The good old daysHome » Blog » Sarah Jefferies » The good old days
A lasagne without meat? No dairy? Hang on, no pasta?!? Okay, maybe it's not a lasagne, but it is delicious …
I am only 26, but I remember the days when evening meals were always homemade, contained a good portion of veggies (out of the garden) and were enjoyed around the dining room table. Takeaways were once a week if you were lucky and then it was the one option: fish 'n chips from the local. Chicken was a luxury and saved for special occasions like Christmas day. Food was more organic, less preserved and took more time to prepare as readymade sauces and meals were just not heard of.
Sadly, times and meals have changed to meet busy schedules, takeaways are more often than not, and for many a 'healthy meal' consists of refined white carbohydrates like pasta laden with pre-made sauces, dairy and enough meat to feed an army! You can get everything pre- packaged and ready to go—which means what, exactly?
Is the everyday household lacking vitamins from fresh veggies? What are we really eating and how does this affect the way our bodies function? I, along with many of you, know what it is to rush home after a busy day at work and literally throw food (anything edible!) down your children’s throat, but there is something special—sacred, even—in a good, hot, home-cooked-from-scratch meal.
What follows is a great recipe I inherited from my vegetarian sister-in-law Ann. The exciting thing is it is all vegetables, but it tastes so good that at dinner last night my meat-loving household were back in for seconds!
The sauce, being homemade, has no preservatives and it is simply laden with the flavor of fresh herbs! Chopping the vegetables can be a bit time-consuming, but make it a family affair: if you have older children, assign them jobs. As they said in those good old days, "Many hands make light work!"
And one final thing: according to my workmate, who just watched me eat the leftovers for lunch, lasange isn’t a good name for this dish. They said it can’t be called that with no meat/dairy or pasta, so people feel free to post your comments on a new name … the winner gets to rename this special dish!
Vegetable Layered Lasagne
(No Pasta or Meat)
- 2 cups silver beet (about ½ a bunch)
- 2 cups pumpkin, sweet potato or carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 cup red onion, sliced
- 1 cup roasted capsicum, or sun-dried/semi-dried tomatoes sliced
- 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup parmesan, shaved or grated (optional, if you don’t eat dairy like myself you don’t have to add it)
- 400g can cannelloni or borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
- 150g tomato paste
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup fresh basil
- ½ cup fresh oregano
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Steam silver beet leaves until wilted, squeezing out any excess water. Steam pumpkin and onion until soft.
Make sauce by processing all ingredients together.
Lightly oil a 2-litre (10-cup) baking dish. On the base of the dish, layer all of the silver beet, then half the pumpkin slices, then half the onion and half the capsicum. Pour over half the sauce.
Next, layer half the sliced zucchini, the remaining pumpkin, onion and capsicum, and top with the remaining sauce.
Gently place the remaining zucchini on top and sprinkle with the parmesan. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 30–40 minutes, until browned.
Sprinkle with parsley and basil. Serve with a large green salad or steamed green vegetables. Enjoy!