pumpkin

Vegan Soft Cheese With Pumpkin + Sun Dried Tomato (Soy, Nut + Gluten Free)

Like our cheesecake recipes, we made one version of a vegan cheese – amended it slightly and here is the next attempt…this time it’s vegan soft cheese, low fat and has gorgeous sun dried tomatoes in.
Clearly from the images you can see it’s been sliced (straight from the refrigerator) but this really is a soft and tasty cheese. Ready to spread or whatever you like!

vegan soft cheese

Combined together with oats, nutritional yeast and cooked pumpkin (or puree), this is a very healthy vegan soft cheese – you just have to look down at the basic ingredients list to see for yourself.
Treat this as a simple go-to recipe for a vegan, dairy-alternative to homemade soft cheese!
Enjoy 😉

Pumpkin + sun dried tomato vegan soft cheese

1 cup water
1 cup pumpkin puree/cooked pumpkin
1 cup oats
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
6 sun dried tomatoes (I used tomatoes preserved in oil)
1 teaspoon himalayan sea salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup water

1 1/4 cups water
2.5 tablespoons agar POWDER

Method:

  1. Add the ingredients in the order listed (not the agar + 1 1/4 cup water) + blend until very smooth with zero lumps.
  2. Heat the water + agar over a low heat until it becomes very thick + gloopy. Once thick, transfer to the cheese base + pulse until fully combined.
  3. Transfer the cheese to a mould of your choice. I used a loaf tin.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using + store in the fridge for 5-7 days.

Adapted from Vegan paprika cheese from Cooking with Plants

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts with Coconut Frosting ( Gluten Free + Dairy Free)

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

OK, so i’m sure you’re wondering how you make a ‘healthy doughnut’? Do they even exist? Of course! But aren’t they supposed to be an indulgent treat when you just need something sweet and comforting to eat?
Well these are both of those, combined we’ll call them a ‘healthy treat’ as they are just the treat you’re looking for with that afternoon tea or coffee – all the pleasure, none of the guilt!

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Using coconut nectar sugar, no dairy, pumpkin purée (with all the goodness of high fibre, heart healthy, mood boosting pumpkins) these are already set to be a satisfying nibble.
Always the coconut fan, using coconut oil & sugar gives these a great taste and texture alongside the cinnamon/nutmeg/vanilla – not a processed ingredient in these, too right!

The recipe makes 6 pumpkin spiced doughnuts, you may however be referring back to this recipe and letting your friends and family know that there is life beyond Krispy Kremes…

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Pumpkin spiced doughnuts

(makes 6)
1 cup oat flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger, nutmeg + cinnamon

3/4 cup pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon flaxmeal + 1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/ teaspoon vanilla extract

coconut cream frosting:
3 tablespoons coconut cream,1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon shredded coconut + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 ºC. Combine the flax + coconut water in a small bowl.
  2. Add the first 7 dry ingredients to a bowl + mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the pumpkin, oil, maple syrup + vanilla to the flax mixture + whisk well. Add this mixture to the dry bowl to produce a thick batter.
  4. Transfer the batter to a silicone or greased doughnut pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Blitz the icing ingredients together + smother. Eat any leftovers.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies (Dairy Free + Gluten Free)

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

OK so time for something sweeter on the blog, it’s been a little while we know! These simple pumpkin chocolate brownies really have very few ingredients and are just truly satisfying. It’s getting cold outside and when someone’s made you a hot drink, these accompany that quite nicely.

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

With some pumpkin puree leftover and the urge for a chocolatey gluten free treat, these came to mind and proved a real success! Made with healthy brown rice flour and almond flour, combined with some other truly special plant based ingredients, you really do feel good eating these (well we did anyway!)

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

Invite over a friend or take to someone’s and share a heathy indulgent moment or two.

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup dates
generous sprinkle cinnamon
pinch of sea salt (I used pink himalayan)
1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup raw cocoa
4 tablespoons liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)

Entirely optional but you could also drizzle with raw chocolate sauce:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoons maple syrup

(just combine this little lot over a low heat + drizzle away)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC + line a small baking dish. Blitz the pumpkin + dates until smooth.
  2. Add this mixture to a bowl with remaining ingredients, combine well + transfer to the baking dish.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted skewer comes out clean. Once removed allow to stand for 20 minutes before slicing.
  4. Enjoy now as is or drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Wholegrain Pumpkin Vegan Sushi Rolls

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi
These pumpkin sushi rolls have been something we’ve been just dying to try, not for the pumpkin necessarily (although this time of year is all about the root veg) but because:
a). they’re vegan (and everything vegan rocks!)
b). there’s a first time for all experienced sushi rollers and this was that time in our household. Of course, this now means we’re going to become ‘experts’…

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

The pumpkin idea is simple, Halloween has been and gone and there’s a few leftover edible pumpkins left in the supermarkets (although not many) and as pumpkin is an autumn/winter seasonal veggie, why not put some in the sushi?

