Howdy folks! I kind of had to make this dish. It was one of the ones where I have had it a few times when other people have done the cooking and have always been delighted but I have never really nailed it myself, until now. There is a little cafe in St Lucia that sells or used to sell (been ages since I went there) a take away vegetarian lasagne that was seriously to die for. I bought it a few times when I was studying at UQ and I wanted to eat well, but didn’t have loads of time for cooking like I do these days (my degree was insane when it came to workload). The top of the lasagne was very soft, thick and delicious and I often pondered how they did such a great job, when millions of pictures that I have seen don’t appear to have reached the same level of deliciousness. I still to this day, don’t know and never will know why their recipe was so amazing, but I am thrilled with my own take on this as I did it the way I wanted to, with the veggies I like and with the level of work I wanted to put in.
I know countless people swear by bechamel sauce and I totally understand that, however, I rarely have cow’s milk at home and whilst I have tried it with almond milk, it just didn’t taste the same. So rather than struggle through, I chose to do it my way – for the ‘white’ layer I used low fat cream cheese instead – much less work also than making my own white sauce and there was no way I was going to buy it from a jar as I never think those sauces are awesome as I imagine that there is quite a few hidden ingredients that my hips and thighs really can do without. There is only so much yoga a gal can do and work and life etc etc!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Vegetarian lasagne ingredients
2 red capsicums
1 medium sized eggplant
1/2 butternut pumpkin
200 grams mushrooms, sliced
200 grams spinach leaves
1 x bottle passata
1 x can diced tomatoes
2 lasagne sheets
1 x 250 gram tub light cream cheese
salt and pepper to season
Vegetarian lasagne method
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees
- Prep the vegetables. Start by peeling the pumpkin and scooping out the seeds, chop into bite sized pieces. Boil this with a pinch of cracked pepper, until a skewer goes straight through a test piece
- Cut the egg plant into thin long slices, cut the capsicums in half, slice the mushrooms, bake these until the eggplant is light brown and the skin on the capsicums is starting to blacken
- Spray baking dish with oil
- Pour diced tomatoes into dish, top with a lasagne sheet, add a sheet of the pumpkin, then the eggplant, another pasta sheet, the cream cheese, the roasted red capsicum, cover with the passata, top with mushrooms, cover with the tomatoes, add the spinach, cover with the passata and top with grated cheese
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.
- I added dried chives to the top of my cheese – if you do this, add them about 30 minutes into the cook time so they don’t burn as they are fragile little pieces!
- This dish will freeze really well, but I wouldn’t do that unless you have cooked it 1st, the pasta sheet will not do so well raw, then frozen then cooked.
- Short on time? Buy sliced mushrooms, you are not a bad person if you do. It will save time and fingers as those damn slices can be deadly! (Trust me, I have worn a lot of cuts from them and you can fork a mushroom the way you can an onion!)
Eat your heart out xx