Saturday, January 1, 2011

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Spinach Lasagne

Firstly Happy New Year to you all - I hope yours was enjoyable, safe and celebrated just the way you planned. For us it was a quiet night at home with our family and my mam who is staying with us at the moment. Food was abundant as was the alcohol but it was a good night had by all!

Now we are facing a brand new year - one that will be filled with hope, dreams and aspirations. My year ahead already is filled with many challenges and planned good times. My major challenge is (and always has been) my weight and the battle that I have been facing. This year I have decided that enough is enough - no more pussy footing around the issue and no more sabotaging myself with bad food. I can cook and I can cook well but I need to focus more on healthy and good foods to fuel not only my body but my families. So with this in mind the recipes I post this year will be following along those lines and more importantly help me win the weight war!

Although the house is full of leftovers I decided to get straight back onto the ProPoints plan. I was very slack over the Christmas and New Year period but already warned the house that today I was getting back on my weight loss journey and back on the healthy eating programme. Tonight's dinner is our first healthy choice meal of the year and it was really enjoyable.

I grew up thinking lasagne was always made from minced beef, tomatoes and pasta sheets that was smothered in a thick bechemel sauce and lashings of cheese. I am loving that lasagne can really be made from any filling as long as you put it into layers of pasta - this Chicken, Sweet Potato and Spinach Lasagne was different, very tasteful and quite easy to make.

This is definitely a really different take on lasagne and as I am cooking for a crowd this time of year this dish is a crowd-pleaser not to mention very filling.

Chicken, Sweet Potato and Spinach Lasagne
(recipe adapted from WW Programme Cookbook 2011)

Serves: 10
ProPoints per serve: 10

900 grams orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 cm pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small brown onions, finely chopped
2 small red capsicum, cut into 2 cm pieces
4 garlic cloves, crushed
500 grams lean chicken mince
1000 grams Five Brothers Garlic and Wine Pasta Sauce
2 1/2 cups skim milk
2 tablespoons cornflour
400 grams baby spinach leaves
8 x Latina Fresh Lasagne sheets
50 grams finely grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Boil, steam or microwave sweet potato until just tender. Drain

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Cook onion, red capsicum and garlic, stirring, for 3 - 4 minutes or until softened.

Add chicken mince and cook, stirring to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add pasta sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Remove from heat and stir in sweet potato.

Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup milk and cornflour in a small jug.

Place remaining milk in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Whisk in the cornflour mixture. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat.

Lightly spray a large lasagne dish with cooking spray. Place 2 lasagne sheets over base. Top with a 1/3 of the chicken mixture and a 1/3 of the baby spinach. Repeat layering, finishing with lasagne sheets on the top.

Top with milk mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and tender.

Serve with point free salad.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

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