Health Is Wealth

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Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia and is responsible for one death every twelve minutes. The risk factors for cardiovascular disease include being overweight or obese as well as having a low fruit and vegetable consumption. Consuming more food than is required to meet your energy needs is one of the factors that influences weight gain. Today, as we focus on ‘Health’ being ‘Wealth’, let us commit to making small dietary changes through recipe modification using nutritious alternatives that also taste fantastic.

Lasagna is a popular dish suited for almost every occasion. A traditional lasagna recipe for four serves involves:

  1. Making cheese (béchamel) sauce using 40g of butter, a cup of ricotta cheese, a cup of mozzarella cheese, 4 cups of full cream milk, half a cup of plain flour, parsley stalk and onions and cloves.
  2. Make the mince mixture by melting 20g of butter, adding onion, tomatoes, wine and 300g of lamb mince, salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease the oven proof dish with oil. Spread one layer of cheese sauce, a lasagna sheet followed by one layer of mince mixture. Repeat this process and continue layering, finish with a layer of béchamel.
  4. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake in pre-heated oven for ten minutes.

An enhanced nutritional content of this dish can be achieved by making the modifications noted below:

  1. In place of butter, use canola oil spray.
  2. Use low fat ricotta, mozzarella cheese and skim milk alternatives in place of full fat cheese and milk
  3. Use whole grain lasagna sheets and whole meal flour in place white flour and lasagna sheet
  4. Add in a cup of spinach, carrot, legumes, green peppers and zucchini to the mince mixture

Just by making the few changes recommended above, you would have already saved a whopping 500 calories or 2090kj! For an average person weighing 68kg, that will take two and a half hours to burn off through walking. Additionally, the modifications noted above will also increase the fibre and anti-oxidant content of the dish. Definitely a few small changes worth making!

Shania Khialani
Suite 2A, 517 St Kilda Road 3004 (Cnr Commercial Road)

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