Dinner, Food, Healthy, Italian food Lola style, super filling, Uncategorized

Butternut Squash Lasagna




This Serves 4.

The healthy eating plan that I’m on allows for dried pasta (Yay Slimming World HEA = free/ 1 syn I think), so you can make this with lasagne sheets and not have a problem. I just felt like skipping the starch- and the pasta coma that I get from eating too much… (I might be Garfield reincarnated) plus they were on a good price at the shop when I nipped in for some bits as they were launching some carb alternatives.

It’s not a white wine béchamel sauce on a red wine beef ragu but then that’s the sort of thing that led me to need to be on a healthy eating plan! It’s very tasty and the Scottish one went back for seconds –

  • 400g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
  • 1-2 red peppers deseeded and cubed
  • 1 courgette cubed
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 500g passata
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp each of dried rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme
  • 500g fat free natural yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable stock cube
  • low Cal cooking spray
  • pack of butternut squash lasagne sheets
  • 160g half fat cheddar grated


  1. Heat a large non stick fry pan over a high heat
  2. Brown the mince, draining off any fat in the pan.
  3. Add the veggies, stir around and cook for 10 mins till softening, colouring and smelling good
  4. add the tomato based products and herb mix. Season to taste.
  5. Take the heat down to a simmer for 15 mins, stirring so it doesn’t stick20170908_204810
  6. In a bowl/ jug mix the yogurt, eggs and crumble in the stock cube- whisk gently till smooth and set aside
  7. Preheat your oven to 180C fan assisted (gas mark 6)
  8. Spray an appropriate (medium) sized over dish with low Cal spray. layer the mince then sheets then mince till you end with the last of the lasagne sheets- I got about 3 good layers, and I cut the sheets slightly because I was using a round dish and needed to play tetri s to get a good even cover.
  9. Spread the yogurt mixture over the top and sprinkle with cheese
  10. Bake for 45-60 mins – it needs a bit longer because of the butternut. If using normal pasta sheets then 30 mins will be fine.
  11. Remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 mins, (I assemble my side salad in this time because I love a bit of crunch green/ mixed salad on the side of my pasta)


Dinner, Healthy, Italian food Lola style, Serves 2, super filling, Uncategorized

Reassuring Risotto – Roast Chicken and Pea


So after a Roast Chicken, you are left with all you need to make that meal stretch into another using the bare-ish bones you were going the throw away (see Bone Smashing Time -Chicken stock for the soul.) The packet of frozen peas that are in your freezer – that you probably partly used for said roast. Bit of butter – which you should have left from the basting of your chicken. Wine (not essential) because I normally have some sort of bottle on the go – and roast chicken without wine is weird at my table. Parmesan – the only bit I didn’t use in my roast but there is normally some cheese in the fridge doing not alot.

My mother – knowing I’m foodie inclined (we had to share a kitchen for many years) often gifts me the chicken carcass from her roasts dinners( we live less than a mile away) because I hate the idea of a free meal going to waste – and looking after the pennies helps pay the rent.

so make Monday night a (virtually) free dinner

What you Need:

The stock you’ve made from your roast chicken carcass after your Sunday roast

The meat you’ve picked off your roast chicken carcass after your Sunday roast

1 onion – fine chop

Olive oil -tablespoon / “a lug”

A Cup of risotto rice

Glass of white wine (not compulsory)

A cup of Frozen peas

Bit of Butter

Parmesan – Cheddar will be accepted – a good inch chunk


  • Peel and finely chop the onions – put them in a large pan on a low heat the olive oil.
  • Cook for around 15 mins / softened but not coloured. -Stir occasionally
  • Stir in 300g risotto rice -allow to soak up the onion-y oils.
  • turn up the heat -add in a glass of white wine or vermouth if you have it to perfume the dish.
  • Allow this to cook out / be absorbed so it looks like you never added it
  • Add stock a ladle at a time – allowing it to sizzle away (see above) before adding the next ladle.
  • Stirring regularly for 16 mins in total while you add Ladle after Ladle( I typically use the cup from measuring cos I avoid washing up where I can) – leaving a bit of stock left over (see below)
  • Add frozen peas and any left over chicken  -cook for a few (3-4) mins
  • The rice should be cooked but still holding its shape.
  • Adding a final splash of stock – loosey oozy consistency.
  • Beat in the butter + g rate in most of the Parmesan (other hard cheese acceptable)
  • Remove from heat and leave covered for 2 mins and allow the fats and the rice to muddle together as they should.
  • Finish with olive oil (not essential) and serve with rocket or other leafy salad.


