Monday 25 October 2021

The No-Lasagne Lasagne - And Sans Tomato!

Regular readers may remember that I'm not a huge fan of pasta or tomatoes.  I always snigger when I watch TV cooks stating that EVERYONE loves pasta.  Nope, not me.  As I've undoubtedly said before, yes I eat both pasta and tomatoes when necessary but only when it's necessary - like when your sister-in-law's sister-in-law feeds it to you for dinner :-)

Since Mr P. and I are being careful with our fats and carbs these days, I decided to make the no-lasagne/no tomato lasagne.  Even hubby who looooves pasta and loves tomato sauce enjoyed this version.  The sauce is uncooked so it has a freshness and vibrancy which I really like.  I don't like that stewed taste and texture of long-simmered tomato sauce.  Uuuurrgghhh ...  Sorry, all you tomato fans!

ready to start layering

Serves 3-4:


For the sauce:

1/2 red onion, chopped roughly

2 x 330g./12 oz jars of whole roasted capsicums/red peppers, drained - but reserve the liquid

1-2 tsp garlic granules or 2 garlic cloves

a handful of herbs of your choice, roughly chopped - parsley and chives for me

2-3 tbs tomato paste (yep, I did use the paste)

1/3-1/2 cup of the drained liquid from the capsicums

several (or lots) dashes of Tabasco sauce (Mr P. insisted on heaps)

1 tsp shichimi togarashi (optional)

1 tsp Umami Black (optional) - see notes

salt and pepper, to taste - maybe 1/2-1 tsp salt and 10 grinds of the  pepper mill

1 tsp EV olive oil

For the "lasagne":

3 zucchini (about 500g./18 oz), very thinly sliced into ribbons

200g./7 oz mushrooms, sliced thinly

200g./7 oz tin of tuna (tuna again :-)? Yep)  - optional

250g./9 oz tub of cottage cheese or ricotta 

120-150g./4-5 oz parmesan, grated

3-4 tbs panko breadcrumbs


First make your sauce; you can make it in the morning or even the day before so the flavours can meld together

Put the chopped onion into your food processor/blender and zap a few times, then throw in the rest of the sauce ingredients and blitz/pulse till you have a lovely smooth(ish) sauce - you will end up with about 500 mL/17 oz of sauce

When you're ready, grab yourself a medium-sized baking dish or rectangular casserole dish (I used an enamel baking dish) and smear 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce over the bottom

Then start layering: 

Place a layer of zucchini then mushrooms over the sauce

Next add a layer of cottage cheese, Parmesan and more sauce

And continue: more zucchini and mushrooms, then the tuna and cottage cheese, some Parmesan and more sauce

Finish up with zucchini, sauce, cottage cheese if any left, and Parmesan

Add the salt, pepper and panko over the top

Bake at 185C/365F for about 50-60 minutes till golden on top

Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, and serve with a salad if you fancy


Mr P. sliced the zucchinis into thin slivers of about 3mm (that's an eighth of an inch)

What's a handful of herbs?  Maybe 1/2 to 1 cup, more or less

What is Umami Black?  It comes from an Aussie company MBK for Life, (not an ad!) and is made up of dried kelp and black garlic.  Very good for your liver apparently

gather the sauce ingredients

into the processor


ready to layer

grate that cheese and grab that jar of tuna

layering commences :-)

keep layering

more sauce

on goes the tuna

ready for the oven at 185C

ready for eating

I told some friends I made lasagne without pasta.  They looked at me agog and askance.  Then I told 'em Mr P. kindly sliced up the zukes at 2.5mm/0.1 inch, and they were even more agogly (made this word up!) amazed.  Well, Mr P. is a building designer so measurements are his thing, my dears.  So of course he did a perfect job!

artwork © Sherry M.

Monday 18 October 2021

Tuna Green Beans And Red Potatoes Salad

As regular readers know, I have been out of action for many weeks due to a broken rib and other health issues.  I think I'm seeing some light at the end of this loooong and painful tunnel, so here we have a new post from me!  With the dish mostly put together by Mr P., we made a salad with some tuna fillets.  He is on a new eating plan (as am I) so we are eating many salads and lots of raw nuts and seeds.

