Last week I took a little time out….not so much a holiday since I had a meeting with the charity I am involved in….HOOP…check them out on www.hoopuk.org.uk and support if you can. Plus I also worked on some new cookery book revisions.. However, I did get the chance whilst going through emails, letters and all the rest to reflect on what my bariatric buddies have been asking for just recently.
One repeated refrain kept cropping up….the intolerance of pasta after WLS and the need for a bariatric-friendly lasagne recipe. Maybe my reluctance to sort this one out and develop a recipe has been because I don’t have a problem with pasta (well I do to be honest…I like it too much!). So I did some research (with the help of my friends at Good Housekeeping who I used to work for), tinkered in the kitchen a bit and hey presto here’s my pasta-free recommendation to you. The recipe below uses extra lean minced/ground beef but if you want to make a vegetarian alternative then simply use Quorn mince instead.
It’s the not the fastest dish to get on the table so I would recommend that you make a double quantity and freeze one before cooking. Defrost thoroughly before cooking. The perfect dish to serve with a crisp green salad.
1 large aubergine/eggplant, sliced thinly lengthways
2 courgettes/zucchini, sliced thinly lengthways
low-fat cooking spray
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g/14 oz extra lean minced beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
200g/2 cups sliced mushrooms
400g/14 oz can chopped tomatoes with herbs
1 tbsp tomato puree/paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
21/2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
500ml/generous 2 cups skimmed milk
125g/4 oz ball light mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1. Preheat a grill/broiler to high. Place the aubergine/eggplant and courgette/zucchini slices on a baking tray (lined with easy glide ideally) and spritz generously with low-fat cooking spray. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and grill/broil until cooked through, about 6 minutes, turning once. Set aside while making the filling.
2. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/gas mark 6. Place the beef in a large non-stick pan and cook over a moderate heat until browned. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, tomato puree/paste, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning to taste, mixing well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until cooked and slightly thickened.
3. To make the sauce, put the cornflour/cornstarch in a pan with the milk and seasoning to taste, whisking well. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly until smooth and thickened.
4. To assemble the lasagne, spoon half of the beef mixture into a large ovenproof dish. Top with half of the aubergine/eggplant and courgette/zucchini slices. Top with half of the prepared sauce and half of the mozzarella slices. Repeat with the remaining meat, vegetables, sauce and mozzarella.
5. Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes until cooked and golden. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving with a crisp green salad.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
V suitable for Vegetarians if made with Quorn mince
* suitable for freezing
Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping