Chicken and Ham Lasagne

Ingredients

12 ounces fresh lasagne
5 cups Bechamel Sauce
1-1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups diced cooked ham
4 ounces button mushrooms, chopped
6 scallion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped sage
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup finely crumbled Monterey jack or Colby cheese
paprika
1/2 cup fresh white bread crumbs

Bechamel Sauce

2 thick onion slice
2 bay leaf
2 mace blade
4 parsley sprigs
5 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground white or black pepper

Method

  1. To make the Bechamel sauce, place the onion, bay leaf, mace and parsley in a saucepan. Add the milk and heat slowly until just boiling. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for 45 minutes.
  2. Strain the milk into a jug or bowl. Wash the saucepan, then melt the butter and stir in the flour. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring all the time. Continue stirring until the sauce boils, then reduce the heat, if necessary, so that it just simmers. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add seasoning to taste.
  3. If the sauce is not used straightaway, lay a piece of dampened waxed paper directly on its surface to prevent a skin forming.
  4. Lower the pieces of pasta one at a time into a large pot of boiling water. Bring back to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Drin and rinse under cold water. Lay the pasta on double-thick paper towels.
  5. Butter a 12-15 x 8-inch ovenproof dish and set the oven at 350°F.
  6. Set aside a third of the Bechamel sauce. Mix the chicken, ham, mushrooms, scallions, parsley and sage with the rest of the sauce. Taste for seasoning.
  7. Layer this sauce in the dish with the lasagne, ending with a layer of lasagne on top. Stir the cheese into the reserved sauce (it doesn’t matter if the sauce is too cool for it to melt), then spread it over the top of the pasta. Sprinkle with a little paprika and top with the bread crumbs.

  8. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the topping is crisp and golden and the lasagne layers are bubbling hot.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: The Fresh Pasta Cookbook

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Vegetarian Casserole with Vegetables and Wheat Berries

Ingredients

1 lb wheat berries
12 cups water
2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
28 oz canned diced tomatoes
4 zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices and separated into rings
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch squares
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch squares
1/4 cup canned pitted olives, drained and sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley sprigs

Method

  1. In a large pot, combine the wheat berries and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until most of the water has been absorbed and the wheat berries are chewy and tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Drain.
  2. Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).
  3. In a large ovenproof casserole or roasting pan, combine the eggplant, tomatoes and their juice, zucchini, onions, bell peppers, olives, garlic, and cayenne. Mix thoroughly. Cover and bake, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are tender, about 1 hour.
  4. To serve, stir the chopped parsley and vinegar into the vegetables. Divide the wheat berries among individual plates. Top each with an equal amount of the vegetables. Garnish with a parsley sprig.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Vegan Dessert of Rice Pudding

Ingredients

generous 1/2 cup raisins
5 tbsp dry sherry
1/2 cup short grain rice
3 or 4 strips of pared lemon rind
1 cup rice milk
2 cups soy milk
1 cinnamon stick, about 3in in length, plus 3 more, to decorate
1/2 cup agave syrup
pinch of salt
1 tsp ground almonds
1 tbsp soya margarine
toasted flaked (sliced) almonds, to decorate
chilled orange segments, to serve

Method

  1. Put the raisins and dry sherry in a small pan. Heat gently until warm, then set the pan aside, which will allow the raisins to swell.
  2. Mix the rice, lemon rind and rice milk in a heavy pan and bring the mixture gently to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the lemon rind pieces from the pan with a slotted spoon and discard.
  4. Add the soy milk and the cinnamon stick to the pan, then stir until the rice has absorbed the milk.
  5. Stir in the syrup and salt. Add the ground almonds and soya margarine. Stir until blended.
  6. Drain the raisins and stir into the rice mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through.
  7. Serve in individual bowls, topped with the toasted flaked almonds and orange segments, and decorate with a cinnamon stick.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Vegan Cooking

Toast with Avocado and Italian Caprese Salad

Ingredients

1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/4 cup basil, finely sliced, plus more garnish if desired
4 slices whole-grain or whole wheat bread (toasted)
1 avocado, halved and pitted
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup fat-free, shredded mozzarella
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Method

  1. Halve each cherry tomato and finely slice the basil leaves.
    Toast each piece of bread.
    Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Use a spoon to remove the avocado’s flesh from the skin and place it into a bowl. Add the chopped basil and pepper. Mash together with a fork.
    Divide avocado mixture between each toast piece, spreading a layer onto each one. Place each toast onto a plate.
    Add tomatoes onto the avocado cut-side-down. There may not be space for all the tomatoes, depending on how large the bread is. Divide shredded mozzarella between each toast and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Garnish with a few basil leaves, if desired. Serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: American Heart Association

Seared Lamb with Chickpea Salad

Ingredients

4 x 150 g lamb fillets
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 x 400 g can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained and rinsed
2 Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced
3/4 cup mint leaves
50 g baby spinach leaves

Yoghurt Dressing

1 cup natural yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt

Method

  1. Add yogurt dressing ingredients to a bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. Place the lamb, cumin, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the lamb and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking.
  4. Slice the lamb, divide the lamb, chickpeas, cucumber, mint and spinach among plates.
  5. Serve with the yoghurt dressing.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Donna Hay