My ‘CF Chef’ – by Lisa Legros, CF patient and long-standing member of the ‘Cystic Fibrosis Adult Committee’
I am Lisa. As a child, growing up in the late 60’s, my family was told that I would not live past six years of age because of Cystic Fibrosis. Well as destiny has it, I did. Today, I am 51 years old; challenging the 2017 median of 50.9 years of life expectancy as reported by CF Canada. I am still enjoying life and still going strong. I realize how fortunate I am to have reached this milestone and I thank GOD for this every single day.
Like many of us, I have struggled to maintain my weight. Today, I’m heavy at one hundred four pounds. Now because of the mucus build up in my lungs and digestive tract, in order to maintain this weight, I need to eat foods that are high in calories and protein at all times of the day.
Well, I have a little secret. I have a helper. I have my very own ‘CF Chef’.
My better half is Chef Gilles. For the past twelve years of us being a couple, he has re-worked his food menus at home to include my needs and enable me to hold a great fight against CF. I take the medicines required to maintain my levels of enzymes, vitamins, and salt. However, my CF Chef keeps my eating patterns in check, as well as, ensuring I get more calories and protein at meal and snack times. But most importantly, he suggests an essential variety of foods that keep me interested and in turn, keeps me eating.
I would like to share some of his efforts with you by way of providing information and recipes that you may choose to add to your diet. Cheeses, sauces, vegetables, and noodles, what a great combination!
A few years back, my CF Chef introduced me to ‘Lasagna Florentine’ which he had modified for my dietary needs. Then, lasagna for me consisted of a vegetable tomato sauce with ground beef, one variety of grated cheese, usually mozzarella and oven ready pasta. My chef’s lasagna Florentine consists of two sauces, four types of cheeses, Portobello mushrooms, baby spinach and fresh pasta. One ten to twelve-ounce portion of this meal not only satisfies hunger but also almost doubles the protein and calorie ingestion in one sitting.
Here is the recipe:
2 cups (15 oz.) Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg (optional)
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
8 oz. sliced Portobello mushrooms
2 cups (16 oz.) rosé pasta sauce
4 cups (32 oz.) Marinara pasta sauce
8 oz. fresh lasagna noodles
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Mozzarella cheese
8 slices sliced Provolone cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
• Preheat an oven to 350°F (177 degrees C). Lightly spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
• Combine Ricotta cheese, eggs, spinach, salt, pepper, nutmeg and Italian seasoning in small bowl; set aside.
• Cook mushroom slices in a non-stick pan coated with cooking spray over medium-low heat for approximately five minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Set aside.
• Cover the bottom of the baking dish with rosé pasta sauce.
• Lay a layer of lasagna noodles in the baking dish and spoon 1-1/2 cups of marinara sauce, top with half the mushrooms and 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, top with lasagna noodles and half the Ricotta mixture.
• Then repeat with a final layer of lasagna noodles, top with remaining sauce, the Ricotta mixture, the other mushroom half, remaining Mozzarella cheese, Provolone, and Parmesan cheese.
• Cover with foil. Bake in preheated 350°F (177 C) oven for 45 minutes.
• Remove foil; bake 15 minutes more or until cheese is lightly browned. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Try it, you won’t be sorry! Until next time, bon appétit!
Contact Lisa today via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 506-232-0728 or visit Chef Gilles website at www.chefGilles.com.
Lisa (Elle) Legros is the www.PrivateGolfPro.ca who teaches in the greater Moncton area and southeast NB. Her golf articles have been published in print and on websites across Canada. She is also a long-standing member of the Cystic Fibrosis Adult Committee and the face of the charitable trust ‘Lisa’s Fund – a breath for Cystic Fibrosis’.