I spent the day cooking – a rare occurrence, but very successful. I made vegan kneidlach (matzo balls) in non-chicken soup, and then I made my first ever and definitely the best vegan lasagna. I scoured vegan lasagna recipes online and loved parts of them, but not the whole ones, and so I took the bits I liked from the recipes, adapted them, and combined them, and it was a total success.
I am going to try and write up the whole thing, and all the parts.
Italian tomato sauce, made from scratch, mushroom and spinach filling, cashew ‘cheese’, bechamel, lasagna sheets
- Tomato sauce
Ingredients – half onion chopped, clove of garlic, 1 fresh chilli, olive oil, dried thyme, sweet basil, oregano, 1 tin tomato puree, a small tub of tomato paste, water, a handful of fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, salt, black pepper
Fry the onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil, adding the dried herbs and chilli. Then add the tomato paste and stir before adding the tin of tomato puree (you can use a tin of whole tomatoes too), balsamic vinegar, half a tin of water, salt, pepper to taste. Cook on a medium heat until the sauce thickens slightly and bubbles. Then add chopped fresh basil and mix in.
2. Mushroom and spinach filling
Ingredients – half a punnet of button mushrooms, a bunch (or packet) of spinach – washed, de-stemmed and shredded, half an onion, Italian dried herbs, clove of garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Fry the onion, garlic and herbs. Add the finely chopped mushrooms, and when golden, add the spinach, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
3. Cashew cheese
Ingredients – 1 cup pre-soaked cashews, clove of garlic mashed, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, 6 tbsp water and 3 tbsp nutritional yeast.
Blitz everything in a food processor until smooth.
Ingredients – 1.5 cups soya milk, 2 tbsp flour, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt pepper
Heat the olive oil and add the flour, whisking fast until smooth. Add the milk slowly, whisking all the time, over a medium heat. Stir until sauce thickens, adding salt and pepper to taste. When sauce is thick take it off the heat.
Build the lasagna by putting dry lasagna sheets down first, then layering mushroom and spinach, tomato sauce, bechamel and blobs of cashew cheese. Do this three times in this order, ending up with a béchamel and cheese top.
Bang into a preheated (180°) oven. I used a casserole dish with a lid, and I baked it for 40 minutes.
I have made myself a bit sick. I have eaten half that dish. So good. So amazingly good.