Vegetable and lentil lasagne
Lasagne takes a little work to prepare but once made you just bake it in the oven so it's a great prepare ahead or have an extra one in the freezer sort of meal. I use this 'cheese' sauce for cauliflower cheese and other dishes that need a tasty, thick, cheesy sauce. Easier than standing over a pot of sauce waiting for it to thicken in my view. I divide this lasagne into two ceramic dishes - 20x20cm and 18x23cm so I can freeze one for later. You could make a big one in a large lasagne pan.
Recipe type: whole food plant based, dairy free
- 200g mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper / capsicum, deseeded and sliced
- 1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces (about 250g)
- 150g sweetcorn, fresh, frozen or canned
- 250g cooked brown lentils or a can of lentils drained and rinsed
- 2 x 420g cans oil-free pasta sauce or homemade
- 300g whole-wheat lasagne - the no-pre cooking sort (substitute gluten free if desired)
- For the 'cheese' sauce:
- 1 onion unpeeled
- 2 whole orange kumara / sweet potato unpeeled (about 200g)
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 50g cashews soaked in ½ cup hot water
- 1 Tbsp miso paste
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- Start by preparing the vegetables for the sauce.
- Steam the onion, sweet potato and garlic for about 30 minutes until very soft.
- I do this in a pressure cooker at high pressure for ten minutes.
- Leave in the steamer basket to cool
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F.
- While the vegetables are steaming, in a large non-stick pan sauté the mushrooms in a couple of tablespoons of water over a medium heat.
- Stir regularly and add a little more water if they start to stick.
- After five minutes once the mushrooms are starting to brown add the bell pepper / capsicum and sauté for another five minutes or so until the pepper softens.
- Add the broccoli, sweetcorn and lentils and continue to cook for another five minutes until the broccoli is tender.
- Divide the sheets of lasagne into three piles.
- Layer one third of the lasagne in the bottom of the dish. I use 12 sheets of lasagne in two dishes so start with two sheets in each.
- Spread half the cooked mushroom, vegetable and lentil mixture on top of the lasagne.
- Spread half the pasta sauce (one can) over the vegetables.
- Repeat the layering with another layer of lasagne, vegetables mixture and the remaining pasta sauce.
- Finish with the last third of the lasagne sheets.
- Once the steamed kumara/sweet potato, onion and garlic are cool enough to handle, cut off the bottom of the onion and garlic cloves and slip off their skins and discard.
- Slip off the skin of the kumara/sweet potato and discard.
- Put the kumara/sweet potato flesh, peeled onion and garlic, cashews including their soaking water, miso, nutritional yeast and mustard in a liquidiser or high speed blender and process until smooth.
- Scrape down the sides and add more hot water if necessary to get a thick 'cheese' sauce.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Pour the 'cheese' sauce over the lasagne sheets in an even layer. You may not need all the sauce but it keeps well in the fridge for other things.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- If you want a crunchy topping add a layer of fresh breadcrumbs in the last 10 minutes of cooking.