I’ve told you on many occasions that my children absolutely love their fruit and vegetables, given the chance they would happily live on this all the time but of course it would get boring it they ate carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, green beans, sweetcorn and peas all the time.
Don’t get me wrong they will now eat some meat meals but they much prefer cheesy pasta and a salad – yes I am really pleased with this as I know they eat well and I have no problems in getting their 5 a day into them.
Now Emmy and Harry are both in School (Harry 3 days) I am making more of an effort to have nice hot and healthy meals ready for them when they get home, so that way we can spend more time together finding out about their day, playing and getting homework done.
I have also been having a few health issues myself. I have been having lots of stomach cramps and bloating so I am now making a conscious effort to be careful with the foods I eat, starting with a period of going Dairy-Free to see if it makes any difference.
This week I have used the recipe on the dairy-free recipes on the Flora website and it went down a storm with the kids and myself (Paul wouldn’t try it – he is a Meat and Potato eater with the occasional vegetable eaten under duress).
I choose to make a Mexican Bean Lasagne as Lasagne is a firm favourite in our household.
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1 White Onion (chopped)
- 1 Green Pepper (deseeded and chopped)
- 395g Tin of mixed beans in spicy tomato sauce
- 400g Tin of chopped tomatoes
- 25g Flora Freedom
- 25g Plain Flour
- 300ml Unsweetened Soya Milk
- 150g Dairy-free cheese (grated)
- Salt and Pepper (to season)
- 8 Flour Tortillas (halved)
- 1/2 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes (opitional)
How to make:
Firstly Pre-heat the over to 180C (160C for fan ovens) – I actually set mine to 190C as my oven door doesn’t close properly so some of the heat is lost when cooking.
Next, I heated the oil in a pan and added the onions frying until soft (but not coloured – you have to keep stirring), then add the peppers and fry for 2-3 minutes.
I always find that when cooking it is easiest to have all the ingredients cut up and measured ready as it saves times and stops me burning something when trying to multitask.
The next step was to stir in the mixed beans and chopped tomatoes and the chilli flakes (I only used a tiny bit as Emmy doesn’t really like spicy/hot food although Harry loves it). Reduce the heat and let simmer.
While the filling is simmering, it is time to make the cheese sauce: Place the Flora, Flour and Soya Milk into a medium pan, stirring continuously. Allow to boil and then reduce the heat and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Take off the heat and stir in 100g of the cheese, stir until melted – season to taste.
Now it is time to layer up the Lasagne, add a 1/4 of the bean mixture to a Lasagne dish or a deep dish, top with a single layer of tortillas, spoon over a 1/4 of the cheese sauce then repeat until it has all been used up.
Top with the left over cheese and cook for 30-35 minutes.
The children were both a little unsure of this dish to start with as it was new to them but once they realised it contained nothing they disliked they happily tried and they LOVED it, as did I. Next time I will let them help me to make this as it is simple enough for them to do with only a little adult help, and they do enjoy cooking.
When I think of dairy-free meals I was convinced they would be plain and a little on the boring side, this was far from it and I honestly couldn’t taste any difference in the dairy-free cheese sauce to a normal cheese sauce I would have used for my homemade Lasagne. Flora Freedom is the new dairy free spread in the Flora range.
It’s a little too early to tell if my dairy-free trial is helping my health issues but it certainly can’t do any harm.
“This post is posted in collaboration with Flora”