But, this isn’t just any kind of sushi – your standard white rice kind, these pumpkin vegan sushi rolls are made with uber-healthy organic brown short grain sticky rice. That’s what makes this extra special, knowing you’re getting all that organic wholegrain into your sushi life. When you’ve got the choice, go brown over white every time.

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

Brown sticky rice notes:
One rinsing will do before cooking,
Allow more cooking time (according to packet, around 40mins),
Brown rice does not have to be drained (unlike white),
Works best with a handing rolling mat (rice on the inside of the nori seaweed too).

Some nutritional bits for you about brown rice:
*Easier to digest as it’s much ‘lighter’
*Low GI, reducing insulin spikes (slow-release sugar)
*High in Manganese
*High fibre – good for weight loss
*A ‘whole grain’
*Rich in antioxidants
*Perfect baby ‘first food’ as it’s nutrient rich (ideal as we’re new parents!)

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

Armed with the raw ingredients including avocado, red pepper & green onion as well as a brand new rolling mat, it was time to get stuck in. It’s quite calming really once you’ve got the hang of spreading the rice thinly and evenly, as it’s something to keep a busy mind distracted as you gotta concentrate. It’s a situation whereby once you commit, you have to go the whole way much like walking into the (cold English) ocean up to your waist: 3, 2, 1 under! I found the trick was once you start rolling don’t be afraid, just carry on – who cares if it’s not perfect, that’s what the other 4 sheets of nori in the packet are for…to make more delicious sushi.

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

These sushi rolls are gluten, dairy, egg, nut, and soy-free (as long as you leave out any tofu and no tamari for dipping). However, we jazzed the serving up with a generous squeeze of wasabi and some organic tamari…just yummy. This made a great weekend lunch, and yes we’ll be making again and using some more of our 10kg stash of brown sticky rice!

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

Choose your fillings and enjoy!

Wholegrain Pumpkin Vegan Sushi Rolls

(makes 5 rolls)

1 cup of uncooked short grain brown rice, cooked according to packet instructions
5 nori sheets
1 cup roasted pumpkin, mashed
1 tablespoon wasabi
1/3 cucumber, sliced into strips
1/2 red pepper, sliced into strips
2 spring green onions, sliced into strips
1 avocado, sliced into strips
(any other filling that takes your fancy)
serve with the usual wasabi, pickled ginger + tamari

  1. Mash the roasted pumpkin + wasabi to a smooth consistency.
  2. Arrange all your prepared vegetables including your pumpkin paste, rice + nori sheets on a chopping board.
  3. Lay out your nori, spread rice thinly + evenly (rolls better that way) and lay filling on the top of the rice not quite half way up the nori sheet. Using your sushi mat start rolling your sushi according to the package instructions. Most packets have instructions, but this video was pretty useful.
  4. Slice up each roll + devour with condiments.

Mushroom, Kale + Rice Stuffed Pumpkin

pumpkin stuffed This is a Christmas recipe that’s coming a little late but that really doesn’t matter as this is so good it should never just come out just once a year! What is all that about anyway – people’s favourite foods and extra effort recipes coming out on just those special occasions! I just think we should all be eating delicious food we love all year round……or is that just me?

