Seven percent of Australians eat enough vegetables.
Yes, you read that right. That means 93% of Australians don't eat enough vegetables.
There is also a problem with the variety of food Aussies eat. On average, Aussies eat about 20 different types of foods per week. Now, if you ask me, that is not ideal. Research shows that the more variety we have in food intake, especially fruit and vegetables, the healthier we will be.
People who eat a wider variety of food are healthier, live longer and have reduced risks of developing lifestyle illness such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Different foods have different nutrients and antioxidants. These nutrients and antioxidants needs other nutrients and antioxidants to get absorbed and work optimally at keeping us healthy and well. So, if you depend on one type of vegetable for your vegetable intake, it may not be enough. So, it's worthwhile looking into how else you can increase the amount and variety of vegetables you eat.
Which is why this recipe is just for you!
I have developed a lasagne recipe, that doesn't have just one, or two...
but SIXTEEN different types of vegetables (aren't I awesome?)
So without further ado, here's the recipe!!
The sixteen vegetable lasagne
Time needed: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Vegetables for Roasting:
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup chopped mushroom
1 purple onion, chopped
1 green capsicum, chopped
1/4 head cauliflower, chopped
1/4 head brocolli, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes
3-4 garlic cloves, diced finely
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 Tb dried basil
3 Tb dried oregano
3 Tb dried parsley
1 long red chilli, seeded, sliced finely
salt and pepper
Ricotta and Spinach Mix:
For the Lasagne:
250 g no-cooking required lasagne sheets
1⁄4 eggplant, sliced length ways (1 cm thick)
1/2 zucchini, sliced length ways (1 cm thick)
2x 750 g passata sauce
1 1⁄2 cups grated light mozzarella cheese
30 g finely grated fresh parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the vegetables in a large roasting dish, cover in the olive oil and and season well with herbs, salt and pepper, and roast for around 45 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, make the spinach and ricotta mix.
Defrost the spinach in the microwave.
Mix in the thawed spinach the ricotta, cubed feta and parmesan. Stir thoroughly and season with pepper.
4. Once the vegetables are softened, remove from oven and mix 1 bottle (750g) of the passata sauce through them, set aside.
5. Give the roasting dish a wipe down, ready for the lasagne layering.
6. Layer the lasagne as follows:
Half of the bottle of the second passata sauce on the bottom, then lasagne sheet, vegetable mix, lasagne sheet, ricotta mix, sliced eggplant and zucchini, vegetable mix, lasagne sheet, ricotta mix, the rest of the passata sauce, cheddar cheese. Finish off with the second amount of parmesan over the top of the lasagne (this creates a beautiful golden colour on top).
Add some more cracked pepper to the top for extra flavour.
7. Bake the lasagne at 180C for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Remove from oven - slice into even squares.
This recipe will make your organs dance!
Joyce Haddad, Director of A Dietitian's Mission, is an Adelaide based Dietitian, Nutritionist and Master Personal Trainer with a passion for health and wellbeing. ADM aims to help the public make informed and realistic nutritional choices and ensure everyone has a healthy relationship with their body and with food.