Easy to make but time consuming. So best prepared when you have a couple of hours to relax in the kitchen with some good tunes playing in the background to help infuse a little extra happiness and love in to this delicious vegan lasagne. I like to use a big baking dish for this one, so that I have enough portions for the entire week.
1 butternut pumpkin
1 bunch of spinach
150g vegan “cheese”, grated (I prefer Daiya and Sheese)
1 handful of fresh sage, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 red capsicums (red peppers)
12 field mushrooms
1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
sea salt or himalayan pink salt
freshly ground black pepper
Coconut oil (organic, unrefined, virgin)
** use organic and biodynamic ingredients where possible **
STEP 1: Prepare all the vegetable layers. All vegetables can be prepared at the same time in their separate pots and pans. They all take different time periods to prepare. When each vegetable is cooked, leave to the side and allow to cool whilst other vegetables are still being cooked.
Eggplants: Slice eggplants into 1cm thick round pieces. Lay flat on paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt. Leave for one hour and allow to “sweat”. Pat the eggplant slices dry with paper towel to absorb the “sweat”. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a pan. Add eggplant pieces, a splash of water and cook until eggplant softens. You will need to add more water as and when it evaporates.
Pumpkin: Cut butternut pumpkin into chunks and add to boiling hot water. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until pumpkin is cooked/soft. Remove from heat. Strain water and then mash into a smooth consistency.
Spinach: Roughly chop spinach and then lightly steam for a couple of minutes. Strain water.
Tomatoes: Roughly chop tomatoes. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a pot. Add tomatoes, sage, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook on a low heat for approximately 30 minutes, or until tomatoes are a thick sauce-like consistency.
Capsicums: Cut capsicums into halves. Remove inside seeds and membrane. Lay skin side up on a baking tray and place under the grill until the skin “blackens”. Remove the “blackened skin”. Slice into long pieces.
Mushrooms: Slice mushrooms. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a pan. Add mushrooms, 100mL water, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook on moderate heat for approximately 15 minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked, and juice evaporated.
STEP 2: Add the layers to a deep baking dish. Line the bottom of the baking dish with all the eggplant. Next add a layer of the mashed pumpkin. Next add a layer of the steamed spinach. Next add a layer of the grated vegan “cheese”. Next add a layer of the tomato “sauce” mixture. Next arrange the slices of capsicum (red peppers), evenly distributed. Next add the slices of mushrooms, evenly distributed.
Bake in a preheated oven set at 180 degrees Celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for half an hour.
Sprinkle finely chopped parsley on top, and serve this delicious and nutritious vegan lasagne.
NUTRITION NOTES: CAYENNE PEPPER
The health benefits of cayenne pepper are so diverse and astounding that it almost sounds too good to be true. Cayenne pepper is, however, one of the most powerful herbs for helping to improve your health and wellbeing. Just a few of the health benefits cayenne pepper boasts are: reputed to have anti-cancer properties, improve overall heart health and function, equalises blood pressure, improves circulation, improves digestion, rebuilds blood cells, boasts anti-fungal properties, as well as being an excellent source of Vitamin A, a nutrient essential for the health of all epithelial tissues.