The cold, wet weather has started, daylight savings has ended and the comfort foods are being sought out! Himself has had a bit of a fascination with Garfield over the last year and we have been searching loads of charity shops for Garfield bits and pieces to help his need to create a ‘collection’ however one of the things that stands out in most of the books is Garfield’s love of lasagne. This has brought up quite a lot of discussion as we had never had it … even when there were more meat eaters … and themselves have been left wondering what all the fuss is about.
Then the other week at a Maths Club shared meal lasagne (the meat version) appeared on the menu and herself finally got to sample it. She was smitten and loads more discussion about why Garfield loved it so much occurred which then brought up the next question ‘how could create a GF, vegan version to suit the whole family?’.
We already had a ‘tince’ (tofu and onion mashed into a tomato sauce) which himself had created for his tince pie and then for our spaghetti tofunaise. So it was really just working out how to get a good white sauce to create layers for a vegan lasagne after we spotted some gluten free and vegan lasagne sheets in the local supermarket.
We have made white sauces before however due to us mainly having rice milk in the bus the sauce has still been quite sweet. On our initial attempt we did try coconut and almond milk thinking this may help it be more savoury along with some nutritional yeast however it was still not quite right. In the end it was Soy milk that did the trick and gave us a good white/cheese sauce …… it has been a while since I tried ‘proper’ cheese sauce so I guess it is down to personal taste here though we did get our meat eaters approval so it can’t of been too far off!
Anyway the end result was a very comforting and filling meal which the whole whānau (family) …vegans and meat eaters alike …. enjoyed. Below is the basic recipe we used however we have also layered in spinach leaves and/or other veg like grated carrot or courgette. Whatever tickles your fancy and leaves you feeling satisfied will work with this easy recipe. I’ve tried my best to give you accurate measurements of ingredients where I can however as you know (if you follow my blog) I’m a bit of an experimenter and a ‘chuck it in’ kind of cook …… so it gives you a chance to play 🙂
- GF pasta sheets (or regular if this is a necessity)
- Vegan cheese (we used Veesy Vegan cheese as it is a softens a bit more like melted cheese)
- Tofu (at least 300gm size block)
- Tomato paste
- Powdered Veg stock or herbs
- Mushroom (optional)
-Fry off the chopped onion, mushroom and garlic until soften
-Add in diced tofu and powdered veg stock and or herbs to flavour and stir as it cooks a little
– Add in enough tomato paste and water to cover the tofu and cook over a low heat briefly
-Turn off the heat and mash the tofu mix.
-Add more tomato paste and/or water if needed to create a good consistency for layering into the lasagne (not too dry and not too wet)
‘Cheese sauce’ section
- 2TB coconut oil
- 2TB GF flour (I used Edmonds self raising GF flour)
- 1 C soy milk
- 1/4 C nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper to taste
-Melt the coconut oil and take off the heat to mix in the flour
-When the oil and flour are a smooth paste then add the milk and mix well (all off the heat)
– Stirring constantly put the sauce back on the heat and continue cooking, and stirring, until it thickens up.
-Take off the heat and add in the nutritional yeast and stir well.
-Add more soy milk, if you wish, to get the sauce to a good consistency, ensuring there is enough of it for all the layers.
Putting it together section
- -Layer the bottom of an ovenproof dish with pasta
- -Cover the pasta with a layer of tofu mix
- -Cover the tofu with a few slices of cheese. You can also layer in your spinach etc here if you wish.
- -Cover the cheese with white sauce
-Repeat steps 1-4 until you get near the top of your ovenproof dish.
-Finish off with a layer pasta with tofu mix (or just tom paste if you’re running low of tofu mix) on top and slices of cheese at the very top.
-Bake in the oven for at around 30 mins at 180-200C
-Enjoy with salad or other veg as you wish 😉
Hope this finds you enjoying warm, hearty meals with those you love.