Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison
Dr Clare and Justine’s Sausage Lasagne
Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
6 good-quality sausages (around 400g total weight)
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 × 400g can chopped tomatoes
250g young spinach leaves
2 medium courgettes, trimmed and sliced lengthways into strips 3–4mm thick
good pinch ground nutmeg
200g full-fat crème fraîche
40g Parmesan, finely grated
Veg Portions / Serving: 1
Recipe from The Fast 800 Easy: Quick and simple recipes to make your 800-calorie days even easier by Dr Clare Bailey and Justine Pattison (Short Books).
This easy low-carb ‘lasagne’ was created during a brilliant Zoom session when we had to come up with a dish using specific ingredients. These included sausages, tinned tomatoes and spinach. We skipped the starchy lasagne sheets and used layers of courgette instead.
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6.
2. Place a shallow, flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Squeeze the sausages out of their skins and into the pan in small chunks. Add the onions and fry together, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until the onion is softened and the sausages are lightly browned. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for a few seconds. Tip the tomatoes into the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until thick.
3. Place the spinach in a colander in the sink and pour just-boiled water over the top until it softens. Otherwise, you can soften it in the microwave. Leave to stand until cool enough to handle, then squeeze the leaves to remove as much water as possible.
4. Remove the casserole from the heat and season well. Place the courgette slices over the sausage mixture, then top with the spinach leaves.
5. Stir the nutmeg into the crème fraîche and spread over the spinach – you don’t need to be too neat. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and season with more ground black pepper. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until starting to brown. 6. Remove from the oven and serve with a large green salad.
COOK’S TIP: Avoid cooking this dish for any longer than stated, as the courgettes will release more liquid as they bake.
Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.
Kids in the kitchen
Kids will love squeezing the sausagemeat out of the casings, and squeezing the excess water out of the cooked, cooled spinach. They can help you layer everything together by laying the courgette slices and spinach on the meat mixture, and by mixing the nutmeg and creme fraiche and spreading it over the top. Get them sprinkling the Parmesan, and if serving with a green salad, let them wash the leaves and perhaps even shake up a homemade jar dressing (see our leafy green recipes for that one!).
While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.
Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.