In honour of National Heart Month, HEART UK has partnered up with Flora ProActiv on a campaign to raise awareness of the life-threatening effects of cholesterol. High cholesterol, which is a problem for over half of the population of England, is a major risk to heart disease as it contributes to the narrowing of vital arteries which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. There are no obvious signs or symptoms with high cholesterol so HEART UK and Flora ProActiv are urging people to check their cholesterol levels. They highlighted the issue by disrupting the London underground for a day with men in yellow suits representing cholesterol, which is an original way of getting the message across !
The good news is that for most people, there are simple and effective ways to lower cholesterol which includes changes to diet and lifestyle. Eating healthier, including super cholesterol busting food like plant sterols, and getting more active helps lower cholesterol and most people will see an effect in as little as 3 weeks. Flora ProActiv challenged me to create one of their recipes for dinners that can help lower your cholesterol and I opted for their gorgeous winter vegetable lasagne. I know it sounds too healthy to be tasty but it's actually totally scrummy !
Roast winter vegetable lasagne
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled, cut into wedges
2 parsnips, peeled
1 sweet potato, peeled
2 carrots, peeled
1 red pepper, finely diced
400 gram canned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp oregano or thyme
6 sheets lasagne sheets
25 grams Flora pro.activ buttery spread
25 grams plain flour
350 ml skimmed milk
55 grams cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp English mustard
4 slices toasted granary bread
40 grams Flora pro.activ buttery spread
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp chopped parsley
I slightly adapted the recipe to use what I had in the veg box of the fridge, so I used a mixture of swede, beetroot, sweet potato, courgette, carrot, onion and mushrooms.
Chop all the vegetables into chunks and put them in a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a preheated oven at 190˚C for 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked. I love the wonderfully bright colours.
Although I wasn't so keen when it was on my hands !
When cooked, mix with the tomatoes, tomato purée, chilli powder and herbs.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce by placing the Flora ProActiv Buttery spread and flour into a saucepan. Add the skimmed milk gradually, constantly stirring over a moderate heat. Bring to the boil.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until smooth and thickened. Add half the cheese and the mustard.
Assemble the lasagne by placing half the vegetables in an ovenproof dish, cover with three sheets of lasagne and top with half the sauce. Repeat layers ending with cheese sauce.
Sprinkle with the remaining cheese (I also added some dried breadcrumbs to give it a bit of crunch) and return to the oven for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Use the remaining ingredients to make garlic bread to accompany the dish.
I didn't really think I'd like this as much as regular lasagne but I think I actually prefer it. It's packed with flavour and is the ultimate winter warmer.
Disclosure : I received a shopping voucher for ingredients in order to try the recipe.