After splurging on these extremely delicious, fudgy, decadent brownies, I needed to counter balance a little bit. No, really. I ate way too much of them. Just could not contain myself. I lose all self control around these brownies. Well, any brownies. No, anything chocolate. I can’t contain myself around anything chocolate.
Okay, losing track again. Back to counter balancing. Which is really, really, REALLY necessary. Cookies and carrot sticks. It’s all about balance. Right? Right. Ok, now I’m babbling.
So, how to counter balance? Starving yourself after splurging on anything is not the answer. Eating a healthy, nutritious meal is. Well, that’s my opinion anyway. For us, this means upping the veggies (even more) and cutting down a bit on the bad (empty) carbs. But the boys were requesting lasagna. Correction: they demanded lasagna. Darn. That was not what I had in mind as a balancing meal. How to fix that? To get idea’s, I usually check the fridge to see what’s available and what needs to be used fairly quickly. I get the best idea’s when under pressure. Now I looked at spinach, zucchini’s and minced beef. Lasagna? What else was there. Two tubs mascarpone cheese and a bag of grated cheese. Lasagna. Lasagna. Lasagna? Yes, LASAGNA!
Zucchini Spinach Lasagna!
Start by preheating your oven to 180 °C (fan assisted) and grease a 9×13″ oven dish. Then slice two zucchini’s into thin strips (I used a mandolin). Very roughly chop 400 g (14 oz) fresh spinach. Put both aside.
Using a wok or skillet, brown 1 kg (2.5 lb) of minced beef. Add 2 tbsp Italian spice mix (I used a spaghetti mix, but you can use any preferred spices or spice mix) and 2 tbsp of dried (or fresh) spring onions.
Add spinach and stir.
Once the spinach has wilted, add 2 tubs of mascarpone cheese (500 g/18 oz) and stir until well blended. Add 6 tbsp oat bran and stir well. The oat bran is optional, but it will absorb excess liquid during baking so you don’t end up with a leaking mess.
To assemble, layer a third of the zucchini slices on the bottom of the greased oven dish.
Add half of the beef mixture. Layer another third of the zucchini slices on top and add the rest of the beef mixture.
Top with the rest of zucchini slices. Then top with 200 g (7 oz) of grated cheese. I used a mixture of mozzarella, Emmenthal and Gouda, but any cheese that melts well will do. Just use whichever cheese you prefer.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest for about ten minutes before slicing. Serve with a fresh salad.
Now this was not exactly what the boys expected when they requested lasagna, but they absolutely loved it! Job done 😉