This has been a long time coming…anyone else’s wordpress being a pain in the a**?! Also I don’t have a picture of the finished product because we ate it before I remembered. That was the second attempt at getting photos of this dish, because the first lot (which were perfect by the way…) Daddy deleted, assuming I was just taking pointless photo’s of my food. Anyway, you will have to trust me when I say the finished dish is beautiful and delicious looking! I’ll try and post a picture next time I cook it!
I can’t take all the credit for this recipe. When we returned from our holiday we stayed at Tim’s mums and she went to a great effort to make us a dairy free meal. It was absolutely lovely, but unfortunately turned out to be a little less dairy free than she had thought (lacto free instead of dairy free cheese)! I miss meals with cheese sauce because we used to have it fairly often and it just seems so comforting. Unfortunately I don’t think there is a dairy AND soy free cheese out there, so I had to get inventive. I adapted the recipe, and struck vegan gold! It might seem like a lot of work, making the pesto and ‘cheese’ sauce fresh, but it really doesn’t take long once you get the hang of it, and it pays off. The rest of it is so simple, the flavours are great and it can be easily adapted according to your taste (or what veggies you have left in the fridge!) You may have realised by now that I rarely measure things when I cook! I try to give a good estimate of the amounts but feel free to add more or less of something if it’s not quite right!
Vegan ‘cheese’ sauce:
Flour of your choice
Fat of your choice (I used coconut oil the first time, but this gives quite a strong taste to the finished dish, although we liked it! This time I used pure spread to see the difference, we preferred the coconut oil)
Almond milk or other non-dairy milk
1 heaped tablespoon dijon mustard
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
(You can taste and add more nutritional yeast or mustard if you wish and you can also season with salt and pepper)
The same as any other white sauce!
Melt the fat and then mix in the flour.
Slowly add the milk, stirring continuously to ensure the sauce is nice and smooth.
When you have added enough milk to have the desired consistency add the mustard, followed by the nutritional yeast.
Stir well and add more milk if you want to make it thinner.
8 sun dried tomatoes
150g lightly toasted pine nuts
Large handful fresh basil
1 clove garlic
Drizzle olive oil
400g carton/tin of chopped tomatoes
Start by making a pesto by simply blitzing the sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil and seasoning if you wish.
Stir this into the chopped tomatoes, and this will be used in your ‘meaty’ layer.
1 small butternut squash
1 bag fresh spinach
400g chestnut mushrooms
Egg free lasagna sheets
Vegan cheese sauce and tomato sauce
Roast small chunks of butternut squash drizzled with oil.
Mix butternut squash and chopped mushrooms with the tomato sauce.
Spoon about 1/3 of this into your dish followed by 1/3 of your spinach.
Arrange a layer of pasta sheets on top of the spinach followed by a layer of ‘cheese’ sauce.
Repeat this until you have 3 layers, or you have filled your dish, and finish with a layer of ‘cheese’ sauce.
Place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes.