The other night, I really craved some comfort food.
I was tired, a little bit fed up with winter and I just wanted my food to hug me from the inside. The temptation to buy a jar of creamy pasta sauce was pretty high. But admittedly, I only need to look at the ingredients on one of those jars to convince myself to make my own sauce. Price wise, making my own sauce also helps a lot as I had nearly all the ingredients at home!
Making a creamy pasta sauce can be intimidating but it’s actually very easy.
All you need is milk, flour and butter. Done! I added stock to this recipe because it gives it a lovely rich flavour.
I hope this recipe makes you feel as good as I did.
Since I announced that I was leaving my job, so many good things have been coming my way! I already have a new job lined up, I am looking at a new place to live today (I live in the staff quarters with 50 people so now I need to move) and because I am not worrying about work all the time, I feel more creative to get out there and do other things.
This gluten-free lasagna was born from a time when I wanted lasagna but was too tired to go to the shops and get the lasagna sheets.
I actually wanted my Vegetarian Lasagna but inspired by all the zucchini noodles that are out there at the moment, I went looking for a possible substitute and found my humble little sweet potato sitting at the back of the fridge.
Armed with a potato peeler, I started making thin strips of “pasta” that set the tone for this delicious dish. A lot of peeling, some cottage cheese and my creation was complete and ready for baking!
To say it was a hit in my household was an understatement and we have eaten it about 3 more times since I last made it. I also have people at home asking for the recipe so now it is finally up and ready to be shared.
Enjoy! And if you really like my no pasta lasagna, share it with your friends or leave a comment below.
3 chicken breast, chopped
3 cups of diced vegetables (I used cabbage, red+yellow peppers and some grated zucchini)
1 can of tomato
1 heaped tbs of butter
1 heaped tbs of flour
2 cups of milk
2 cups of grated cheese
1 tbs of garlic powder
In a large frypan, heat some oil and cook the chicken until it is cooked on the outside, but still a little bit pink on the inside (5 minutes).
Add your chopped vegetables to the chicken and cook until the vegetables are soft (10 minutes). If you want to speed up the process, put the lid on the saucepan and steam the veggies to get them to cook a bit faster.
Once your veggies and chicken are cooked, stir through the tomato paste and put the mix aside.
In a medium/large saucepan, add the butter and melt it over a medium heat. Once it is completely melted (2 minutes), add the flour and stir until it forms a thick paste (1 minute).
Keep stirring the paste (or a rue, as they call it in the cooking world) for about two minutes, really working out any lumps and being careful not to burn it!
Add a cup of milk and stir again, breaking up any lumps that form (3 minutes). Once the mixture starts to thicken, add the rest of the milk and stir occasionally to prevent it from burning (5 minutes). Make sure that there are no lumps.
After 5 minutes, your sauce should have thickened considerably to be like pouring custard. If it is too thick, add some more milk or water. If it is very runny, turn up the heat and mix it continuously for a minute or 2, that should do the trick! If not, mix a teaspoon of flour with some water in a cup and then mix it into the sauce.
Add the grated cheese and garlic powder, then stir until all the cheese is well incorporated and the sauce is smooth. Put the sauce aside.
Putting It All Together!
Put the lasagne sheets on the bottom of a baking dish. (I used a 9×13″ dish, which holds 2.8L)
Add a layer of the chicken mix, followed with some cheese sauce on top (enough to cover the chicken).
Repeat this process until the dish is nearly full (about 2 centimetres from the top) and finish with a layer of lasagne sheets, covered with a fair amount of cheese sauce and a little bit of grated cheese.
Bake in an oven at 350ºF/180ºC for 20 minutes, or until the top of the lasagne is nice and golden.
Take it out of the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes before you serve, as it will be extremely hot!
Serve with a green salad.
I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as I do and don’t forget to leave a comment!
Otherwise you can always take a picture of your cheesy creation and tag it: #lifewithlists
This Chicken and Vegetable Alfredo is really easy. Just cook some chicken and vegetables, add some sauce and pasta and you have a delicious meal which was quick to make but still packs a nutritional punch with all the vegetables.
