So we are still living like campers in Sydney! Our stuff is waiting to be checked by customs so hopefully life in the kitchen will be back to normal soon… I never realised how much I LOVE my cup measures, hand held blender and weighing scales. I also never realised how many different meals you can cook with only one saucepan, frying pan, electric wok and a grill. We are however eating rather a lot of eggs and pasta at the moment!
I was inspired by a woman’s weekly cookbook a couple of weeks back and adapted one of their recipes to create this lasagne. Regular Freddie’s Food followers might remember a cheats lasagne I created a wee while ago for a post about iron rich meals well this is the budget friendly version! I’m trying to reduce the cost of our weekly shop at the moment as life in Sydney is pretty expensive compared to Wellington and bulking out mince with pulses and veggies is one quick easy way to do that.
The Beef and Lentil Ragu could definitely be used straight with pasta, you don’t need to turn it into a lasagne. It is also a great dish for babies from 6 months (Lottie really enjoyed it!) as it is rich in iron and because the lentils are being served with red meat this will boost the absorption of non-haem iron by up to four times. Try and follow the meal with a serving of fruit containing Vitamin C as this will also boost the iron absorption. If you are looking for more iron rich meal ideas you should also check out this post Iron – Is my baby getting enough?
This recipe was designed to be cooked in the oven but by reducing the liquid by about 1/3 it could be cooked in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours on low.
Slow Cooked Beef and Lentil Lasagne
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: Ragu 1 1/2 hours Lasagne 1/2 hour
Makes: 2 adults and 2 children plus 1 a portion for Mum or Dad to take to work the next day!
Ragu250g premium beef mince
1 1/2 cups green lentils
1/2 brown onion
2 cloves garlic
2 large portabello mushrooms
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 can chopped tomatos
2 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 tbsp olive oil
100g cottage cheese
4 lasagne sheets
2 tbsps cornflour
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsps grated Parmesan
Finely chop all the vegetables
Fry off the onions and garlic in the olive oil.
Add the mince and brown.
Add the vegetables and soften, then add the lentils.
Pour over the tomatoes, stock and tomato paste. Stir and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours on a low hob or in the oven at 150′C until the lentils have softened and the sauce thickened.
Once the ragu is cooked assemble the lasagna. Place 1/3 sauce in a oven proof dish, layer 1/3 of the cottage cheese on top followed by a single layer of lasagna sheets. Repeat twice.
Meanwhile make topping. In saucepan combine cornflour with milk and heat over a low heat until it thickens. Pour over the finished lasagne and sprinkle the grate Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake at 180 ‘C for 1/2 hour until bubbling and golden on top.
Serve with either salad or peas and carrots (Freddie’s favourites!). ENJOY! I’d love to hear your tips for cutting costs in the kitchen.