Friday, January 28, 2011

Vegan Wholewheat Lasagna Type Thingies


I use the word 'thingies' here because these aren't exactly traditional Lasagnas, but rather a bunch of dishes I invented based on the same basic principle - sheets of pasta layered with an ensemble of sauces and fillings and then baked.

Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Sheets layered with Spinach Babycorn Béchamel Sauce, Spicy Tomato Mint Sauce, Grated Carrots, Sliced Green Bell Peppers and topped with Sesame Seeds and Rosemary
Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Sheets layered with Spinach Babycorn Béchamel Sauce, Spicy Tomato Mint Sauce, Grated Carrots, Sliced Green Bell Peppers and topped with Sesame Seeds and Rosemary

For the Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Sheets:


2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 t Oil (olive oil or coconut oil work best but any other plant based oil should be fine too)
Salt to taste

Mix together the above. Add a little water at a time and knead into a soft, pliable dough. Keep aside.

When the fillings are ready, pinch off large balls of this dough and roll into thin sheets. Cut to roughly fit the baking tray that you're using.

The sheets are the only common factor between these Lasagna dishes. All the other components are flexible. You can use the recipes below for the fillings and sauces or use your imagination and create your own combination. :)

Whole Wheat Homemade Pasta Sheets layered with Basmati Rice, Mint Béchamel Sauce, Grated Beets and topped with Sliced Tomatoes with Nutritional Yeast sprinkled on
Whole Wheat Homemade Pasta Sheets layered with Basmati Rice, Mint Béchamel Sauce, Grated Beets and topped with Sliced Tomatoes with Nutritional Yeast sprinkled on

For the Vegan Spinach Babycorn Béchamel Sauce:


Wash and chop as much spinach as you like (I do about 3/4 C).

Blanch and slice 8-10 babycorns into thin circles.

Finely chop 2-3 cloves of garlic (can use more or less depending on your taste).

Lightly toast 1/4 C wheat flour in a dry pan until very slightly browned. Keep aside.

Place 2 C plain, unsweetened soymilk (or other vegan milk) in a pan and heat it on a low flame.

Add a few spoons of soymilk, a little at a time, to the toasted wheat flour and make a smooth paste. (You can optionally mix a dash of olive oil into this paste for an extra creamy end result).

Pour the paste into the soymilk slowly and keep stirring constantly. Continue to stir and heat on a low flame (sauce should not boil) until it thickens. The continuous stirring is very important to keep it smooth and distribute the heat evenly.

Add the chopped spinach, sliced babycorn, chopped garlic, freshly crushed pepper and salt and mix. Heat for another minute or so (still stirring) and turn off the flame.
Your creamy, vegan béchamel sauce is ready! :) (I love to eat spoonfuls of this thing just on its own!)

Note: If you're using this sauce for pastas or any other dish where it's not baked, then cook the baby corn well rather than blanching and lightly fry the garlic in a little olive oil before mixing them into the sauce.

PS: I found out much later that coconut mylk is an even better thing to use in this same sauce in place of soymylk.

Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Sheets layered with a mix and match of Plain Béchamel Sauce, Special Mashed Potatoes, Small Chick Peas, Coconut Milk and Marinated - Tofu, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Zucchini, Green Bell Peppers
Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Sheets layered with a mix and match of Plain Béchamel Sauce, Special Mashed Potatoes, Small Chick Peas, Coconut Milk and Marinated - Tofu, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Zucchini, Green Bell Peppers

For the Spicy Tomato Mint Sauce:


3 large, ripe Tomatoes diced
1 C chopped Spearmint leaves
3-4 cloves of Garlic
1/2 C raw cashews
2-3 spicy Green Chillies
1 T Nutritional Yeast
Salt to taste

Blend everything, except the tomatoes, together into a paste. Add the tomatoes and blend again to reach a saucy consistency.

Pour into a pan, bring to a boil, reduce the flame and simmer for about 3 minutes while stirring continuously.

For the Baked Beans Sauce:


1 1/2 C White Butter Beans - washed, quick soaked, cooked, drained (water kept aside) and cooled
2 large, ripe Tomatoes
2 cloves of Garlic
Red Chilli Powder/Flakes
1 t Olive Oil
Spicy Green Chillies chopped
Whole Spices - Cinnamon, Cloves, Bay Leaf
Tamarind Paste
Nutritional Yeast
Salt to taste
Ketchup

Place half the cooked beans, tomatoes, garlic, tamarind paste, red chilli powder/flakes and salt in a blender and blend into a smooth paste using some of the beans cooking water as required.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the whole spices and green chillies and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining cooked beans and stir fry.

Add the tomato/bean paste and mix well (adding more of the beans cooking water if required). Stir and simmer this sauce on medium heat for a few minutes.

Turn off the heat. Add a splosh of ketchup and the nutritional yeast and stir.

Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Sheets layered with Mint Béchamel Sauce, Baked Beans Sauce, Sweet Corn, Sliced Green Bell Peppers and topped with Sliced Tomatoes with Nutritional Yeast sprinkled on
Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta Sheets layered with Mint Béchamel Sauce, Baked Beans Sauce, Sweet Corn, Sliced Green Bell Peppers and topped with Sliced Tomatoes with Nutritional Yeast sprinkled on

For the Special Mashed Potatoes:


5 medium sized Potatoes - boiled and peeled
Olive Oil
Marinade Liquid leftover from the Marinated Tofu/Veggie Topping
Coconut Milk (small splash)
2 T Nutritional Yeast
Dried Herbs - Thyme, Chives, Rosemary etc...
Salt to taste

Mash the potatoes, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Building the Lasagna:


Layer your home made whole wheat lasagna sheets with your choice of sauces and fillings - crumbled tofu, grated carrots, grated beets, sliced tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, sweet corn, marinated tofu/veggie mixture, coconut milk, cooked small chick peas etc...

Building the LasagnaBuilding the Lasagna

Bake at 400F/250C for 45-50 minutes. Let it cool for half an hour. Serve and enjoy! :)

(Tastes even better on the next day because all the flavors get incorporated really well!)

1 comment:

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