Iron-rich spinach lasagne
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IRON?
Iron is an essential mineral that we need to get from our diet, because our body can’t make it. It plays a number of important roles in the body, like supporting energy levels, and helping the body to make red blood cells as well as haemoglobin - a protein found in red blood cells which transports vital oxygen around the body.
WHICH FOODS CONTAIN IRON?
There are many sources of iron you can include in your everyday diet, including:
- Red meat, poultry and fish
- Green leafy vegetables, like spinach and silverbeet (found in this recipe!)
- Broccoli (suggested as a side)
- Lentils and beans (cannellini beans especially, also included here)
- 3 x 400g whole peeled canned tomatoes (or equivalent amount of passata)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 400g canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 large bunch silverbeet, roughly chopped
- 120g baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 250g lasagne sheets
- Sprinkle of parmesan cheese (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- Place tomatoes in a medium sized bowl and mash with a potato masher until pureed (alternatively, blend in a food processor). If using passata, you can skip this step.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, then add the garlic and stir until golden.
- Add the tomatoes, cumin and cannellini beans. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Place the silverbeet and baby spinach in a steamer and steam until tender. Allow to cool.
- In a medium sized baking dish spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the base, then place a layer of lasagne sheets on top, ensuring all the sauce is covered.
- Place a thicker layer of sauce over the top of the lasagne sheets, followed by a layer of the spinach mixture.
- Repeat these layers of lasagne sheets, tomato sauce and silverbeet mixture, until the baking dish is full.
- Finish with a layer of the tomato sauce. Top with a small sprinkle of parmesan cheese (optional).
- Place the lasagne in the oven for 55 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Cut into rectangular-shaped portions and serve with a side of broccoli for some extra iron-boosting goodness.
NOTE: We’ve only included a small amount of parmesan cheese in this recipe, because dairy foods are rich in calcium. Calcium sources are best eaten away from iron-rich meals as calcium can affect the amount of iron you absorb from your food. If you’re not worried about the iron content of this recipe, feel free to add more parmesan cheese on top or even feta and ricotta into the spinach mix.