Thursday, 2 July 2015

Why you should eat lasagne

I haven't made lasagne in years. Aside from p.a.s.t.a. being a new-age five-letter swear word, making a really good lasagne from scratch takes a good effort - whether it is beef or veg.

A few weeks ago I needed a convenience meal option and, at great expense, I bought a Woolies lasagne; the one in the large foil dish that they say is for three to four people. They're delusional! There was more pasta than filling, it was maybe four-centimetres high and the amount was only really good enough for a fair portion for two people (unless you have lots of salads and veggies too).

To be fair, it was tasty and to their credit Woolies didn't drown it in cheese, which is too often the case at restaurants.

I have always loved lasagne - in every version - so it has been on my mind.

On Monday night I had a good cooking session, preparing the lasagne for dinner on Tuesday night. While there are time-saving 'cheats', I made the cheese, tomato and bolognaise sauces from scratch - each one totally delicious. I assembled and baked late Monday night as I was out most of Tuesday. From there is was easy to reheat for dinner.

A normal packet of uncooked pasta is 500g and for a pasta-and-sauce dish for two people you'd cook 250g. That's 125g of uncooked pasta per person.

One packet of uncooked lasagne sheets (250g) is more than adequate for a good-sized lasagne and I got four layers into my deep baking dish. I can't quite recall but I think there were about 12 sheets in the box. I didn't use two sheets so that's around 210g of pasta that went into the dish.

My finished dish made for very generous portions sufficient for six adults. That's only 35g of pasta per person. And for the rest you've got mince/veg/spinach, a bechamel or cheese sauce and tomato sauce. I don't add extra cheese.

There are 33g of carbohydrates per 100g of pasta. So a good portion of lasagne, with its 35g of pasta, would be around 23.5g of carbs.

And then there's another kicker...

Last year some research came out about how cooled pasta is treated by your body more like fibre than a blood-glucose-spiking carbohydrate..

"Cooking pasta and then cooling it down changes the structure of the pasta, turning it into something that is called "resistant starch". If you cook and cool pasta down then your body will treat it much more like fibre, creating a smaller glucose peak and helping feed the good bacteria that reside down in your gut. You will also absorb fewer calories, making this a win-win situation." - from an article on BBC.

But how is this... cooking, cooling and then reheating the pasta makes it into an even more 'resistant starch' - it reduces the rise in blood glucose by 50%. By doing nothing more than changing the temperature, a carb-intense meal becomes fibre-loaded.

While eating lasagne feels like you're eating a pasta dish, lo-and-behold you're consuming far less pasta than if you'd had a traditional bowl of pasta - like spaghetti bolognaise or the like. AND, if you make it the night before and reheat it the next day, you have even less carb effect.

Taking all of this into consideration, the question really is... Can we move reheated lasagne onto the banting green list?

1 comment:

adventurelisa said...

A friend emailed the following to me this morning after reading this post:

"haha, best you ask Jesus Noakes that! ;-)

Your version sounds delish. Keep at it!"

Good one.