25 May 2010

Veggie Lasagne for National Vegetarian Week
















It's National Vegetarian Week and what better way to start the ball rolling than with the vegetarian classic, veggie lasagne. A great dish loved by all and a terrific way to introduce and tempt meat-eaters to enjoy vegetarian food.

Veggie Lasagne. Comfort food at it's best. There are many variations of this dish around. It can be made with soya, tofu, quorn, spinach and ricotta or just roast vegetables (Delia does a lovely version of this) to name but a few. My personal favourite uses soya mince or tvp as it is sometimes known. I use my bolognaise recipe as a base, so I can have some on spaghetti and use the rest in lasagne. It freezes really well, so you can make it ahead of time and freeze it until you are ready to use it.



Veggie Lasagne

Bolognaise Base


1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 large carrots, finely chopped
250g mushrooms, finely chopped
100g soya mince/200g frozen soya mince
1 pint/2 cups vegetable stock
800g/2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 glass white wine
100g tomato puree

1 handful freshly torn basil
salt & pepper to taste


Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add the carrots and cook until tender, then add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the soya mince and stir in well. Pour in the vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes and wine, stir in. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. You may find you need more liquid if you are using dried soya. You can add extra stock or extra wine.

Add the tomato puree and simmer for another 20 minutes. Taste and season with salt & pepper. Scatter in some torn basil at the last minute.

Set aside

Bechamel Sauce

500ml/2½ cups milk
25g/¼ stick butter
25g plain flour
10 black peppercorns
1 thick slice of onion
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper


Heat the milk in a saucepan with the peppercorns, onion and bay leaf. Bring to the boil and then strain off the peppercorns, onion and the bay leaf.

In another saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Add a little milk at a time and whisk until mixture thickens, then add a little more milk and do the same until all the milk is used.

Bring the sauce to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes, keep whisking. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Lasagne Sheets

I use no-cook lasagne sheets, but I always think they benefit from being blanched in boiling water for a few mintes. I generally use about 8 sheets to cover two layers, cutting to fit as I go, but do lay the sheets in the dish you intend to use to see how many you will need.

Topping

250g mozzarella grated
½ cup grated vegetarian parmesan


Assembly

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/350°f/180°c.

Spread a generous layer of bolognaise over the base of a large oven-proof dish.

Cover with a layer of blanched lasagne sheets.

Spread a second layer of bolognaise sauce and once again top with lasagne sheets.

Top with a thick layer of bechamel sauce, then cover with grated mozzarella and a generous sprinkling of parmesan.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Serves 4-6

As you can see, we served our lasagne with vegetables, but it would be just as lovely with a side salad and some garlic bread. I had enough bolognaise leftover to send my brother-in-law home with enough for two helpings of spaghetti and there was plenty of lasagne left to enjoy again the next night.

Cooper thought the lasagne looked lovely too. He kept diving towards it with his hands outstretched. Bless!



National Vegetarian Week has been running in conjunction with the Vegetarian Society for 18 years now. Although there have been mentions of Vegetarian Days held way back in the 30's. It's a great event that gives schools, canteens, caterers, restaurants, libraries and individuals a reason to focus on increasing fruit and veg consumption and look at the issues around food or simply a chance to try something different. So why not join in and try some tasty vegetarian dishes this week?

27 comments:

  1. Mmmmmmm! I love veggie lasagne and this one looks so tasty. Yum!

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  2. Looks lovely - love the cheesy golden topping.

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  3. Mmmmmmmm, it is just so good Brownieville Girl :)

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  4. The lasagna looks almost as delicious as baby Cooper!

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  5. Cooper is so darn cute! The veggie lasagne looks amazing - love the bechamel sauce.

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  6. Even meat eaters can take advantage of these recipes. It's a great way to up your fiber and get away from lots of meat. Love the tofu idea for lasagna.

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  7. Thanks Pam :)

    Hey Duo Dishes, I haven't tried it with tofu, but I have seen a recipe using it.

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  8. Yeah for vegetarian week and veggie lasagna. Like the approach you took with this creation of a classic.

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  9. This looks delicious and will make a nice change from my usual roasted veg lasagne. I love having soya mince in the freezer as it goes such a long way!

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  10. lovely - that photo looks gorgeous (I mean the lasagna but you know cooper looks gorgeous too - goes without saying - he looks so grown up) and I love how you do your bechemal sauce.

    Wish Australia had more appreciation of vegos - you are lucky that the veg society in the uk is such a strong presence - happy veg week!

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  11. Thanks TB :)

    Roast veg lasagne is an excellent dish too Lisa. I keep soya mince in the freezer for bolognaise, lasagne, shepherd's pie and chiil, which are all favourites in this house.

    The UK is a pretty good place for veggies Johanna, but we could do with a few more veggie restaurants. Do you know there is not a single one in Dundee, but about 20 in Edinburgh.

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  12. This looks so good, I adore Lasagne. I have passed an award on to you. Lucie x
    http://cookingatmarystow.blogspot.com/2010/05/award-time.html

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  13. mmmm:) ! and hooray for vegetarian week (didn't know it before), now when will there be vegetarian month...?

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  14. Thank you Lucie, that is kind of you :)

    Yeah, we will have to work up to that Pia, do you have anything similar?

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  15. I was just thinking and wonder how long you have followed a vegetarian lifestyle Jacqueline. I love lasagna, veggie or otherwise.

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  16. I have been a vegetarian for about 20 years now Val, so it is second nature to me now and I am lucky to have a veggie husband too :)

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  17. Great work on the veggie lasagna! I love it. I am not a vegetarian, but that doesn't mean I won't make the recipe!

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  18. we make a veggie lasagna with lentil bolognese but I like this one as well. And, I can't believe how big your son is, it feels like you were just pregnant.

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  19. Thanks Barbara :)

    Lentil bolognaise sounds great Maybelle's Mom, I am off to see if you have posted a recipe for it :)

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  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  21. Looks just delish, Jacqueline (and obviously, Cooper thought so, too!). Great dish for Veggie Week! :)

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  22. This looks AMAZING! I know some meat-eaters who probably wouldn't even notice that this is veggie!

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  23. I've never seen lasagne made like this before - I'm very intrigued! I love how the white sauce is put on top and then cheese on top of that.

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  24. MMMMMMM,...your vegetarian lasagne looks incredibly tasty!

    Yummmmmmmmm,...!!!!

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x

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