Anyway, every year Russ’s family have a boxing day tradition with another family to meet up every year for a big festive boxing day meal and it doesn’t actually have to be on boxing day either, in fact this year’s is 11 days before boxing day!!! I have missed the last 4, yes 4 because I generally try to be somewhere lovely over the Xmas period but this year it’s early and I get to go which is generally good news! The day is usually pretty fun and a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family whilst playing silly games and eating a lot including copious amounts of meat, cheese and wine. Hard times for me. Not eating meat, cheese or being a huge wine drinker makes me look a little strange amongst a room full of people who bond over their love of cheese and a mighty lamb shank. Plus I swear I get ‘blamed’ for Russ’s plant based lifestyle!! Yep blame, cos that’s just what it feels like in such a meat focused environment, Arrrrrhhhh!!!

pumpkin stuffed
So we’ve been asked to take our ‘veggie’ boxing day meal as I think it’s all too much for people who relish huge hunks of meat and wedges of every cheese known to man! I don’t mean it in a bad way but people tend to be a bit freaked out when you announce your vegan status! Anyway, it’s such a pleasure to take this mushroom, kale + stuffed pumpkin extravaganza because not only is it utterly delicious, but in my opinion she’s a bit of a show stopper! Pumpkin should never be just a side but rather the star of the show! That’s why I made four cos I just know that others will be wanting some as a side to their lamb. Quietly weeping.

pumpkin stuffed

This is wholegrain, contains 3 servings of veggies, is packed full of vitamins and minerals + an excellent source of protein. Merry Christmas. And a happy new year of course!

pumpkin stuffed

Not to mention it is utterly delicious spiked with white wine, earthy mushrooms, sweet cranberries, crunchy seeds encased in gooey sweet pumpkin flesh. Oh lord. This is proper winter food. Christmas food. Everyday food.

Mushroom, kale + rice stuffed pumpkin

(serves 2/3)

1 medium culinary pumpkin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
2 cups of chestnut mushrooms
2 large handfuls kale, torn
juice + zest of half lemon
salt + pepper
1 glass of white wine
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 cups cooked wholegrain rice

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Prepare pumpkin by slicing the top off to create a lid + scoop out all the seeds.
2. Meanwhile heat the olive oil over a medium heat + gently fry the onion, garlic, mushrooms + kale until softened. Add the lemon, seasoning + white wine, continue to cook until the alcohol has burned off.
3. Stir through the remaining ingredients + transfer the mixture to the empty pumpkin. Place the lid back on + bake for 45-60 minutes. The skin should be browned + soft when a sharp knife is inserted.
4. Serve immediately + knock their socks off.

Spiced Winter Root Vegetable Soup (Gluten Free + Vegan)

pumpkin winter soupThis isn’t any old soup but one that is packed full of nurturing + healing spices. Warming throughout winter. A hug in the guise of soup.2 bowls of soup + pumpkin seeds

Vegetables rock but root vegetables really do rock. Winter vegetables

Healthy as heck with it’s three servings of vegetables in one bowl. And pumpkin seeds too – you really gotta love pumpkin and all it’s awesomeness.Pumpkin love

Utterly delicious. Thick, smooth, creamy, spicy and oh so more-ish. Pumpkin soup + all the trimmings

Super easy to prepare.DSC_8789

That’ll do. Enjoy soup all winter long.Winter root veg soup + seeds

Spiced winter root vegetable soup

(serves 4)

1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic, cloves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small pumpkin, peeled + roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
1 sweet potato, peeled + roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled + chopped roughly
5 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon each of cumin + coriander
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg + cayenne
1 cup almond milk
salt + pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil over a low heat + add the onion + garlic. Gently fry until translucsent.
2. Add the remaining ingredients + bring to a low boil. Simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Blend the soup until smooth + adjust seasoning to taste. Be careful of blending the soup whilst it is still very hot. Always allow to cool off before doing so. Freeze on the day, refrigerate for up to 4 days or eat straight away to keep warm!

Comforting Cheesy Pumpkin Sauce With Kale + Pasta (Gluten Free + Vegan)

cheesy kale pumpkin pastaI saw two ladies running in opposite directions today along the canal towpath so I nosily lingered and wondered as they fast approached each other whether they would say hello or not……..they didn’t and I wondered why. It disappointed me and made me a little sad. Two runners, a nice morning, literally elbow skimming each other, yet no acknowledgement or good morning from either. Sad times eh? Is this why I get that look of ‘are you mental’ when I strike up a conversation with a fellow strangers? I think it’s a shame. I always say hi, acknowledge others when out and about, it’s the done thing, right?DSC_8344

I have no way of introducing this recipe apart from it’s the kind of meal that puts a big crazy smile on my face. A deliciously smooth, creamy, cheesy, smokey pumpkin sauce for all your pasta needs. The kind of ‘go to’ comfort food you need when the temperature dips and the days get shorter.

