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Veggie Lasagna

Veggie Lasagna recipeLet’s just get this out there, we’re actually not vegetarians (though folks always seem to think we are!?) however we do enjoy the occasional vegetarian meal! Now I can almost hear the ‘carnivores’ grumbling as I type, “who in their right mind actually enjoys a meal with no meat?” and once upon a time I would have been one of them, except the simple fact that this Lasagna really IS delicious just as it is! I’m serious now, this recipe has A LOT going on with sweet chunks of squash and good-for-you veg, smoky tomato sauce with hearty beans and chickpeas – and not forgetting the gooey layers of melting mozzarella, silky pasta sheets, and creamy Bechamel.

Decadent yet fulfilling, think of this recipe as the 5-a-day for your body AND soul. Like yin and yang; you need a bit of naughty to balance out the good ;) It also freezes well so double the batch and stash some portions away for a busy day in your future.

 

For various reasons I’m not likely to become a full time vegetarian any time soon (though we’ve certainly made great progress with our eating habits so far and I’d like to think I could one day) but it’s at least a nice change, and cheaper too, to leave the meat element out of a main meal once in a while. No there’s nothing stopping you from including some minced beef when you make this yourself if that’s what you really want to do, but I say give the veggie recipe a chance first! Moral arguments aside, the fact remains that it’s good for your arteries and body in general to give the meat a miss. The pots are easier to scrub clean that’s for sure! Have I convinced you yet? Scroll down for the recipe:

 

Serves 2-3  (for us unless we have an extra guest that’s one each + one spare for the freezer…)

Ingredients:

1 small Butternut squash (or other squash or pumpkin variety)

1 courgette

handful of Cauliflower/Broccoli florets

½ tsp paprika

handful of baby spinach

 

1/2 small onion

2-3 cloves garlic

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp plain flour

2 tbsp cream cheese

1 pint (568ml) full-fat milk

½ tsp dried thyme

 

approx 6 lasagna pasta sheets

1 large pack of mozzarella, sliced into 9 x 1cm thick pieces if possible

Approx 300g leftover tomato-based sauce (see our marinara recipe here)

1/3 can mixed beans (chickpeas, kidney & haricot beans)

1 tsp smoky harissa paste (optional but makes it special)

 

salt & pepper

+ optional parmesan

 

Method:

1. Peel and chop the Veggie Lasagna recipe - squash prepcourgette and squash into approx 2cm cubes and arrange on a roasting tray with a twist of salt and pepper. Crush the garlic in their skins and add 1-2 cloves to the roasting tray with a sprinkle of paprika, drizzle generously with olive or coconut oil and toss to coat. Roast in a medium-hot oven for approx 20 mins until tender, turning halfway (this step can be done in advance and the roasted veg kept in the fridge until needed) remove the broccoli or cauliflower florets early if they’re beginning to crisp.

2. Meanwhile add the harissa and mixed beans to the tomato sauce. For our take on Bechamel sauce;Béchamel sauce recipe

In a heavy-based pan over a medium heat melt the butter and mix with the plain flour to form a roux (do you feel fancy now?). Gradually add the cream cheese and the milk, stirring to ensure it blends without lumps but don’t worry if there’s a few since we’ll be straining it anyway. Slice the onion and add to the sauce along with the remaining garlic, thyme, and a generous twist of pepper. Reduce the heat and cook gently until the flavours have infused into the sauce, do not allow the sauce to boil or burn - keep stirring and adjust or remove from the heat if necessary.

3. Arrange the layers as per your preference; we like the tomato sauce and beans at the bottom, followed by a pasta sheet, mozzarella, veg, spinach, another pasta sheet, and finally another layer of the veg. Use a single medium-sixed casserole dish or individual dishes.

Veggie Lasagna with squash

4. Pour the bechamel sauce through a sieve over the layers until the dish is almost full and bake in a hot oven for approx 15 mins or until the top is beginning to bubble and crisp. Grate some parmesan or similar cheese over the top if you like (mozzarella and cream cheese is enough cheese for me personally).

5. Leave to stand for a minute before serving to avoid the molten ‘lava’ burns ;)

Serve alongside fresh salad and/or garlic bread for maximum indulgence levels!

 Veggie lasagne recipe

 

As usual feel free to switch up any of the vegetables for what’s in season, or more importantly for what’s already in the cupboard. This is quite a forgiving recipe so switch out the cauliflower for sprouts if you’re overrun with those, or aubergine instead of courgette… you get the idea.

 

TIP! I find that pre soaking dried pasta sheets for several minutes in warm water helps them to cook through nicely, and not still be crunchy at the end!

 

For Camping: I won’t lie this is a tricky recipe to attempt if you’re away camping in anything other than a caravan/motor home, though not impossible if you fancy a challenge! We figure it’s a great ‘first night’ meal to prepare at home and bring with you; simply reheat atop the BBQ with the lid down or in a Dutch oven over the coals of the fire.

 

What do you think of this recipe? Leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you!

 

< Back to Oven / Dutch Oven recipes

< Back to Veggie recipes

You might also like:

Veggie Chilli

 

Marinara Sauce recipe

 


Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more


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