Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Easy Vegetarian Lasagna


We love this at home. I love a good Veggie Lasagna that takes hours to prepare and is to die for. But who really has the time? I know I don't. So this is also a delicious version except its easy to make and and my little one loves it too (she's 8 months), with a little mushing using a fork. You can also add and subtract the veggies as much as you like, making it your own. All together with the cooking time, the lasagna take just over an hour and half to make. Enjoy!

Easy Vegetarian Lasagna
serves 4 plus a baby

Ingredients

Vegetables
1 onion thinly chopped
1 packet of frozen winter veggies (carrot, broccoli, cauliflower) or equivalent fresh
400 grams pumpkin thinly sliced (if using Butternut you can leave skin on) about a quarter of butternut
1/2 cup squash chopped
Half eggplant thinly sliced
(any other veg that you might have laying in the fridge...ie. corn, peas, beans etc)

cheese
150-200g cheese grated (if you have Parmesan use it or I have even used Cheddar and it was still good. I find buying a pack of premixed grated cheese, the pizza variety, really good)

Béchamel sauce
2 table spoons plain flour
400 grams milk
2 table spoons butter or margarine
(or buy the stuff in the jar from your local supermarket or green grocer)
a teaspoon of Dijon mustard

a pack of lasagna sheets (both dry or fresh will work well)
1 large jar of a good quality tomato sauce, at least 400g
tablespoon of oil

Method

  • First, on a hot stove, in a big pot heat up the oil and throw in your onion to saute. once onion goes clear, throw in the the rest of your vegetables except for the pumpkin and eggplant, which needs to be put aside. 
  • throw in your jar of tomato sauce plus a cup of water, stir and bring to boil. Then reduce heat and partially cover. This needs to boil slowly for at least 30 min (the longer the better), checking and stirring occasionally. Once cooked put aside.
  • In the mean time, place the eggplant slices on a plate with a trickle of water and zap them in the microwave for 2 and 1/2 minutes to soften them. Do the same with the pumpkin. Put aside                               
  • Now to make the Béchamel sauce if you haven't opted to buying one. This is the way I do it but if you know of an easier way that's even better. Make sure you have all the ingredients close by, I find that helps.  In a small saucepan on a medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted add all the flour and using a metal hand held whisk, mix it around till the mixture sticks to the whisk. Pour in a  quarter of the milk and whisk the mixture. You will find that once the milk heats up the mixture will thicken, when that happens add more milk. Keep adding milk and whisking until all the milk is gone and the mixture is the right consistency (like warm custard). Add salt, pepper and the mustard to taste and a handful of cheese,  put aside
  • Now it is time to assemble. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius ( I use fan forced electric oven).
  • In a lasagna dish ( basically a deep dish, to take in all the layers) put in a layer of the tomato and veg mixture, approx a third of it. On top spread a layer of either eggplant or pumpkin, follow with a layer of lasagna sheets, then a third of the béchamel sauce and a sprinkle of cheese. Repeat until all layers are done, alternating between pumpkin and eggplant. Make sure to finish with the béchamel sauce layer. Sprinkle cheese on top and pop in the oven for 45 min to 1 hour, checking after 40 min. Once the top layer turns golden, remove and its ready to serve!
  • For little ones I recommend using either a fork to chop it up or putting it through a blender.
Enjoy xx