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Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables : Spinach and Sausage Lasagna Recipe

Now I don’t want to get into the pros and cons of fooling your offspring into eating veggies. Some people think it is a good idea, some think it is not – I don’t really care.

I come from a long line of non-vegetable eaters because I am English and the only vegetables we can grow properly are potatoes, peas and Brussels sprouts. Quite apart from that, the super markets and grocery stores in the UK now control all food production and force the farmers into growing 90% of their produce to order and what they insist on is good-looking, flavorless crap that is covered in pesticides and preservatives and fits in the boxes they have already ordered. Anything else gets ploughed back in.

My wife is American and the first time we ate in an English pub, she was horrified to discover that there was no salad dressing on the salad that came on the side of the plate of the meal she had ordered. Not only that, but there was no salad dressing to be had – unless you call, “Salad cream,” – a chemical concoction designed to disguise the fact that English salads taste like damp cardboard – a salad dressing. She didn’t believe me when I explained that the salad was for “garnish,” and – you are not supposed to eat it. In fact it has probably been on three other plates already and washed off in between customers – and went ahead and ate it anyway. Now she knows better, and will not be making that mistake again.

Anyway – I have been trained from birth to not like vegetables and I feel the need occasionally to disguise the fact that there are vegetables in something to make them more palatable and I came up with this recipe recently. Sausage and Spinach Lasagna – in which I will show you how to camouflage one pound of spinach in three pounds of meat. This seems to be optimum ratio and any more spinach than this and the spinach-ness leaks through.

Trust me – your kids will not even notice the spinach. And on the off-chance that they do – just tell them it is special secret ingredient – green sausage – the bestest, most expensivest sausage in creation, and if they don’t stop asking questions – they will be the secret ingredient in the next Lasagna – which will be eaten by children more grateful than themselves who don’t keep asking questions.

First the target: getting one pound of spinach into a Lasagna that the kids (or me) will love.

The target spinach

The target spinach

The camouflage: One pound of Italian sausage, one pound of ground beef, one pound of breakfast or chipolata sausages and 4 cloves of garlic.

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You will need to make 2 sauces: a meat sauce and a white béchamel sauce

Ingredients for the meat sauce:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage sliced into half inch pieces
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage sliced into half inch pieces
  • 1 large tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin full of water
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • A handful of herbs and spices
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for the white sauce:

  • 4 oz butter
  • 2 heaped tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 pints of milk
  • 1/4 pint cream (thin cream, not whipping)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried nutmeg or ¼ of a whole fresh nutmeg

You will also need:

  • 1 lb of fresh spinach
  • 1 lb of Lasagna sheets
  • 1/2 lb of grated cheese of various types ( I used cheddar, comte and parmeggiano reggiano)
  • 1 bottle of red wine – for the chef

Meat Sauce

First – open the wine, pour and sip. Now – make the meat sauce. Add the oil to a large sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic first, then the chopped onion and fry until the onion is going soft but not brown – about 3 minutes.

Now – add the sliced sausage and cook until starting to brown. Add the beef and fry until also brown. Add the tomatoes, fill the can with water and add to the mix. Throw in a beef stock cube, a few mixed Italian herbs, add salt and pepper to taste, bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and put on a back burner.

While this is cooking – make the béchamel sauce:

Place the milk, butter and flour in a medium sized saucepan and place over a low heat. Bring slowly to the boil, whisking continuously. When the sauce comes to the boil, continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Sieve into a bowl and add the nutmeg and salt and pepper. Whisk once more.

By the time you have finished the béchamel sauce, the meat sauce will be cooked and we are now ready to make the camouflaged spinach Lasagna.

First – take the Lasagna dish, butter the inside and add the first sheets of Lasagna.

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Now add a layer of spinach.

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Followed by a layer of meat sauce

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Followed by a layer of béchamel sauce

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More Pasta

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More Spinach

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More Meat Sauce

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More béchamel

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One more layer of pasta, meat sauce and béchamel followed by pasta

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The last of the béchamel

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 Now add the grated cheese

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Bake in a 340 degree oven for 30 minutes

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Spinach? What spinach?

Bon Apetit !

Printable version:

 

Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables : Spinach and Sausage Lasagna Recipe
 
Healthy Eating For Children :: Spinach And Sausage Lasagne Now I don't want to get into the pros and cons of fooling your offspring into eating veggies. Some people think it is a good idea, some think it is not - I don't really care. I come from a long line of non-vegetable eaters because I am English and the only vegetables we can grow properly are potatoes, peas and Brussels sprouts. Quite apart from that, the super markets and grocery stores in the UK now control all food production and force the farmers into growing 90% of their produce to order and what they insist on is good-looking, flavorless crap that is covered in pesticides and preservatives and fits in the boxes they have already ordered. Anything else gets ploughed back in. My wife is American and the first time we ate in an English pub, she was horrified to discover that there was no salad dressing on the salad that came on the side of the plate of the meal she had ordered. Not only that, but there was no salad dressing to be had - unless you call, "Salad cream," - a chemical concoction designed to disguise the fact that English salads taste like damp cardboard - a salad dressing. She didn't believe me when I explained that the salad was for "garnish," and - you are not supposed to eat it. In fact it has probably been on three other plates already and washed off in between customers - and went ahead and ate it anyway. Now she knows better, and will not be making that mistake again. Anyway - I have been trained from birth to not like vegetables and I feel the need occasionally to disguise the fact that there are vegetables in something to make them more palatable and I came up with this recipe recently. Sausage and Spinach Lasagna - in which I will show you how to camouflage one pound of spinach in three pounds of meat. This seems to be optimum ratio and any more spinach than this and the spinach-ness leaks through. Trust me - your kids will not even notice the spinach. And on the off-chance that they do - just tell them it is special secret ingredient - green sausage - the bestest, most expensivest sausage in creation, and if they don't stop asking questions - they will be the secret ingredient in the next Lasagna - which will be eaten by children more grateful than themselves who don't keep asking questions.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • You will need to make 2 sauces: a meat sauce and a white béchamel sauce
  • Ingredients for the meat sauce:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage sliced into half inch pieces
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage sliced into half inch pieces
  • 1 large tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin full of water
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • A handful of herbs and spices
  • salt and pepper
  • Ingredients for the white sauce:
  • 4 oz butter
  • 2 heaped tablespoons flour
  • 1½ pints of milk
  • ¼ pint cream (thin cream, not whipping)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried nutmeg or ¼ of a whole fresh nutmeg
  • You will also need:
  • 1 lb of fresh spinach
  • 1 lb of Lasagna sheets
  • ½ lb of grated cheese of various types ( I used cheddar, comte and parmeggiano reggiano)
  • 1 bottle of red wine - for the chef
Instructions
  1. Meat Sauce
  2. First - open the wine, pour and sip. Now - make the meat sauce. Add the oil to a large sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic first, then the chopped onion and fry until the onion is going soft but not brown - about 3 minutes.
  3. Now - add the sliced sausage and cook until starting to brown. Add the beef and fry until also brown. Add the tomatoes, fill the can with water and add to the mix. Throw in a beef stock cube, a few mixed Italian herbs, add salt and pepper to taste, bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and put on a back burner.
  4. While this is cooking - make the béchamel sauce:
  5. Place the milk, butter and flour in a medium sized saucepan and place over a low heat. Bring slowly to the boil, whisking continuously. When the sauce comes to the boil, continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Sieve into a bowl and add the nutmeg and salt and pepper. Whisk once more.
  6. By the time you have finished the béchamel sauce, the meat sauce will be cooked and we are now ready to make the camouflaged spinach Lasagna.

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