Wash up roll call

1 saucepan (+ the pan with the stock if made fresh) – 1 cup (+ 1 ladle if you didn’t use the cup to add stock)- spatula / wooden spoon- grater, 2 bowls, 2 forks,


Satisfaction- made virtually for free from what’s left from Sundays chicken / cupboard staples

Dinner, Italian food Lola style, super filling

Calzones – better than being put in the friend zone

I’m not suggesting you eat a cat. Nor feed this to one. This is to represent the feels of after you have consumed.

Sometimes I need a carb overload. Sometimes I need to bury myself in soft cheese and tomato ooziness with a suggestion that something in there might be healthy to make the world seem like a better place.

Sometimes I need to feed a hungry hoard with something that makes my brothers say “oh yeah, I could totally eat 2 or 3 of those” they can’t they can eat one. They are filling and substantial and the make my world a better place. What are they? My Calzones. I wonder if they are named for being calorie-zones. But these are for the days you do not care. These are for the day that you care about your inner tummy not the look of your outer tummy. It’s like a Cornish pasty had an affair on an Italian holiday, I give to you their pizza baby.



You will need:

Bread packet mix, be adventurous, get seeded. It gives for flavour and texture.

100g passata

Jar of roasted peppers, drained and chopped

125g sweetcorn

125g mozzarella, torn up

50g hard cheese – I’m not going to judge your cheddar instead of parmesan

50g pesto – green or red, but I would go for the spicier ones.

Pepperami – chopped into half cm discs – or use cooked chicken, or go without for veggie

1 egg, beaten

Salad- if you’re going to try and make this a some sort of balanced meal.


  • Make up the bread mix and leave to prove 45min
  • Line a tray
  • Punch the dough back
  • Tip out and split into 4
  • Roll out into rounds the size of a dinner plate
  • Mix your passata and pesto together, spread over your base leaving a cm border
  • Top with sweetcorn/cheeses/meat- there Is no science to the scatter – just don’t pile too high or they won’t close
  • Fold your bread plates over in half to make half moons, squeezing the edges to seal
  • Cover with cling film/ clean kitchen towel and leave to prove for 15min
  • Heat your oven up in this time, we are going for 200C
  • Egg wash your moons
  • Back for half an hour till golden
  • Eat! – be warned molten cheese will be occurring.


Dinner, Italian food Lola style, Serves 2, super filling, Uncategorized, Under 15mins

Carbolara Imitation Carbonara


Something tasty made with store cupboard standards. Doesn’t break the bank, but it does stop the tummy rumbles- on the table in under 15 minutes and the smile on His face when he knows it’s a Carbolara night – well that’s a bonus. It’s Carbolara because its not quiet carbonara…


  • Cup of pasta – I’m not going to tell you what shape. Whatever you have going.
  • Cooking bacon – ’bout half a pack, more if you want it.
    Less if your an idiot
  • olive oil – drizzle.
  • 1 egg
  • cup of Grated cheddar- something with a bit of flavor is always best
  • garlic- teaspoon of the crushed frozen ready to cook with stuff
  • Rosemary- teaspoon of dried if its what you got, Fresh is better, His preference is when I use the Rosemary and Olive shaker

prep everything before you get started. Because it starts slow with the boiling of the water but once you get frying things can move quickly. Your on the table in no more than 15 mins. My record is 9…

Get pan of water on the go and start cooking the pasta according to the pack.

Slice up the bacon – as you can see I prefer it chunky and get it sizzling in a good hot frying pan. When its getting golden and crispy add in the garlic and seasoning, give it a min or two while you give it a good stir. and then get it off the heat. Else the next steps going to leave you with scrambled eggs in your pasta….

Meanwhile whisk up an egg into the grated cheese with a fork. By now your pasta should be nearing being cooked. Take out about half a cup of the pasta water.Whisk into cheesy eggness till a bit smooth

Now this is the quick bit-

Drain the pasta, drop into the fry pan with the bacon bits, pour in the cheesy
mix and mix mix mix.
The heat of the pan and pasta will cook out the egg and make it into a creamy tasty sauce- promise. You just need to have done it quick but have gotten your pan off the heat.

Serve in to a bowl with some salad leafs and wolf down. Job done. Food coma in progress.


Washing up : Chopping board (you can avoid this if you use scissors to cut up your bacon and do it straight into the pan.) kitchen scissors/knife, frying pan, saucepan, cheese grater, two bowls, two forks

Satisfaction – serious carb coma ensues. This is not a light lunch. Well maybe it could be if you serve it between more people. But no matter how much I cook in the hope that i have some for the next days lunch box there’s never enough left… but there is always seconds in His bowl.

Twists in the tale- add mushrooms if you got some in your fridge, cooked chicken if you fancy, olives if your inclined( i am not)