Monday, 31 October 2011

Two Vegan Lasagne Recipes and Cashew Nut Ricotta

For Halloween I made a Vegan Lasagne based primarily on this lovely recipe.  One of the lasagne layers was this lovely Cashew Nut Ricotta, which I have adapted slightly to work with English weights and volumes.

Cashew Nut Ricotta

250gms soaked raw Cashews, soaked overnight and drained
1 1/2 tbsp EVOO
4 tbsp (60ml) plain Soy Creamer
3 tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tbsp Agave Syrup
3 fresh Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tbsp equal amounts of dried Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Rosemary and Parsley (or a pre-mixed Italian Herb blend)
Good handful fresh chives, chopped
1 tsp Black Pepper
Salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp minimum)

Soak the nuts overnight and drain; add to a blender with lemon juice, creamer, agave and EVOO - blend till smooth. If it looks a little dry add more creamer, 5ml at a time. Add the chives (reserving some for later), herbs, garlic, pepper and salt and pulse till mixed. Serve topped with the remaining chives and a little pepper.

The original recipe called for 1 tbsp of Agave, the ricotta lovely but I found it a little too sweet.  This was not an issue as it was going in the lasagne, but to serve on it's own I have amended the recipe to 1/2 tbsp.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Since then, I have craved lasagne...  I loved the various layers of the one from Halloween and so had a play for dinner tonight, taking some of my favourite parts of the original recipe.  Sadly I'm out of cashews, otherwise they'd be more ricotta on the go!

Lucy's Vegan Lasagne with Spinach Cannelloni

500gms Vegan Mince
2 large jars Vegan Bolognaise Sauce (yes, I was cheating!)
160gms Silken Tofu
200gms Spinach
Egg Free Lasagne sheets
1 Garlic Clove, minced
4-5 Chestnut Mushrooms, chopped
1 Large Beef Tomato
Approx 50gms Grated Vegan Cheese
Chopped Chives, good handful
Salt and Pepper to taste

Blend the tofu until smooth, season lightly and transfer to a bowl.  Lightly fry the minced garlic, add the spinach and season, cook till wilted and add to the tofu, mix together and set aside.

Lightly fry the mushrooms to soften, set aside.

Brown the vegan mince in a little EVOO and add half a jar of sauce, set aside.

Build the lasagne in the following layers: sauce (for each sauce layer use 3-4 tbsps depending on size of dish, you want a good coverage), pasta, tofu and spinach, sauce, pasta, mince layer, mushrooms, pasta, sauce, grated cheese, tomatoes, chives, pepper.

Cover with tinfoil and bake for 40-50mins in the oven at 180-200C.

Given the chance, I double bake my lasagne, the second time for 30mins in a 150-180C oven.

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