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Archive for February, 2010

Low carb, vegetarian lasagne

16 Feb

I love a dish that combines a bunch of different veggies and this dish hits the spot. I spotted this recipe by Teresa Cutter (The Healthy Chef) in an edition of Fitness First magazine that is distributed in Australia for members. In case you missed it, I am obsessed with Teresa’s recipes from both her website, and her 80/20 diet book. Teresa’s recipe uses just asparagus but I added a layer of red peppers. Next time I think I will throw in some corn kernels but the possibilities are endless! You can check out Teresa’s web site here.

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I can’t even remember the last time I had a lasagne made with pasta sheets. Besides being a carb dodger, I have never found anywhere that does a good veggie lasagne and by good I mean uses lots of veggies rather than just the standard spinach and cheese. This is such a good idea to use thinly sliced zucchini/courgettes as the ‘pasta’. I think this will become a regular dish for us as it’s very similar to a veggie bake.

Time it takes: 1 hour

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 125g fine asparagus, trimmed 
  • 1 red pepper/capsicum, sliced into batons
  • 2 medium sized zucchini/courgettes 
  • fresh basil leaves, some sliced for the napolitana sauce
  • black pepper 
  • 200g cottage cheese or low fat ricotta 
  • 2 spring onion, sliced 
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg 
  • 2 egg whites 
  • 20g grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes

Method: 

  1. Boil a large pot of water and blanch the asparagus and peppers for 1 minute then drain well. 
  2. Slice the zucchini thinly on a mandolin lengthways (this is your pasta replacement.) 
  3. Scoop the cottage cheese or ricotta into a blender or food processor then add the egg whites and nutmeg. Blend until smooth and creamy.  
  4. Fold in the spring onion by hand. 
  5. Layer ingredients into a loaf pan in the following order so you end up with 3 layers of zucchini: zucchini – black pepper – cheese mix – asparagus – basil  – zucchini – black pepper – cheese mix – red peppers – basil – zucchini – ricotta mix – grated parmesan cheese. 
  6. Bake in a moderate 180 C oven for about 45 mins – 1 hour until golden then serve with a simple napolitana sauce.
  7. To make the napolitana sauce quickly sauté the onion until golden then add the chopped tomatoes, and a little sliced basil.  Simmer for 2 – 3 minutes and season with a little salt and pepper. 

NB: for a dairy free version substitute the cottage cheese with good quality silken tofu.

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I really love this recipe! I don’t like pasta dishes as they are usually quite ‘heavy’, and being the carb-dodger and ‘no red meat’ fan that I am, I don’t usually even look twice at them. This works out like a lovely, satisfying vegetable bake which is perfect for a Sunday afternoon lunch when it’s cold outside. Comfort food without the calories and fat! Enjoy!

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ANZAC Cookies – Happy Australia Day!

01 Feb

Whoa, so I am kinda late in posting this, but I did bake them last week for Australia Day. It was the first time I have ever attempted them and they turned out pretty good. Besides the first batch turning out slightly caramelized, the next 2 were fine. I took most of them into work the next day and they were a hit! The smell of the coconut and golden syrup as they are baking is incredible!

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Don’t you just love the serving plate? I snapped it up for $1 when I was back in Australia over Christmas…classic!

I scoured the internet for awhile trying to find a suitable recipe and ended up going with one from the Aussie Slang website. Here it is…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats, uncooked
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 115 g butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup (or honey)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp boiling water

Method:

  1. Combine the flour (sifted), oats, coconut and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter and Golden Syrup (or honey) in a saucepan over a low heat.
  3. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the water and add to the butter and Golden Syrup. (It will foam up – this is normal.)
  4. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Spoon dollops of mixture, about the size of a walnut shell, onto a greased tin leaving as much space again between dollops to allow for spreading.
  6. Bake in a moderate oven, 180C / 350F, for 15 minutes.
  7. Cool on a wire rack and seal in airtight containers
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