A weeks worth of dinners!

Delia’s vegetable lasagne

This is a personal favourite of mine and always a hit, even with meat lovers!  I have skinned the tomatoes in the past by blanching them in boiling water for a few minutes, but I don’t bother most of the time and it’s still delicious.  Salting the aubergine and courgette removes the bitterness of the aubergine and excess fluid from the courgette and is a good thing to do, but this is also a step that can be skipped if you are in a hurry!

INGREDIENTS

about 9 sheets of spinach lasagne (the kind that needs no pre-cooking)

For the filling:

1 small aubergine

1 heaped tablespoon capers

3 oz (75g) Mozzarella, grated

Salt and pepper

2 medium courgettes

1 lb (450g) cherry tomatoes, skinned

1 small yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 1 inch (2.5cm) squares

1 large onion, sliced and cut into 1 inch (2.5cm) squares

2 fat cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons fresh basil, leaves torn

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 oz (50g) pitted black olives, chopped

For the sauce:

35g plain flour

40g butter

1 pt (570ml) milk

1 bay leaf

grating of fresh nutmeg

3 level tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

salt and pepper

For the topping:

1 level tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan

EQUIPMENT

You will also need a large, shallow roasting tin and a heatproof baking dish measuring 9 x 9 x 2 inches (23 x 23 x 5 cm).

METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 9, 220°C Fan.

Prepare the aubergine and courgettes ahead of time by cutting them into 1 inch (2.5 cm) dice, leaving the skins on.

Then toss the dice in about a level dessertspoon of salt and pack them into a colander with a plate on top and a heavy weight on top of the plate. Leave them on one side for an hour so that some of the bitter juices drain out.

After that, squeeze out any juices left, and dry the dice thoroughly in a clean cloth. Now arrange the tomatoes, aubergine, courgettes, peppers and onion in the roasting tin, sprinkle with the chopped garlic, basil and olive oil, toss everything around in the oil to get a good coating, and season with salt and pepper. 

Now place the tin on the highest shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are toasted brown at the edges. Meanwhile make the sauce by placing all the ingredients (except the cheese) in a small saucepan and whisking continuously over a medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens. Then turn the heat down to its lowest and let the sauce cook for 2 minutes. Now add the grated Parmesan.

When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and stir in the chopped olives and the capers. Turn the oven down to gas mark 4, 180°C. Now, into the baking dish pour one quarter of the sauce, followed by one third of the vegetable mixture.

Then sprinkle in a third of the Mozzarella and follow this with a single layer of lasagne sheets. Repeat this process, ending up with a final layer of sauce and a good sprinkling of grated Parmesan. Now place the dish in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is crusty and golden. All this needs is a plain lettuce salad with a lemony dressing as an accompaniment.

 

 

Sweet potato, cauliflower and red lentil curry

I didn’t add the sriracha hot sauce to this (partly to keep the spice down, but also because I didn’t have it! J)

https://www.hauteandhealthyliving.com/recipe-box/vegetarian/instant-pot-lentil-sweet-potato-thai-curry/

 

Pesto and chicken

Not brain surgery this one!  Pasta pesto with grilled chicken breast or cooked on the George Foreman if you have one.  Add some green vegetables into the pasta e.g. green beans, broccoli and spinach OR add some roasted veg once plating up e.g. roast aubergine, courgette and tomatoes. 

If you want to try making your own pesto try this:

https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/the-best-basil-pesto/

OR for an alternative try this: (don’t worry about the nutritional yeast if you don’t have it, but it does add more flavour)

https://www.wearesovegan.com/super-green-pasta/

 

Shepherd’s pie

I didn’t follow a recipe for mine, but here’s one that you can follow:

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/9644/nofuss-shepherds-pie

I love shepherd’s pie with half white, half sweet potato mash so you could try that.  I added grated cheese to the top of mine when it went in the oven and used vegetable stock not beef, whatever you’ve got will work.  Serve with peas and ketchup is optional!

 

Puttanesca 

This roughly translates to “characteristic of a prostitute” but don’t worry the result is still child friendly J

This is another dish I have cooked 100’s of times, so don’t look at the recipe anymore, but you can use this one:

https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/pasta_puttanesca_81206

 Don’t be put off by the anchovies and capers, you won’t notice them once they are in the sauce and they really add depth of flavour.  In fact, my daughter loved the capers and was asking for more.  The anchovies dissolve, but if you want to leave them out that’s also an option as the dish will still be delicious.  Serve with a green salad.

 

Mushroom kale black bean taco bake

This weeks bean recipe – I like to eat beans at least once a week.  Personally I think they are delicious and they are just so full of goodness – fibre, protein, B vitamins, prebiotics…

This recipe is a little unconventional as it uses tortilla chips which I wouldn’t serve the kids very often due to the salt, but it makes for a change.  Don’t cook in advance of swimming lessons like I did though as the chips dissolve into nothing!  The bean mixture is still tasty if you want to serve it with something else like rice or a jacket potato.

https://gratefulgrazer.com/home/black-bean-taco-bake/

 

 Fish cakes

This recipe is out of one of my Nigel Slater cookbooks.  As he says you can use any fish you like – salmon or trout will give you a dose of omega 3s though!  

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