A friend sent me a food porn recommendation last week – for vegan lasagne. Its worth mentioning that lasagne was my fave dish as a child. Something about it never ceases to delight me – the ooziness of the sauce, the crunch of the lasagne pasta that always crisps up towards the edges, and of course the cheesy bechamel sauce. It was always the meal I’d ask for as a birthday treat and more often than not, the one I’d order at restaurants. So simple. So much joy.
As an adult, however, I don’t cook it very often…the mind boggling number of calories late at night isn’t often my first choice, and, of course, it takes effort. Thought and planning are involved and when I get home from work I usually just want to throw something yummy together without all the prep lasagne involves.
But last week, as I said, a good friend sent me a link on FB to this recipe from Cilantro and Citronella and all week it was bouncing around in my thoughts and teasing my tastebuds. It promised to deliver an easy to cook, delish vegan lasagne and glancing over the recipe it did, indeed, seem pretty simple.
Thursday night beckoned and I got involved, elbow deep, in chopping, prepping and seasoning and I have to say it wasn’t hard at all. The whole process took me about 40 minutes to prep and then another 45 to cook in the oven and it was (and still is) delish. The portions made enough to serve about 8 adults (my husband and I will now be eating this for dayssssss) and it really is tasty, proper tasty.
The ingredients are simple but I confess I did thrown a few of my own into the mix…they are italicised below in case you want to give this one a crack and ignore my additions.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (for the flour blend stage)
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter (to fry the veg…my addition instead of olive oil as I like the buttery flavour)
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 600 grams (21 oz) button mushrooms, chopped (use the stems too)
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 400 grams (14 oz) frozen spinach, thawed according to the package directions and squeezed
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- Pepper, to taste
- 2 cups (480 ml) unsweetened plant milk (they used soy, I used almond)
- 1 cup (240 ml) vegetable stock
- ½ cup (75 grams) flour
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast / I doubled this and used 4 as it wasn’t cheesy enough for me
- 3 cups (700 ml / about a jar and a half) marinara sauce (I bought a large tin of crushed tomatoes and added fresh basil to it)
- 2 tablespoons white miso (blended into the bechamel sauce mix after the flour and milk have been added…gave it another cheesy kick)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder (again added to the bechamel sauce)
- 1 packet veggie mince fried in with veggies
- Lasagna sheets
I wholeheartedly recommend this recipe to any vegan lasagne lovers out there. The only tricky bit was the bechamel sauce…which wasn’t even really tricky at all, you just had to keep a close eye on it. And my sauce was a little lumpy so I just used a hand blender to get rid of them and make sure it was silky and smooth. But the taste of the sauce is fantastic and goes so well on the lasagne. It even bubbles and browns and oozes on top…just like a cheese lasagne would…an amazing achievement to behold (and even better to taste).
Even writing this blog is making me think about eating some. Yup. Its that tasty.