Creamy, cheesy + delicious pumpkin sauce

I like to make a double batch + put it in the fridge ready and waiting for a couple of effortless mid week lunches. You can used canned pumpkin but if you wanna take the time roast your squash you’ll reap the reward of a sweeter flavour. I like rewards so I roast my pumpkin but canned is fantastic as a short cut.Cheesy pumpkin sauce with kale + pasta

Isn’t pumpkin pretty? I bloody love nature.Glorious pumpkin!

This sauce isn’t like your average pasta sauce but clearly this is in a good way. It’s low in sodium, has zero sugar and there’s no need to add a tonne of oil either. Almond milk, nutritional yeast + a touch of liquid smoke gives this pumpkin sauce a delicious creamy, cheesy + slightly smokey flavour. Nutritional yeast is mighty high in B vitamins and this sauce wouldn’t be what it is without it.

I’d definitely recommend an alternative pasta or at least whole grain as life’s too short to eat white sludge. I’m in love with buckwheat + brown rice pasta which are much better decisions, nutritionally + taste wise. They’re easily found in your local health food store or if you’re lucky in the gluten free section of your local supermarket. Winner. Oh, there’s kale in this too. Enough said.Cheesy pumpkin sauce

pumpkin + kale = happy times

kale + cheesy pumpkin sauce = very happy times

broccoli, spinach + other green things would be nice too

if you see me out running, say hello + make me smileCheesy pumpkin sauce with kale + pasta

Comforting Cheesy Pumpkin Sauce With Kale + Pasta

2 cups diced pumpkin or squash
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 cups almond milk (unsweetened)
salt & pepper
big handfuls of kale
100 grams of pasta per person

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 170ºC + place cubed pumpkin on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt + bake for 25 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to a blender with the roasted pumpkin and puree until smooth. Add more milk to loosen if needed.
3. Cook pasta per packet instructions, add kale 1 minute before the end. Drain the pasta/kale + stir through enough pumpkin sauce to coat the pasta.

Store leftover sauce in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freezes well.

Adapted from Oh She Glow’s ‘Smokey butternut squash sauce’. 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Spiced Coconut Pancakes (Gluten Free + Vegan)

Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakesToday is mostly about delicious stacked pancakes and awe inspiring quotes. These words of wisdom made their way into my life this morning:

“Only the truth of who you are, if realised, will set you free.”

Eckhart Tolle

Deep eh? Man I gotta read ‘The Power of Now’, like now!  I love it when a quote just sparks something in me, inspires, motivates, ignites and this is definitely one of those quotes for me. Discovering and accepting our true authentic selves, existing as we truly are, the good, the bad and the ugly, practicing self acceptance and lending the same sentiment to others. It’s authenticity that I value more than anything and it’s clear to see when someone is being their true and authentic self, these people are magnets as we’re always drawn to the real. I vow never to be afraid of being the truest realest me, embracing self discovery always, because let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be free? Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

Who we are when people aren’t looking, listening, simply observing ………… well that’s how we should allow ourselves to be all the time. It’s a journey at the end of the day so let’s have some pumpkin + coconut spiced pancakes along the way. See how I did that, eh?

Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

I’m really rinsing the pumpkin thing at the mo and seeing as i’ve never had pumpkin pancakes there was very good reason to keep going with this pumpkin theme, I mean obsession. It’s hardly a crime is it?! Honestly, it’s fair to say I have a pumpkin preoccupation all year, not just halloween!Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

Well what about these then, a stacked pile of loveliness. So yum but unfortunately I didn’t make enough. Their moreishness (yes, in my world it is a word!)  plus sharing with Russ proved hard to do…..soul destroying really.Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

These pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes are oat based, eggless and pumpkin packed so they’re great for dairy and gluten free diets or for anyone who is simply cutting back on these things. I used a little coconut oil for greasing, maple syrup for drizzling and nuts for dressing. A pretty good breakfast I’d say.

Be happy and proud of who you really are and eat pancakes, often. Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

Pumpkin Spiced Coconut Pancakes

(Serves 2)

1 cup gluten free oat flour (make your own by processing oats to a fine flour)
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg + ginger
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup almond milk
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseeds combined with 3 tablespoons water)
pecans + maple syrup
coconut oil for frying

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk the pumpkin puree, milk + flax egg in a measuring jug.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry + combine thoroughly to form a thick batter.
  3. Using a 1/3 cup, ladle the batter into the pan + cook well on both sides. Transfer to the oven to keep warm whilst cooking the remaining pancakes.
  4. Tower the pancakes on a plate, sprinkle with pecans + drizzle with maple syrup.

