I have to have more surgery. There’s not really a lot more to say on it. I need more surgery and this time it will be major surgery so I have to lose weight beforehand to limit blood loss (or something like that). I was very gutted when I found out and I took a bit of time to wallow and really let myself be balls-out-miserable because it really is grim. It’s good news but when your good news is major surgery, it sure doesn’t feel like it. I’m tired of my uterus. If you want to the sad playlist I created to soundtrack my wallowing (because yes, of course, I made one), feel free to have a wee giggle at just how maudlin it is, I have.
Anyway, because I’m now doing what I said I never would – I’m dieting -, I’ve taken it as an opportunity to really learn to cook and to enjoy the process. So far, so good. I’ve loved it. Often, I zone out during the preparation process and take my time with stirring, adding flavours and textures before finally admiring my masterpiece.
My friends have been great with all of this. My friends are just great, to be honest. The best. Last night, I went to visit my friend Jem who said that she’s noticed how much I’m enjoying cooking and wanted to teach me her easy vegetable lasagne recipe.
I realise I’m doing that thing where I talk away before telling you the recipe but I am no chef, and this is not a cooking website. I just have a nice wee recipe that might be beneficial to others and if not, it’s a bookmark for me.
Jem is one of my best friends. She’s loyal, she’s funny, she’s sweet and she’s all about comfort. We are both comfort-seekers, actually. Going to Jem’s for dinner is like going home. It’s always comforting, filling and so full of flavour. It’s a real treat and her taking the time to teach me one of her recipes was so thoughtful.
Anyway. The recipe. Be prepared to fall in love with Jem.
Jem-sagne (easy vegetable lasagne)
(Serves 6 if you’re generous with servings, 8 if not)
- 8 large mushrooms
- 6 garlic cloves (or more, no such thing as too much garlic)
- A drizzle of olive oil
- Fry light
- Italian seasoning
- Marscapone or creme fraiche – a tub of either
- 95 grams of red or green pesto (Jem prefers red for this but either work)
- Red lentils
- Tin of chopped tomatoes
- Tomato puree
- Vegetable stock cube
- Bag of spinach (big ol’ bag!)
- Cheddar – some would prefer parmesan and that’s fine but this should be added once it’s served as in the oven, it burns much quicker. Jem prefers cheddar because it melts much better
- Chop mushrooms roughly
- Crush your garlic cloves or chop thin slices
- Heat up the drizzle of olive oil in a pan on medium heat
- Add the mushrooms and garlic
- Pour Italian seasoning over them
- Add lentils and chopped tomatoes to the pan and stir
- Put the oven to 200 degrees and leave ingredients to simmer for 10 minutes
- Spray fry light along the base of your baking dish
- Add pasta sheets to the bottom of the dish – “it makes it easier to clean AND has more pasta!”
- This is where white sauce would usually come in but in Jem’s words: “it takes too much effort for something that tastes of nothing”
- Instead, mix your pesto and mascarpone/creme fraiche together
- Take your pan off the heat and turn your hob off
- Spread the “white sauce” mix over the first layer of pasta sheets
- Add half the lasagne mix
- Add 5 handfuls of spinach
- Add more lasagne sheets
- Add more white sauce
- Add the rest of the lasagne mix
- Pour on the rest of the spinach
- Add more lasagne sheets on top – ensure that the top sheets are covered completely otherwise they’ll burn
- Grate cheese over the top of your dish
- Cook for 25-30 minutes
This is by no means the healthiest recipe I’ve learned to cook but it’s surprisingly *quite* low in calories if you care (or have to care… ugh) about that sort of thing. It’s also something that can last the full week so it can go with a salad for work lunches or an easy dinner after a long day.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this! I probably won’t make a habit of posting recipes (or using my friends as #content #ops) but we’ll see!