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1 October 2016

Vegan Lasagne


It occurred to me the other day, that whilst as a vegetarian lasagne was one of my favourite foods, I still hadn't made one as a vegan, so I thought I should put that right! I used a tomato and lentil base, sandwiched between layers of al dente lasagna sheets and thinly sliced aubergines & courgettes, topped off with my ultimate vegan cheese sauce from the previous post. 



The lasagne was everything I hoped it would be and I definitely had to resist eating it all at once! I used green lentils as a protein source, which are rich in folate, iron, manganese and many other vitamins and minerals; they've also been shown to have cardio-protective effects and help the regulation of blood sugar levels. You could also use a mince substitute if you prefer this over the texture of lentils. I used a mix of yellow zucchini and aubergine as the veg in this, best sliced as thinly as you can manage (use a veg peeler if that's easier), but you could always roast some peppers, chunks of aubergine, courgette, onion and mix in some olives or capers to make a Mediterranean inspired lasagne.



Whilst most lasagne sheets say you can put them into the dish without prior cooking, I've found in the past they never quite cook through, so I pre-cooked mine for 5 minutes before layering up the lasagne. I started with some tomato sauce, then added the pasta, sliced veg, a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of basil before repeating this, to then finish with a final layer of pasta and my ultimate vegan cheese sauce - using violife cheeses. As I previously expressed, violife have launched two new organic cheeses, so sent me a selection of their cheeses to cook with and share the recipes with you all! 


This dish is packed with flavour all the way through and is the perfect meal to serve with company. It serves 6-8 depending on appetite and whether you present it with a side salad, garlic bread etc.


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Vegan Lasagne | Serves: 6-8 | Prep Time: 45 mins | Cook Time: 55-60 mins 


You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Large frying pan/saucepan
  • Large saucepan 
  • Medium saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Measuring cups
  • Colander 
  • Lasagne dish

Sauce:

  • 1 large onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups cooked green lentils
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcester sauce
  • 500g passata
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil


Assembly:


Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease the lasagne dish with oil.
  2. To make the sauce, dice the onion and add to the large frying pan with a splash of oil, fry on a medium heat for a few minutes, then crush in the garlic and fry for a few more minutes. Add the lentils, tomato puree, Worcester sauce, passata, salt pepper and dried herbs, simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil and in batches of 4-5 cook the lasagne sheets for 5 minutes - they may stick together slightly, so stir the pan of water after you put them in and run them under cold water when draining to peel them apart. 
  4. Thinly slice the courgettes and aubergines and place on a plate to one side.
  5. Make up a batch of ultimate vegan cheese sauce.
  6. Begin to assemble the lasagne - spread a small amount of the sauce over the bottom layer of the dish, then cover with 3 sheets of lasagna. Top with 1/3 of the remaining sauce, then the sliced veg, sprinkle lightly with salt a few torn up basil leaves, then repeat with the next two layers. For the top layer, place the final lasagna sheets over the veg (you may need to cut some to fill in the gaps), then spread out the cheese sauce evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 55-60 minutes.
  7. Slice, serve up and enjoy!
Cassidy xx



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