The secret ingredient


I need to tell you all about an amazing book that recently came out. The woman's story is a true inspiration. "In her 30s, Sally Bee suffered three heart attacks in one week. She had no family history of heart problems and was young, fit and healthy. Six years on, it has been a steady battle back to health and for Sally food became a vital life source. This story is the basis of her book, The Secret Ingredient -- a cookbook of delicious, easy-to-make, affordable and heart-healthy meals the whole family can enjoy."


I was told about this book and asked if I'd like to see one of the recipes and post about it, after looking down the list, "healthiest-ever lasagne" caught my eye... and I knew I had to ask to see it! In truth I haven't had a chance to make it yet (it's been too hot!) but I had had had to tell you about this book so I hope you try this recipe, and if you do let me know what you think!!

Healthiest-Ever Lasagne

This is a delicious, warming and rich lasagne without the added fat of a traditional lasagne. It’s made without the usual fat-laden cheese sauce and only has a light sprinkling of cheese on top. Using very lean meat and only a tiny amount of olive oil, you can enjoy this dish with the family and feel happy that you are nourishing them wonderfully.

Serves 4
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 carrots, scrubbed but skin on and finely chopped (if you use organic, you can leave the
skin on; if your carrots are not organic, I suggest you peel them)
2 organic celery sticks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
12oz lean minced (ground) steak or turkey mince (ground turkey)
5 1/2 oz chopped mushrooms, chopped
1 1/4 cups beef or chicken stock
2/3 cup red wine or extra stock
14 oz can chopped tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato purée (paste)
1 tbsp dried oregano or mixed herbs
Freshly ground black pepper
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
10 -12 sheets dried no-pre-cook lasagna
1 1/2 oz mature low fat cheddar cheese

For the sauce:
3 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
2 1/2 cups semi-skimmed (low-fat) milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


1.) Heat the oil in a large, lidded saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion and fry gently for 5minutes. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook for a further 5minutes, or until the onion is soft and just beginning to colour.
2.) Turn up the heat a little, then add the beef or turkey and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and crumbly. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1moreminute, then drain off any fat from the meat.
3.) Stir in the stock, wine or extra stock, tomatoes, tomato purée (paste) and dried herbs. Bring to the boil, then cover and gently simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the parsley and season with black pepper to taste.
4.) Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
5.) To make the sauce mix the corn flour (cornstarch) in a small bowl or cup to a smooth paste with a little of the milk .Add more milk until all the corn flour (cornstarch) has been dissolved and it is a runny consistency. Now put the cornflour (cornstarch) mixture along with the remaining milk into a medium-sized saucepan. Over a medium heat, bring to the boil while stirring continuously. Simmer for 2 minutes and stir in the nutmeg. The sauce should have thickened to a custard consistency. Take off the heat.
6.) Spoon half the meat sauce over the base of a 2 1/2 quart ovenproof dish or roasting tin. Cover with a layer of lasagna, then spoon over the remaining meat sauce and cover with another layer of pasta.
7.) Pour over the white sauce to cover the lasagna completely. Scatter over the grated cheese.

8.) Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the lasagna is bubbling and the top is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and leave to settle for 10 minutes before serving. Accompany with a lovely big salad.

From The Secret Ingredient by Sally Bee, copyright 2010 Sterling Publishing Co.

11 chews:

Mags said...

Wow...so young to have such heart problems!

The lasagna certainly looks delicious!

brandi said...

What an amazing story. This lasagna looks delicious!

Lisa said...

that looks delicious and what a story. It really puts things into perspective!

Thanks so much for sharing. I'll definitely be on the look out for this book.

Natalie said...

this sounds wonderful-although, like you, i have to wait til the temperatures subside a bit before attempting it :)

Sunshinemeg said...

you had me at lasagna... = )

That sounds amazing. I love lasagna and I am going to have to save this recipe so that I can make it once the weather starts to cool down a little!! :)

Joy said...

I have put this up on my facebook comfortfood page so that those of us in coldweather countries might try this version of lasagna!
Cheers

Maria said...

THe lasagna looks perfecto!

Joy said...

I have put this up on my facebook comfortfood page so that those of us in coldweather countries might try this version of lasagna!
Cheers

Sunshinemeg said...

you had me at lasagna... = )

brandi said...

What an amazing story. This lasagna looks delicious!

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