Very Voluptuous Veggilicious Lasagne

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Some of my friends often say that they get put off when there are too many ingredients in a recipe and I have done that myself to be honest. However sometimes it’s nice to just spend that extra bit of time and to add those extra touches to make delicious food without all the calories and Syns if you are on Slimming World diet. This dish is bursting with veggies and so it must be very healthy and extremely tasty. You really don’t miss the meat but of course you could add a veggie mince or even some tofu if you wanted to. The idea is to play around with it until you get your ideal combination. You can use whatever veggies of your choice, you could add diced fennel and fennel seeds and celeriac as well, even a layer of spinach just adds to the vitamins. This can be made gluten-free and also vegetarian if you use vegetarian cheese and cheese sauce alternative. Also you will need a vegetarian/gluten-free Worcester sauce and lasagne sheets.

Serves 8 generous portions

Slimming world Syns – I make it as 1.5 Syns per portion if the cheese is part of your Healthy A choice. Obviously this will be more if not part of your Healthy A. (Please feel free to comment if I have miscalculated)

INGREDIENTS

3 red onions finely chopped

2 carrots  finely chopped

2 sticks of celery finely chopped

Half of the fennel bulb  finely chopped (Optional)

2 courgettes Diced

3 portabello mushrooms or any mushrooms of choice Chopped into chunks

half of butternut squash diced

1 red pepper diced

one yellow pepper diced

One jar of red peppers (optional however they are easily available and really tasty)

2 teaspoons of rapeseed oil  or spray oil

1 tablespoon each of dried oregano, basil, thyme

half a teaspoon of nutmeg

1 teaspoon each of onion and garlic powder

2 teaspoons of vegetable bouillon powder (gluten-free if required)

black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons of tomato purée

4 tablespoons of Worcester sauce (optional) (check for gluten-free or vegetarian equivalent if required)

4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (optional to taste)

1 tin of plum tomatoes  and a small carton of tomato passata (500 g)

large bunch of fresh basil

1 small bag of fresh spinach (optional)

For the Topping

a box of lasagne sheets, quantity depending on size of lasagne dish.

1 pot of fat-free quark

1 pot of fat-free cottage cheese

2 egg yolks

200g of reduced fat grated mozzarella cheese (or grated cheese of choice)

50 -100g of grated Parmesan cheese  or strong cheese of choice (optional but recommended)

don’t panic about the cheese too much as this should work out at only 37.5g per serving so can make up part of your Healthy A choice for Slimming World.

METHOD

Fry the onions for a few minutes to start caramelise.

Add the carrot, celery, fennel and garlic and fry for a few more minutes until lightly caramelised.

Add the balsamic vinegar and allow to reduce.

Add the tomato purée and fry for a couple of minutes to take away the rawness.

Add the rest of the vegetables excluding the jarred peppers and fry until lightly caramelised and starting to soften.

Add the boullion, dried herbs and spices.

Blitz the passata, basil, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and Worcester sauce then add to the pan and allow the liquid to reduce over a medium heat.

In the meantime, blend the eggs , cottage cheese, quark and a handful of mozzarella

When the vegetable mix has thickened slightly spoon a layer into a lasagne dish and then scatter over a couple of generous handfuls of fresh spinach if using and top with your chosen lasagna sheets.

This is the point where you decide to add some Syns or not because it’s nice to put some grated mozzarella over at this stage and some of the cheese sauce. The choice is yours but it is not compulsory. (Or use your Healthy A allowance)

Add another layer of the vegetable mix and more spinach and then again top with the lasagna sheets.

Spoon over the rest of the cheese sauce and top with mozzarella cheese and a scattering of Parmesan if using.

Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and the pastor and veggies are cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting into 8 portions.

NB as an alternative you could divide the mixture into foil trays and put them straight in the freezer until you are ready to cook as individual portions or just cook as a whole and then freeze it in portions ready cooked.

Serve with a nice crisp crunchy salad

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