And I really want to say a big thank you to everyone who has asked after me, and sent me well wishes.  I really appreciate the concern and care.  It's very cheering to know there is a wonderful and caring blogging community out there.  Who knew that starting a blog all those years ago would lead to lovely new friends?

tasty and healthy (crumbs, that fish looks weird)


400-500g./1 lb raw tuna fillets (or meaty fish of your choice)

8 baby red potatoes (about 450g./1 lb), boiled or steamed till tender

200g./7 oz green beans, boiled or steamed till done

3-4 large eggs, boiled and halved

2 x baby cos or Gem lettuces, chopped roughly

1/2 tin (200g.) cannellini beans, drained

a big handful of pitted green olives (or black or stuffed)

cherry tomatoes - a biiiig handful (or 2) is good

and a biiig handful of nuts and sunflower seeds and pepitas

herbs - lots! - I used parsley and chives

a dressing of your choice - I used a miso and sesame vinaigrette

salt and pepper 


Grill or bake or fry the tuna till medium-rare or however you like it, and let it cool

Boil or steam the halved spuds till tender and allow to cool

Boil or steam the trimmed green beans till ... just right for you

Boil the eggs as you like them, and peel 'em!

Wash and pull the lettuce apart, and shake off excess water

Drain the cannellini (use them all, or put half into the fridge for later)

Halve the olives and tomatoes (or leave whole, as you choose)

Chop or tear the herbs

Make your dressing (or shake it out from the bottle)

Flake the fish apart, chuck everything into a big bowl, whack in the dressing and toss gently - or just serve the fish fillet in one piece as we did :-) 


Make sure you buy good quality fish; we bought frozen fillets and they were a wee bit ... well, not so nice (I am going to email the company as their cooking instructions were abominable!)  But use a good brand of tinned or jarred tuna if you are pressed for time ... or energy (I like to use a jar of tuna in EVOO)

Use whatever potato you fancy - I just happen to like the texture and colour of these red babies

cook up your fish

get Mr P. to halve the tomatoes

chuck everything into a big salad bowl

boil those eggs

in go the potatoes and olives

add dressing

all in the bowl

and eat (yes, it really is tuna, I promise)

Thanks once again to those who asked after me.  It helped to know people were thinking of me, in a very dark hour!  And to those who sent cards (and a book!), I thank you from the bottom of my vulnerable and grateful heart.

© Sherry M.

Friday 1 October 2021

In My Kitchen - October 2021

Update:  This will be quick!  I am not well, but have managed to put up a bit of an IMK post.  This is as far as I got - Hello friends!  Here we are, and here I am - back again and mostly in one piece (not so much anymore).  What a long, hard haul it has been.  Do NOT ever slip on a wet bathroom floor!  Still seems unreal that such a tiny slip could cause so much bother.  

In My Kitchen:

more Tassie EV olive oil 

Yep, more EVOO.  I bought this some time ago, and it's still in my pantry.  Mr P. and I are trying to cut down our fat intake, so it may sit for a bit longer.

some Greek goodies from The Greek Providore

I bought these recently online from a Sydney retailer, thinking I had been a customer before - but no!  These are from the Greek Providore while I had previously bought from the Grecian Purveyor.  Not important of course, but just a bit funny.  And everything is delicious.

Japanese knife made by Yoshifumi Otsuka

Otsuka-san is a third-generation blacksmith in Japan.  The knife is made from Japanese iron sand and walnut.  It's such a lovely piece, and feels wonderful in the hand.

a cute little sake cup from Magnolia Mountain

I have quite a few items from Magnolia Mountain, as you may have noticed in previous IMKs.  But would anyone be able to resist this little darling?  It's a sake cup but I will find other uses for it.

the cutest little fridge magnets!

Aren't these adorable?  They are little budgies of course - budgerigars - native Aussie birds.  Soooo cute.  And looking so stinking cute (as YouTube vlogger EmmyMade would say) on my fridge.  They are handpainted rocks, made in Queensland by Tammy of Awkward Art.

you know how I love sprinkles :-)

These were delicious - light and sweet and covered in sprinkles - with just a slight whiff of egg white, which can only be a good thing 'cos you know they're real.

beautiful Meyer lemons

One of our Tassie friends was passing through Brisbane on the weekend, and gifted us these golden globes from her garden.  Mm, now what to make?  Lemon curd, lemon cordial, limoncello ...

Hope to see you with an IMK post - everyone welcome!  Check out my previous IMK posts for info as to how to join in.  Sorry, I am too sick to do more right now :-(  And I may not get to commenting on your posts for a while.  Take care!

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