So, in line with my ‘low carb’ healthy eating plan that I’m following to put type 2 Diabetes into remission, when having the family round for Sunday Supper, I decided on a quick and easy meal was the order of the day to fill that table!
Something easy that I could prepare in advance that would enable me to spend ‘quality time’ having some family fun, whilst not being stuck away in the kitchen..
Lasagne is always a family favourite using my mum’s classic bolognaise sauce recipe, which I also use to make with just a couple of tweaks for Moussaka. Recipe: Sweet Potato Moussaka – Variation on a Classic Greek Dish
However, I had a slight dilemma as clearly standard Lasagne is definitely NOT Low Carb… I’d heard a while ago of someone using layers of cabbage instead of layers of pasta and decided I’d test it out. I prepared the standard Lasagne using fresh pasta and then made a smaller ‘diabetic’ lasagne version using cabbage instead of pasta and greek yoghurt as a sauce instead of a béchamel sauce.
I’ve added the classic bolognaise sauce recipe that I use below. This sauce can be used in lots of Italian/Greek style dishes with flavours just tweaked slightly depending on what I’m making.
For the standard classic lasagne, I make a white béchamel sauce using melted butter and flour to make a roux and then gradually adding the milk. Once the sauce is made, I add salt & pepper and some grated nutmeg to taste… (For moussaka, I omit the nutmeg and add grated cheddar cheese and a teaspoon of mustard instead). I also use the ‘fresh pasta’ sheets that you can purchase in most UK supermarkets or alternatively you can use dried lasagne sheets but they take a bit of extra cooking and you need to add more liquid (possibly red wine haha)… When making up the dish, use alternate layers of pasta, bolognaise sauce and white sauce, finishing off with a layer of pasta topped with the white sauce.
However, for the purpose of the ‘healthy eating’ Low Carb Variation, instead of the pasta sheets, I used the leaves of a white cabbage to create alternate meat/cabbage layers. I top each layer with some Full Fat Greek Yoghurt and the last layer of the dish is a good topping of greek yoghurt and then a sprinkle of grated cheese (I used cheddar but you could use Parmesan to be more ‘authentic’ to the classic Italian dish).
Classic Bolognaise Sauce:
- 1 x large onion fairly finely chopped
- 500 gram minced beef or lamb (optional to suit your taste preference)
- 2 x tins chopped tomato
- 1 x tablespoon tomato puree
- 2/3 cloves garlic or a 1-2 teaspoons of garlic paste
- 3/4’s of a desert spoon of mixed herbs
- Good ‘glug’ of red wine (1/2 glass..ish) – optional
I have seen a ‘vegetarian version’ using either quorn or aubergine instead of the meat but I’ve not tried it myself…
- Fry the onion until it starts to brown and slightly caramelise (not burnt)
- Add the minced meat and fry until brown (not a pasty brown… the browning brings out the best flavour but not burnt!)
- Add the chopped garlic and fry for another minute
- Add chopped tomato and mixed herbs & red wine
- Leave to simmer for a few minutes whilst preparing the pasta… (If you were using this for spaghetti bolognaise, you would need to cook the meat sauce thoroughly for about 30 minutes.. However if using in a lasagne type dish, the cooking will continue in the oven once the dish has been put together.
This classic sauce can be varied to use in Moussaka by adding a spoonful of mustard and leaving out the red wine.
I just came across this ‘tip’ for making a ‘fresh tomato sauce’ which looks really easy and I’m going to give it a try – you could use this as an alternative to the tinned chopped tomatoes!
So – what was the VERDICT on my ‘Healthy Low Carb Lasagne’…..
I wasn’t sure how the cabbage would taste and whether it would overpower the flavour but it truly didn’t and I’m pleased to report that it was absolutely DELICIOUS!!
Indeed the rest of the family ‘laughed’ initially at my variation on the classic dish but after tasting, they all agreed that it was a fabulous alternative… and for me, much healthier.
The pictures above show cooked Low Carb Variation with cabbage and greek yoghurt
The pictures below show cooked classic version with pasta and béchamel sauce
And here are both versions ‘in situ’ on the table served with garlic bread (not for me…Low Carb… ), and a selection of olives and sun dried tomatoes. I also serve with a mixed salad or a ‘greek’ style salad with a bit of feta cheese.. yum!
For some reason, the boys in my family are reluctant to have their photo’s taken…
Whereas the dogs are incredibly CHEEKY and like to make themselves at home and are happy to pose for their photo… (and no – they didn’t really get fed at the table…)
I still managed to get a ‘sneaky shot’ of those boys having some ‘post supper fun’…… NOT! – More like get comfy now to watch Manchester City play a football match on the TV!! As usual it was left to the ‘girls’ to ‘wash the dishes’!!!
I think you’ll agree that this highlights a significant degree of ‘inequality’ in our house? (not sure hubby would agree and it’s a good job he hasn’t got a blog as you may get a ‘different perspective’…)