My crazy Olympic-sized workload recently has meant that my diet (and my blog) has suffered shocking neglect. I’ve been feasting on M&S crisps, Cadbury’s chocolate freebies and plenty of Red Bull while in the office, and crawling into bed when I’m at home. I can’t remember the last time I cooked a proper meal from scratch!
Over the weekend, my mother-in-law Wendy gifted us a large and rather misshapen courgette from her allotment and I’ve been thinking about using it for days. I finally got the chance this afternoon to have a go at creating something yummy and nutritious from this monster.
I love making lasagne. I have a huge ceramic dish that bakes about 12 serves and I make one on a regular basis, freezing the leftover segments for easy defrostable dinners. I thought I’d tweak my original meat-based lasagne recipe to include lots of greenery (something my diet has lacked in the last few weeks!) I’m not a vegetarian, but eating meat-free recipes at least once a week makes me feel great, and also helps the grocery budget stay on track.
Ricotta, courgette and spinach lasagne
1 kilo of courgettes (about eight small ones, or one huge one!)
750g baby spinach leaves
A head of garlic, minced
A dozen large brown mushrooms, chopped
2 large brown onions, diced
A handful of grated cheddar
500ml of tomato pasta sauce
Instant lasagne sheets
Start by roughly grating the courgette, dicing the onions, slicing the mushrooms, and crushing the garlic. Sautee everything in a pan until softened. Stir three-quarters of the ricotta through the mixture.
Begin layering the lasagne by beginning with the courgette mix, then a layer of lasagne sheets, then a layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of baby spinach leaves. Repeat. For the top layer, add tomato sauce and cheddar, along with the remaining ricotta to finish off. Sprinkle some basil leaves on top too, it looks pretty.
Bake for 45 mins, or until the top is browned and the pasta softened.
Enjoy with little new potatoes on the side for a really good meat-free vegetarian dinner.
Both Mr Q and the lovely Miss Bronnie, who is staying with us from Auckland, New Zealand, agreed that the lasagne was fantastic. Plus, there’s plenty for me to take to work for late-night dinners for the next week!