Like most people I love lasagne, but it often leaves me feeling heavy and lethargic. This is because the traditional version is high in saturated fat and carbohydrates and a combination like this is sure to have you bloated on the sofa after eating it!
That doesn't mean you shouldn't eat lasagne though. This version is still tasty and is packed full of protein and veggies. Okay, it may not fool your die hard lasagne addicts, but I reckon you'll still find it filling and satisfying.
Wholemeal lasagne sheets
500g lean good quality beef mince
2 onions (I use one red and one brown)
3 cloves of garlic (or 2-3 teaspoons of minced garlic)
Sprinkle of Italian herbs
1 tin crushed tomatoes
1 jar passata
1 extra large or 2 small-medium eggplants chopped finely (for those who don't like eggplants you won't taste it, I promise!)
225g of brown or button mushrooms, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, either grated of finely chopped
1 packet of frozen spinach (I don't always have this in the house so I sometimes make it without)
1kg of either ricotta or cottage cheese (the photo is of cottage cheese)
100g grated parmesan cheese
150g grated mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper
Method: 1. Dice onions and cook with garlic in fry pan with a splash of olive oil. 2. When just soft, add diced eggplant and cook for 10mins until eggplant has darkened and softened. 3. Add mince and brown. 4. Add tin of tomatoes, passata, and Italian herbs. Stir and allow to simmer. 5. Add mushrooms and carrot, stir in and continue to simmer for another 10mins until sauce has thickened and vegetables are soft. 6. If using Spinach, defrost and squeeze to remove excess water. 7. Combine cottage cheese or ricotta with the parmesan, salt and pepper. 8. Grease or line a baking dish and spoon in a layer of the meat mixture into the bottom. Layer spinach on top, then pasta sheets. 9. Repeat step 8 until the meat mixture is all used, but be sure to leave a 2cm gap at the top of the tray for the cottage cheese/ricotta and mozzarella. 10. Spread the cottage cheese/ricotta mixture on top then sprinkle with the grated mozzarella. 11. Bake for 30-40 mins until golden and then enjoy!
The more finely you chop the veggies the easier they are to hide from the kids!
I leave the skin on the eggplant. There is no need to salt the eggplant as any excess water is evaporated when you allow the sauce to simmer and thicken.