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Beef lasagna with roast vegie salad

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Beef Lasagne with Roast Veggie Salad

Overview of Beef Lasagne

Nothing beats a home cooked meal with fresh ingredients and this Beef Lasagne is just the ticket, also providing an excellent source of carbohydrates, good quality protein and a balance of fats.

One of the most common deficiencies amongst runners is iron. This is due to the important contribution iron plays in the body plus causes for iron loss which can occur from sweat, through the feet caused by a process call foot strike haemolysis (red blood cells are damaged due to repetitive pounding on hard surfaces) and particularly for women - menstruation. Iron binds in the blood to form haemoglobin, much needed to help transport oxygen around the body and into the cells and for Red Blood Cell production. Lean beef not only provides a great source of iron that is readily absorbable but also many other valuable vitamins and minerals. Deficiency can cause fatigue and shortness of breath, the last thing a runner needs!

Another vital compound from beef is vitamin B12, which is an essential compound in the formation of Red Blood Cells and energy production. It can only be sourced from animal products, something for vegetarians to keep closely managed.

Extra vegetables have been included into the meat sauce of this beef lasagne not to mention the side of roasted veggie salad providing more variety of vegetables plus a good amount of energy giving nutritious carbohydrates (vitamins, minerals and fibre). Dietary Fibre is important for everyone, not just runners, as it can help reduce cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels, keep the digestive system functioning well and improve weight control. A healthy body equals consistent training and performance!

Beef lasagna recipe

Meat Sauce   

·       2 tsp Olive Oil

·       1 large brown onion, finely diced

·       3 cloves garlic, crushed

·       800g lean beef mince

·       2 carrots, peeled and diced

·       2 zucchini, diced

·       250g mushroom, chopped

·       700g tomato passata

·       2 Tbls tomato paste

·       2 tsp dried oregano

·       2 tsp dried basil

Cheese Sauce

·       650ml skim milk

·       3 Tbls cornflour

·       1 bay leaf

·       Pinch ground nutmeg

·       150g smooth ricotta

·       1/3 cup shredded parmesan

·       16 dried lasagne sheets (wholemeal if possible)

Roast Veggie Salad

·       1 cup diced pumpkin

·       1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

·       1 small celeriac, peeled and diced

·       1 eggplant, diced

·       1 red onion, peeled and sliced into chunky wedges

·       100g spinach

·       50g raw almonds, chopped and toasted

·       1 Tbls olive oil

·       2tsp Balsamic vinegar

Directions

Step 1 Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Heat oil in large saucepan and sauté onions and garlic until onions are softened.

Step 2 Add beef mince, breaking up to avoids clumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook for 8 minutes or until browned. Once browned add carrots and cook for further 3-4 mins.

Step 3 Add zucchini, mushroom, dried basil and oregano and allow to cook for a few minutes.

Step 4 Add tomato paste and passata. Bring to the boil, reduce to med-low heat and let simmer for 20-30 mins lid off (if bubbling too much, put on lid but slightly ajar to allow steam to escape).

Step 5 While meat sauce is cooking, begin the Cheese Sauce; blend 100ml of milk with the cornflour in a medium sized saucepan (off the heat) until it forms a smooth paste. Place saucepan on a medium heat, add remaining milk, bay leaf, nutmeg and a light seasoning of salt and pepper. Stir constantly (whisk may be useful) until sauce comes to boil. Reduce heat and cook for 2 minutes or until it thickens. Remove from heat, remove bay leaf and stir in ricotta until sauce is smooth. Place lid and set aside.

Step 6 To assemble lasagne, begin with a few spoonfuls of the meat sauce spread out over the base of a 30cm x 22cm oven proof dish. Place 4 sheets of dried lasagne sheets on top of sauce. Add 1/3 of the meat sauce then repeat with lasagne sheets. Repeat 2 more times with the last layer being the lasagne sheets.

Step 7 Remove lid from cheese sauce and give a good mix. Pour over top layer of lasagne, ensure all pasta sheets are covered. Finally sprinkle shredded parmesan over the top. Place in oven for 40-50 minutes or until knife easily cuts through lasagne sheets.

Step 8  For the roast veggie salad, combine all vegetables in a large roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper then place in oven. Roast for 20-30 minutes at same temperature as lasagne or until vegetables are cooked. Finish salad by tossing spinach through slightly cooled vegetables, add toasted almond and a drizzle of balsamic dressing

Step 9 Once the top of lasagne is golden brown and cooked through, let stand for 5-10 minutes (this helps prevent the lasagne being ‘soupy’). Serve with salad.