Sunday, 18 August 2013

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagne and Simple Chocolate Ice Cream

Looking at my past blog posts, I notice that we have been eating a lot of red meat.  Although there are reasons, Miss A is low in iron, I still felt that I needed to balance out our diet.  This prompted me to investigate some fish options and some vegetarian options.  The lasagne recipe below is not technically vegetarian, as I use beef stock in the sauce, but you can substitute that for vegetable stock if you prefer.  I also do not make my own pasta, I have not found a GF recipe that works for me, so I have used the San Remo GF mini lasagne sheets.  These have a fairly chewy consistency, so if you can get them, I recommend the frozen sheets that are fresher when thawed.  I have not included a bechamel sauce recipe as mine has failed the last 2 times I have tried to make it.  I will trial a new recipe and keep you posted.

I have also included a simple ice cream recipe.  I usually make the custard based ice creams, but these simple ones are great on the side of a nice dessert, and the kids love them in cones.  Mstr H will prefer these to the store bought ones, even though he has no dietary needs at all.  He just likes the taste!  Homemade ice cream has a freshness you just can't get in a plastic tub!

We have hit birthday season with Miss A's bday a few weeks ago, Craig's in just over a week and Mstr H's in 4 weeks.  I have decided to discard the idea of catering for Mstr H's party, and will just order in some pizzas for the boys, while taking Miss A to the movies.  Much easier than trying to make party food for a heap of 9 year old boys!  Although I am loving that I make the food my kids eat, there are times when I need to take a break and let someone else do the cooking.


GF lasagne sheets
1L bechamel cheese sauce
500g sliced mushrooms
500g baby spinach leaves
100g baby kale leaves
100g rocket, chopped finely
1 cup Nomato sauce
2 cups beef stock (optional - can be substituted for vegetable stock)
2 cups grated Colby cheese
Mixed herbs and spices
Knob butter, dairy free spread, or oil, as preferred

Melt butter, spread or heat oil in a large frypan.  Saute mushrooms lightly.  Add spinach, kale and rocket and cook until wilted.  Add Nomato sauce, stock and herbs and spices to taste.  Be aware that the rocket has a pepper taste, so you may not need to add more pepper.  Simmer until reduced and sauce is thick.

Preheat oven to 180C.  In a lasagne dish, put a layer of mushroom sauce, a layer of bechamel sauce, a layer of pasta.  Repeat.  Top with remaining bechamel sauce and grated cheese.  Bake for 45 mins.

SIMPLE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM (from the Cuisinart Ice Cream booklet)

3/4 cup cocoa
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch salt
1 cup whole milk (I use skim)
2 cups thickened cream
1/2 tbsp vanilla essence

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, salt and cocoa.  Add milk and whisk until sugar has dissolved.  Add remaining ingredients, and mix until combined.  Here, the recipe suggests refridgerating for 2 hours, but I put straight in ice cream maker.

Churn in ice cream maker until frozen, about 20 mins.  Will need to be put in freezer for about 20 mins to firm up.

Let me know what you think in the comments!  My next installment - Veal Scallopini Funghi!  Yum!

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