I love eating lasagne at home because it’s a big hit in my home and also I can control what goes into it. I remember when I shared lasagne with the office boys, 1 mentioned it was the best thing he had ever eaten. (That was a non-veg lasagne). That made me very happy and proud. So during lent I had spinach and lasagne sheets. Decided to combine the two. Made a spinach lasagne. This too was a hit and having been making Spinach Lasagne ever since.

Benefits of eating spinach:

Spinach is a super food . It contains calcium, iron, magnesium, thiamine, potassium, folate, vitamins K, A & C. It has high oxalate which helps to bind calcium. Good for people with digestive tract disorders, alcoholics, people on antibiotics and diuretics. Low caloric, provides protein. Lowers blood sugar, blood pressure, improves bone health, prevents constipation and decreases the risk of asthma. Spinach contains an anti-oxidant alpha-lipoic acid and increases insulin sensitivity.

My recipe for a veggie lasagne:

Spinach vegetable:

  • 5 bundles spinach cleaned washed and chopped fine
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 8-10 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbs. Olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Lime juice 1 tbs.

Method for cooking the vegetable:

Remove the hard stem and wash the spinach thoroughly. Boil in hot salted boiling water (I have used 1/4 tsp Salt only) as spinach is salty for 1 minute. Drain and refresh with cold water and ice cubes. Now in a mixer grind the spinach with the green chillies. Keep aside. In a non-stick pan add olive and heat it on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and when they change colour slightly add garlic and saute well. Now add the spinach puree and fry. After 2 minutes add cream, lime juice. Check for salt. Switch off and keep aside.

Ingredients for cream sauce:

  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs. refined flour
  • 1/4 c cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. White pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. Mustard paste or powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Basil

Method:

Melt the butter in an aluminium vessel and add the Maida. Stir well to incorporate for 5-6 minutes on medium heat till the fragrance is released. Now add the milk and whisk till smooth. Add the mustard powder, salt, white pepper, oregano and basil. Cook for 5 minutes and stir continuously till the sauce thickens. Remove from the gas stove and keep aside. This sauce can be prepared in advance and stored. It can be used in pizzas, pastas, and as also for salads as a base.

For Lasagne

  • 9 Lasagne sheets
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbs. Oil
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 9×13 baking tray

In another vessel boil water. When the water is hot and boiling add the salt and add the oil. Now add the lasagne sheets and boil as per the packet instructions till al dente. Drain, strain and refresh with cold water and ice cubes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

In a baking tray spread the cream sauce. Make a layer of the lasagne sheets over the cream sauce. Spread the spinach batter. Over the spinach add a little of the cheese and cream sauce (as desired). Cover with the lasagne sheet. Now add a little of the cheese and cream sauce. Repeat the layers till the lasagne sheets are all used. ( I made 3 layers as per my baking dish). On the top of the last layer add as desired

cream sauce and cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes till done. Relish your lasagne and feel strong and powerful as Popeye.

Recipe: Inspiration from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

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