Goran Dragic is out of season, meaning the NBA is in recess, but he spends up to five hours a day at the gym or at court. This year, the 6-foot-3 defender returning to the Phoenix Suns to replace his mentor, Steve Nash, is training even more hours to put his game on point. This means that you must provide energy to your body for this intense work.
Dragic, who signed a contract of 34 million with the Suns in July, grew up in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia (a country bordering Hungary, Croatia, Italy and Austria) and since childhood he enjoyed meals influenced by the neighboring cultures.
"I remember when I was about 7 years old, as soon as I tasted my mother's meat and vegetable lasagna, it became my favorite food! And still it is," says Dragic, 26. "In our country the custom is to start with a soup, usually chicken and noodles, then a main dish (lasagna) with a green salad.Lasagna is neither sweet nor spicy.It is juicy and with lots of sauce, lots of meat, cheese and vegetables. We add sour cream, this is the custom in Slovenia and this is what makes it different from ordinary lasagna. "
The recipe passed to Dragic's mother from her own mother. Although lasagna is better known as an Italian ribbon-shaped pasta, Dragic's mother added meat to the recipe to please her father and grandfather who were natives of Serbia, where typical food carries more meat.
"I have never tried to do it, since I do not know how to cook," says Dragic. "Right now I do not eat a lot of lasagna because my mother is in Slovenia and the version my girlfriend makes is not the same, but when I can go back, that's what I want to eat. "
LASAÑA DE CARNE Y VEGETALES DE GORAN DRAGIC
Preparation time: 35 minutes Cooking time: 40 minutes Servings: 8
1 box of lasagna ready for the oven Barilla 17 ounces (500 grams ) of minced meat 2 cups of tomato sauce 1 cup of Parmesan cheese 2 tomatoes 2 carrots 2 bay leaves 1 handful of fresh basil leaves 1 onion
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil ¼ teaspoon of salt ¼ teaspoon of pepper Salad of green leaves such as spinach, kale, mustard grains and romaine lettuce
Bechamel cheese sauce 1. 7 ounces (50 grams) of butter 1. 7 ounces (50 grams) of white flour 16 ounces (500 milliliters) of low-fat cow's milk 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Heat the oven to 350° F (180° C)
Grease a 13-cup rectangular roasting pan and place it on its side.
Peel and chop the onion and brown it in the oil. Add the minced meat, mixing well with the onion. Cut the carrot into cubes and add it to the meat and onion mixture. Add salt, pepper, bay leaves and basil.Mix well. Cut the tomatoes into cubes and add them to the meat. Add the tomato sauce and water and cook the mixture over low heat for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the Bechamel sauce. Melt the lard in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 6 minutes until the butter and the flour take a golden color and do not present lumps. Pour the milk over the mixture of lard and flour, beating constantly. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Cover the bottom of the broiler pan with 1/4 Bechamel sauce, and over it, arrange a layer of lasagna. Add 1/3 of the meat mixture and some more Bechamel sauce. Repeat the process forming layers with the remaining lasagna leaves, the meat mixture and the Bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese over the last layer.
Bake for 40 minutes until the cheese melts and bubbles. Let stand 10 minutes.
Cut the lasagna into square portions, cover with sour cream and serve with a green salad.
WHY HE LOVES YOU
"Eating it brings back good memories of when I was at home, I have a younger brother, Zoran, who is also a basketball player, and we ate this lasagna with our grandfather, grandmother, mother and father It was like a family reunion, being in the United States, I do not see them very often, every year for Christmas and New Year when my family visits, my mother makes this dish.
WHAT MAKES IT A HEALTHY PLATE
Mary Bamford, nutrition director at Newtopia. com says the most nutrient-rich ingredients in lasagna with Dragic salad are the dark green leafy vegetables that are rich in folate, beta-carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin and fiber.
"The tomato, known for its high lycopene content, provides vitamin C, potassium, fiber and is rich in antioxidants"; says Bamford. "Orange vegetables, like carrots, are needed daily to provide a variety of carotenoids."
Onion is another key ingredient. "It's part of the allium family (along with garlic) and it's rich in flavanoids that fight cancer and heart disease," says Bamford. "Basil, in addition to being a plant of green leaves, is rich in essential oils of the family of terpenes, has antioxidants and anticancer, antimicrobial and antiviral components.
HOW TO MAKE THIS PLATE EVEN MORE HEALTHY
"I would fine-tune this lasagna recipe without much change in flavor, texture and pleasure by changing the sour cream for fat-free Quark (fresh cheese)", Bamford adds: "Quark is thick, creamy and made similar to Greek yogurt without fat, but with sour milk instead of fresh, that's why it is naturally rich in protein and low in fat." Goran could add garlic when sautéed. Onion and try the pasta for 100% whole lasagna. "
As a dessert, Dragic could add some purple fruits like grapes, black figs or cranberries to complete the rainbow of color in your meal."Purple and blue fruits provide anthocyanins," says Bamford. "I think grapes and figs grow in Dalmatian Coast, near Slovenia, another memory of their home."