You will notice that there are no photos for this post and that’s because all the ones that I took make this meal look like it is not as delicious as it really is! If you really like this meal, you can take a picture for me and post it on instagram @olivialouisetaylor or the Life With Lists facebook page. I would love to see them 🙂
I remember the first time that my Mum made this vegetable lasagne. It was in the cookbook that her work has published and had an array of different recipes that had been tried and tested by the people in the area. My Mum used to work in a kindergarten and during her time there, she set up a wonderful garden for the children to learn permaculture from, it even had it’s own chickens! Anyway… My Mum is a great cook so when I would come home from university, she would spoil me rotten with all these amazing meals and this was one of them.
So MUCH Cheese!
Literally! The original recipe calls for 3 different kinds of cheese! But thanks to this unique combination of cheddar, mozzarella and ricotta cheese, you get this wholesome dish that is full of vegetables but very easy to feed to even the fussiest eaters. Because the dairy products are so much more expensive in Canada then they are in Australia, I tend to use only 2 types of cheese but either way, this is a household favourite!
The lasagne I make is for 2-4 people as I like to have some leftover for lunches but it can be easily changed so that you can make a full sized one as well.
1 small jar of pasta sauce
Mushrooms – Chopped roughly
3 stalks of Celery – Chopped roughly
1 x Carrot – Grated
1 x Zucchini – Grated
1 x 500mL container of ricotta cheese
2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
Spinach (I use frozen but you can use fresh)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
Heat a medium sized frypan and add the chopped mushrooms with some olive oil.
Fry them up until they are golden, then add celery, carrot and zucchini. Cook until they are soft, then add the pasta sauce.
Bring the mixture to the boil, then let it simmer to thicken the sauce.
While waiting for the sauce to thicken, add the ricotta cheese, one cup of grated mozzarella cheese and the spinach to a separate bowl. Mix it by hand, until all the ingredients are combined. Place it aside.
Once the pasta sauce has thickened, take your lasagne dish and cover the bottom with the pasta.
Spoon about half a cup of the pasta sauce and the ricotta mix over the noodles and then generously sprinkle with cheddar and mozzarella cheese .
Repeat until your lasagne dish is nearly full. Lay one more layer of pasta, then spoon the last of the ricotta mix on top (there should be about a cup left) and cover with cheese.
Bake in an oven for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden from melted cheese deliciousness and serve!
Tips and Tricks
Do not fill your lasagne dish to the very top, leave about half an inch as the excess liquid from this dish will overflow while cooking and if it does, you will have an extremely messy oven afterwards (yep, that was my experience)
You can add any vegetable that you want to this, one time I used marinated artichokes and it was amazing! Sun dried tomatoes are also very good.
If you cannot find ricotta cheese, I often use cottage cheese for this meal.
If your sauce has too much liquid and you think it will take until next Tuesday to thicken, add some chia seeds. They will soak up the extra liquid and add some calcium, omega 3 and fibre to your meal.
If there is any extra pasta sauce left, you can freeze it and use it for your next lasagne. This saves food waste and a lot of food prep for your next lasagne (because you will want to make it again!)
Spaghetti and meatballs makes me think of cobbled roads and Italian people zipping around on scooters. I have never been to Italy but one day, I shall get there just to see if my vision is true.
SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS
500 grams/1 pound of ground beef
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
3 tbs of cornstarch
1/2 tsp of oregano (dried)
1/2 tsp of basil (dried)
salt and pepper to taste
thick spaghetti pasta
one jar of pasta sauce
cheese for serving (I like parmesan)
Place ground beef, bread crumbs, corn starch, egg, herbs and spices in a bowl and mix until you have formed a sticky dough.
Take about a tablespoon of mixture and roll it into a ball. Place on a separate plate. Keep doing this until you have used up all the mixture.
Turn on the element to medium and heat a large frying pan. Add a dash of olive oil and then gently place all of the meatballs in. Cover with a lid and let them cook for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, put a large pot of water on to boil and add your desired amount of pasta.
Once the meatballs are cooked on one side, turn them all over and cover them again for another 5 minutes, or until they are brown on each side.
Add your jar of pasta sauce, stirring gently so that you don’t break the meatballs, until the sauce is hot.
Drain the pasta that was cooking and after rinsing, add a swirl of olive oil.
Combine the pasta and the meatball sauce in a bowl, add some cheese of choice and enjoy.