pack in the veg. You can use lentils, beans or tofu or quorn to get protein in. There is nothing wrong with using the normal beef mince but  if you are looking for more variety with meals or like us, are wanting to eat a greater range of plant based protein sources then it’s time to expand your lasagne repertoire.
  2. Making your own sauce doesn’t have to be complicated. As much as I love a white sauce, if I’m in a rush it always goes lumpy or I burn the bottom of the pan. One of my hacks is to use cottage cheese. Add a little natural yoghurt to thin it down and pour it on the top of the lasagne, top with grated cheese and the jobs done. I wasn’t convinced this sauce would pass the lasagne police in my house  but it did. Phew. The other easy alternative is to use a half fat creme fraiche, simple. 
  3. Embrace your freezer. I totally love my freezer, it saves me on a regular basis. Oh, and it needs defrosting, in case anyone fancies helping me with that. You can either make a double batch of the main filling and freeze it for another meal, or I like to make a whole lasagne and freeze it, makes me feel like a proper domestic goddess. Minus the tidy kitchen, mine is never tidy.
  4. Make ahead. I often make lasagne in stages. so I will either get the main filling out of the freezer and leave to defrost, or make the filling up and leave it. Then later I get a child to help me put it together, layering the filling, pasta and sauce. 
  5. Use pre-bought lasagne sheets. I know most people don’t make their own fresh lasagne sheets, but I sometimes do, it makes the lasagne SO good, literally the best lasagne. But it takes more time that I just don’t have that often. 
So why not transform your lasagne into sometime more inventive. It’s a forgiving dish. Here is a recipe for a wheat free, dairy free version I made this week:
 
 
 
Lentil Lasagne
Serves 4
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
585 calories
89 g
13 g
11 g
35 g
3 g
533 g
221 g
14 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
533g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 585
Calories from Fat 94
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
16%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 13mg
4%
Sodium 221mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 89g
30%
Dietary Fiber 34g
136%
Sugars 14g
Protein 35g
Vitamin A
203%
Vitamin C
165%
Calcium
24%
Iron
49%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 onion
  2. 2 garlic cloves
  3. 3 carrots
  4. 2 peppers
  5. 1 medium courgette
  6. 1 tsp olive oil
  7. 2 cups of dried lentils
  8. 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  9. 1 tbsp tomato puree
  10. 250ml stock (I used homemade chicken stock but you could use a stock cube and water)
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. Dried mixed herbs
  13. 1 small glug of balsamic vinegar
  14. Lasagne sheets (wheat free if required)
White sauce
  1. 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  2. 2 tbsp wheat free flour
  3. Soya milk as needed, approx 250ml
  4. 250ml water (you may not need it)
  5. Soya cheese or normal cheese
Instructions
  1. Chop all the vegetables in a food processor (this saves time!) or chop finely by hand.
  2. Saute in the oil for a few minutes, then add the lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaf, dried herbs, balsamic, stock and simmer for 20 minutes. This is your basic lasagne filling, You can now freeze this, keep it in the fridge for making up later, or use straight away.
  3. Make up the lasagne with 1 layer of lentil mix, lasagne sheets, lentil mix and lasagne sheets.
White sauce
  1. Pour the oil into a sauce pan and mix in the flour with a wooden spoon, it will make a thick paste. Mix in a little milk and stir to make a batter, now add in the rest of the milk place on a gentle heat and keep stirring to incorporate it all. The sauce will thicken, if it is too thick add some water. Keep stirring! Let it gently bubble but not too much. I like to let it cool a little and then pour on top of the lasagne.
  2. Top with cheese and bake at gas mark 5 for 45 minutes.
beta
calories
585
fat
11g
protein
35g
carbs
89g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
 

Healthy Butternut and spinach lasagne

Vegetable lasagne is one of my all time fav dishes. Super comfort food, I was looking for a way to make it healthier, not too long in the making and pack it full of veggies. I may have done it 🙂 Cooking around a baby, a toddler and a chatty, needing attention school girl means cooking needs to be simple and quick for school night meals, I managed to do this one in stages. Butternut squash was prepped at lunchtime and left. Tomato sauce was prepped after school. It was all assembled during the afterschool ballet class then popped in the oven. WIN.

Butternut squash and bean lasagne 2

Plates were literally licked clean (mental note to work on table manners in our house) and everyone had seconds. There were, of course, fights over the cheese topping. It was one of those meals for me that I just wanted to keep eating. However I listened to my stomach. Sigh. Sometimes intuitive eating is not that much fun 😉

A great meal for upping the veggie content of your meals for the week, a meat free feast. 

Butternut squash and bean lasagne 1

Butternut and spinach lasagne
Serves 4
A not-so-complicated, delicious vegetable lasagne recipe
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
764 calories
137 g
19 g
9 g
38 g
4 g
868 g
519 g
19 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
868g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 764
Calories from Fat 76
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 4g
19%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 19mg
6%
Sodium 519mg
22%
Total Carbohydrates 137g
46%
Dietary Fiber 21g
86%
Sugars 19g
Protein 38g
Vitamin A
59%
Vitamin C
50%
Calcium
33%
Iron
33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium butternut squash
  2. 1 medium onion
  3. 2 cloves garlic
  4. 1/2 aubergine, chopped
  5. handful of chopped chives
  6. 400g chopped tomatoes
  7. 1 tbsp tomato puree
  8. black pepper
  9. 2 large handfuls of greens or spinach
  10. 400g tinned beans
  11. 8 lasagne sheets
  12. 100g half fat creme fraiche
  13. 150g cottage cheese
  14. 50g cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Peel, chop and boil/steam the squash until it is soft. Now blend in a food processor and set aside.
  2. Chop the onion and saute in a pan. Add the crushed garlic. Add the aubergine and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Stir in chopped tomatoes and herbs, tomato puree and black pepper.
  4. Now slice the greens/spinach and add those to the sauce.
  5. Add the beans and stir well.
  6. Simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  7. Mix creme fraiche with cottage cheese.
Now layer it all up
  1. Butternut squash
  2. Tomato sauce
  3. Lasagne sheets
  4. Butternut squash
  5. Tomato sauce
  6. Lasagne sheets
  7. Creme fraiche and cottage cheese topping
  8. Top with grated cheese.
  9. Cook at Gas Mark 5 for 40 minutes.
beta
calories
764
fat
9g
protein
38g
carbs
137g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/