Mediterranean vegetable lasagne
Eating a Mediterranean diet can drastically reduce the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes serious lung disease like emphysema and bronchitis.
A French study, which tracked almost 43,000 men for 12 years, found that diets containing plenty of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and fish (especially oily fish) are rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fats and antioxidants, which cut the risk of tissue inflammation.
A Mediterranean diet also equates to lower levels of sugar and nitrates in the diet - both of which have been linked to impaired lung function.
There are plenty of colourful vegetables in this tasty vegetarian lasagne, which means it is bursting with vitamins and antioxidants to help keep the lungs healthy. Roasting the vegetables first really brings out the flavour, as well as releasing greater amounts of an antioxidant known as lycopene from the vegetable cells so more can be absorbed by the body.
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 hr 10 mins
Total time: 1 hr 40 mins
Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6)
- 10 sheets of spinach lasagne (no pre-cooking required)
- 1 small aubergine, chopped into chunks
- 2 courgettes, sliced
- 450g cherry tomatoes
- 1 orange or yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 bunch of basil, roughly torn
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 50g pitted black olives, chopped
- 1 tbsp capers
- 75g grated mozzarella
- 300ml half-fat creme fraiche
- Pinch of nutmeg powder
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan
- Freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 240C/gas mark 9. Arrange the tomatoes, aubergine, courgettes, peppers and onion in a roasting tin, sprinkle with the chopped garlic, basil and olive oil, toss to give a good coating, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are toasted brown at the edges.
Put the crème frâiche in a bowl and mix with the grated mozzarella and nutmeg, season with black pepper and grated Parmesan. When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and stir in the chopped olives and the capers. Turn the oven down to 180C/gas mark 4.
Take a large baking dish and pour in one third of the vegetable mixture. Then add a single layer of lasagne sheets. Repeat this process, ending up with a final layer of lasagne. Spread the crème frâiche mixture on top and sprinkle over the Parmesan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is crusty and golden.