My husband has been a vegan for almost 30 years. He isn’t one of these new “trendy” vegans that have come out of the woodwork in the past few years. He doesn’t sip turmeric soy latte’s in cafe’s or go protesting on people’s personal properties that have cattle.
We have been together since we were just 21 years old and I never understood why he went so drastic with being a vegan. I couldn’t understand why he just couldn’t go vegetarian! However, it’s his choice and I respect that.
I have missed out on going to seafood restaurants, to the pub for a bistro meal and lots of other food places because they won’t cater for his diet. So because we don’t go out to eat much, we cook a lot at home and over the past 25 years I learnt very quickly how to cook tasty vegan meals.
There is always one major request he has when I ask him what he wants me to cook for him. Vegan Lasagne. It’s his absolute favourite and when I have the time, I oblige to his requests for this meal.
It used to take me hours because I would make the pasta from scratch, but who has the time for that? I don’t! So hello to supermarket lasagne sheets which are vegan.. Yay.. It cut the cooking time in half and saved my sanity when I have to cook not only a vegan lasagne but also a meat lasagne on the same day, usually at the same time!
Back all those many moons ago, there was no such thing as vegan cheese, and for that reason I don’t add it to the bechamel sauce in this recipe – but feel free to add some vegan cheese to the sauce and on top of the lasagne if your prefer.
Putting it together ..
Make the tomato based sauce first, I used Hov’s Mediterranean sauce for the base, as he loves olives, capers and eggplant in his lasagne and all that is already in the sauce. More time saved with just that sauce alone. I added more vegetables to chunk it up when I was cooking but not much more.
Add a bit of sauce to the bottom of a lasagne dish, then add the sheets, the sauce and a layer of spinach. Then vegan bechamel and repeat over and over depending how many layers you want.
To make a good bechamel sauce it isn’t about just adding flour, butter and milk. The sauce needs to absorb different flavours before you make the roux. It makes a HUGE difference to the taste of the sauce and is well worth the effort.
Heat the milk with a roughly chopped onion, some cloves, garlic, bay leaves and nutmeg. Once the milk has warmed, leave it for 20 minutes so the flavours absorb in the milk before discarding the solids.
Then after the bechamel is made, you put the whole thing together and bake in the oven. Dinner is served 🙂
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red capsicum diced
- 1 green capsicum diced
- 1 Brown onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 eggplant diced
- 1 cup Mushrooms sliced
- 250 grams baby spinach
- 1 jar Hov’s mediterranean Sauce
- 1 zucchini diced
- 1 packet Lasagne sheets
Vegan Bechamel Sauce
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 4 cups Cashew milk or soy milk
- 4 tbsp Nuttelex
- 4 tbs Plain flour
- salt and pepper
- turn the oven on to 180C
- In a saucepan, heat the oil and add all the vegetables. Stir on a medium heat until softened
- Add Hov’s Mediterranean Sauce and simmer for around 15 minutes until reduced.
- Put aside and make the béchamel sauce
Vegan Bechamel Sauce
- In a small pot, add the milk, onions, garlic, cloves, bay leaves and nutmeg.
- Heat until the milk begins to scald, then take off the heat and let it sit for 20 minutes so the flavours blend. Then strain the milk into another pot and discard the solids.
- In a pot, add the nuttelex and let it melt, then add the flour and stir until it’s a ball, then whisk in a bit of milk at a time until all the milk has gone and you have a nice thick sauce. Add a bit of salt and pepper
- In a large lasagne dish, add a bit of sauce to the bottom. Then lay lasagne sheets over. Top the sheets with some sauce, then béchamel, spinach and repeat for around 3 layers
- On the top layer, spread a thin amount of sauce on top and cover with the rest of the béchamel sauce.
- Cover with foil, and cook in the oven for around 50 minutes. Then take the foil off and cook for another 10 minutes.