Almost three months ago, my cousin sustained a terrible injury to her leg – I’ll just say it involves a double break and massive interior leg burns. Pictures of her injury wouldn’t help with anyone’s appetite, that’s for sure! She lives in Colombia, and only just recently (after several surgeries) was able to travel back to the States to continue her recovery near her family and more advanced medical care. The other day she joined my family for supper, and we hoped to make her something special.
The afternoon before she came, my cousin told us that protein is especially important in her diet right now because proteins help wounds heal faster. We didn’t have any meat in the house though, as we favor fruit-and-vegetable heavy menus now that our big garden is going crazy with greens, rhubarb, asparagus, radishes, and strawberries, so I elected a vegetarian dish as the main event for the evening: Lasagne Rolls with Lentil ‘Bolognese.’ It’s a dish I have wanted to make for a while and comes from a long-forgotten vegetarian cookbook I found wedged behind a stack of ancient Taste of Home magazines: The New Vegetarian Cookbook by Roz Denny. If you’re looking for other great vegetarian dishes to make at home, check out The Chopping Block’s vegetarian cooking classes, like Vegetarian Thai or Vegan Voyage.
Lentils have a great protein-to-fat ratio and are easy to cook. They also provide a heartiness that helps fill you up like in this Hearty and Healthy Lentil Soup. This lasagna dish has a couple elements, though, including a béchamel sauce and a vegetarian version of a Bolognese sauce. My cousin loved it! I hope it speeds along her recovery process in whatever way it can.
- Cook 8-10 lasagne sheets. Drain and cool.
- Cook 8 oz fresh spinach for about 2 minutes. Add 4 oz sliced mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes. Drain and roughly chop.
- Put ½ c flour, 3 T butter, and 2½ c milk into a saucepan. Boil, stirring continuously. Reduce to simmer and add 1 bay leaf, salt, pepper, and freshly ground nutmeg.
- In another saucepan, gently fry 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 chopped carrots, and 2 stalks chopped celery in oil for about 5 minutes.
- Add 2/3 c red lentils, a can of chopped tomatoes, 2 T tomato paste, 2 c stock, 1 t dried marjoram, and salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 min.
Our Summery Superfoods class features a menu perfect for my cousin since it's jammed packed with superfoods which are whole, natural foods that contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which can benefit your health. They should definitely be a part of anyone's diet who is eating for wound healing.
Summery Superfoods is being offered on:
And if you want to learn even more about superfoods, don't miss our special class with Chef Julie Morris featuring recipes from her new book Superfood Snacks.