January 2, 2012
Had to drive to Melbourne today to drop my son off at the airport. He is flying home to the Gold Coast after staying with me for the Christmas/New Year holidays. We dropped my daughter-in-law and 4 month old granddaughter off with family on the way there; they will return home at the end of the week. It was wonderful to have all 4 of my children, along with their partners and children, home for Christmas this year. It is the first time we have all been together for Christmas in 5 years. Lots of talking, laughing, photo-taking, eating and drinking has happened these last 2 weeks and it has been fantastic. Everyone is happy and healthy and all are making their own way in the world. I miss them all already.
So the drive to Melbourne in 40 degree heat was made bearable by the fact that I had my partner’s new car to drive, which has much better aircon than my car, and it has tinted windows. When we stopped to drop off my daughter-in-law and granddaughter, the heat nearly blew us away as we got out of the car. We were glad to get back in to continue our drive.
My choice of food today included an apple, a plum, a handful of brazil nuts and dried apricots, and a bottle of water for the journey. My son and I had chicken schnitzel focaccias for lunch; I had lemon flavoured iced tea with mine. Before we left, I had toast (white bread again) and Vegemite for breakfast with a cup of green tea. I have planned vegetable lasagne for tea tonight (see recipe below). Little improvement on yesterday, although the brazil nuts and lasagne are better choices. Tomorrow I plan to do some shopping at the fruit and vegie store, and I will also buy some multigrain bread.
Did I mention the 365 +1 is for the Leap year? (Just in case you were wondering.)
700gr butternut pumpkin, cut into 1cm thick slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large brown onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium red capsicum, chopped
2 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped
Small tin mushrooms, drained
400gr tin crushed tomatoes
100gr baby spinach
2 Tbsp plain flour
1 cup grated cheese
2 cups milk (whole or reduced fat)
1. Preheat oven to 180°. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Arrange pumpkin slices in a single layer, drizzle with oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
2. Heat remaining oil in a heavy based frypan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, capsicum, zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until eggplant is just tender. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Cover and set aside for 2 minutes until spinach has wilted. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
3. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add flour and cook stirring with a wooden spoon for 1 minute or until bubbling. Remove from heat. Gradually add milk, stirring to prevent lumps forming. Return pan to heat and cook, stirring until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in half the cheese. Set aside.
4. Lightly grease a 7cm deep, large baking dish or lasagne dish. Spoon half the vegetable mixture into the dish. Arrange half the pumpkin slices over the vege mix, then a layer of lasagne sheets. Repeat layers. Spoon cheese sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Stand for 10 minutes then serve.
This recipe freezes well. I usually cut it into serving size pieces and freeze them individually. Just thaw and reheat.
This will serve 6-8 people depending on how hungry they are and whether you have a side salad or bread with it.