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Plant-Powered Bean Lasagne
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to come up with a lasagne recipe that’s gluten, dairy free, plant-based, high protein…and of course, tasty.
Whether you’re taking part in Veganuary this month or simply looking for plant-based alternatives to your favourite recipes, this dish came out surprisingly well. It’s comforting, creamy, filling, delicious etc…just as a lasagne should be. This dish however is a low calorie, nutrition-dense and gut friendly version. Feel free to swap the gluten free pasta sheets for strips of butternut squash for an even healthier alternative.
Ingredients (makes 4)
- 2 tins of kidney beans (drained and thoroughly rinsed)
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 3 garlic cloves
- A generous handful of fresh basil
- 1 red pepper (chopped into cm squares)
- 1 medium carrot (chopped into cm squares)
- A pinch of salt & pepper to season
- Gluten free pasta sheets (enough to fill one layer of your baking tray, approx. 5-6 sheets)
- Two medium aubergines (sliced into ½ cm thick strips)
- 350ml @oatly whole oat milk
- 8 tbsp nutritional yeast (1 tbsp to sprinkle on top)
- 4 tbsp rice flour (or any other gluten free flour)
- 250g @violife mature cheddar (50g used to sprinkle on top)
Begin by preparing your Bolognese filling. Drain two tins of kidney beans and thoroughly rinse in warm water. Place a large frying pan on a hob at medium heat and oil with 1tbsp olive oil. Lightly brown the carrots and red pepper for 5-6 minutes before pouring in two tins of chopped tomatoes, minced garlic cloves and kidney beans. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Place to one side and add fresh basil and season with salt & pepper.
Chop both aubergines into ½ cm thick strips and lightly brown on both sides in a frying plan. Place the strips on a wooden chopping board and allow to cool.
Place a medium saucepan on a hob at low to medium heat. Add oat milk, 200g of mature cheddar and mix until the cheddar melts. Add the nutritional yeast and allow the sauce to gently simmer for 10 minutes whilst continuously mixing. It should begin to thicken in this time. If the sauce is too thin, add 1 tbsp of rice flour at a time until it forms a thick non-runny liquid consistency.
Now you can begin to start building layers for your bolognese. Start by coating the bottom of a baking tray with a thin layer of bolognese. Once completed, add a layer of aubergine, then a layer of white sauce, followed by a layer of gluten free pasta sheets, followed by another layer of bolognese. Repeat this process until you have used up all ingredients. The top layer should be white sauce sprinkled with a tbsp of nutritional yeast and 50g grated mature cheddar.
Season generously with salt & pepper and place in the centre of the oven at 160c for 40 minutes. The layers will begin to bubble and the cheddar top layer will melt and develop crispy delicious brown spots.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. If you begin to cut into the lasagne whilst it is bubbling hot, the layers will fall apart, and you will be left with a delicious messy mix of ingredients on your place. Still utterly delightful to eat but…if presentation is important to you, allow the dish to cool slightly.
Feel free to experiment with different beans and legumes for this dish. Red lentils and/or butter beans are excellent alternatives, providing comparable protein content.
Enjoy! If you try this recipe I’d love to hear from you. Do let me know if you use alternative ingredients and how they complimented the dish.