Spiced Pumpkin + Pecan Spelt Bread (Vegan)

pecan & pumpkin loafI’ve decided autumn is definitely my favourite season, the weather, the colours, well everything really – just so beautiful. If I could pause weather, cos I often daydream about this (but that would be too cool), I would pause it on a perfect autumn day – blue sky, crisp air, warm coloured vibrant leaves and comfortable outside temperatures. Perfect. Oh, and the food’s good too, I’m loving all the seasonal veggies at the mo especially the pumpkin explosion.Delicious pumpkin + pecan loaf

It really is all about the pumpkin in October which is OK with me because it’s easily my favourite vegetable after all. I love the fact that this delicious veggie can be dinner or breakfast, sweet and savoury. It’s too impressive, well in vegetable terms of impressiveness that is. Such a good job there’s sooo many pumpkins around at the moment cos I’m going to be making a lot of squash based recipes over the next few weeks, recipes like this vegan spiced pumpkin spelt bread.process 2

I’m not sure if this is pumpkin bread as it’s definitely walking the cake line so we could say it’s a kinda hybrid. Anyway, take 5 minutes out to throw this together and you’ll be rewarded with a lightly sweetened, moist, warmly spiced and very moreish loaf cake.Sliced pumpkin + pecan bread

This was made early saturday morning ready for my Mum and Sis coming round for our group hair cut. My Mum was pulling my leg the other day……saying she sees all this food on the blog which doesn’t quite make it over to her! Ooops, sorry love!Pumpkin + pecan spelt bread

Anyway, we ate it all……..well it wasn’t hard and got our hair cut too. Freshly baked pumpkin bread and a fresh haircut = a good way to spend saturday morning.

Hope you had a pumpkin packed weekend!
Pumpkin + pecan bread

Spiced pumpkin spelt bread

(12 slices)

dry:

1 + 1/4 cups spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg + ginger
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup crushed pecans/walnuts

wet:

1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax seeds + 3 tablespoons water)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 175ºC  + grease a small loaf tin. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl mix all the wet ingredients until combined thoroughly.
2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mixture and combine thoroughly.
3. Transfer to the loaf tin + bake for 50-60 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven + allow to cool before serving. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

The Ultimate Vegetarian Lasagne with Roasted Romano Pepper + Pumpkin

Roasted red pepper + pumpkin lasagneRuss and me cook together every night. Occasionally one of us will suggest we’ll cook alone to free the other up but we just kind of like cooking together. We enjoy it, it’s relaxing, plus it takes half the time and we get to chat about our day whilst chopping, stirring and getting ready to eat fabulous food. The thing is, yeah it’s a habit but a good one surely – well you gotta eat and we get to feast on delicious, fresh and nutritious meals every night. Cooking together is a lot more fun than cooking alone but we seem to have definitely assigned ourselves set roles, Russ does most of the chopping and salad bits and I crack on with the actual cooking, timings, table arranging, flavours and cleaning. Well we both share the cleaning but I’m starting to think I got the raw end of the deal being a slave to the hob! I’d challenge Russ to swap with me but his knife skills are too good and I always prefer salads made by another! We’ve both just slipped into these roles and seem to get on with them like a well oiled machine- funny how habits form over time without us really noticing. Maybe I’ll challenge him to get down and dirty with the cooking whilst I sharpen my knife skills….yeah maybe. He can keep the bathroom cleaning duties though, I don’t want to share that one or bin change day!Slice of lasagne

I adore vegetarian lasagne but I don’t buy into complicated lasagnes at all. To me, the most important aspects are the flavours and good quality pasta sheets. I’ve made a full on traditional lasagne from scratch before and it seemed to take an age, but this recipe is just perfect and takes less time, especially if you’ve pre roasted vegetables to hand. I have to say when cooking in tandem (Hi Russ!) there really isn’t any recipe that’s too much so I really have no excuses. However, this is so jam packed full of fresh and vibrant ingredients it really doesn’t need a lot of fuss and time.Roasted vegetables

I use a cheats white sauce to quicken the lasagne process further and only spread this on the top layer as opposed to traditionally distributed throughout. I find this enough but if you prefer a creamier dish then just double the creme fraiche mixture and add to as many of the layers as you like. The roasted vegetables give this lasagne a beautifully sweet flavour, transforming the plain old chopped tomatoes into a sweet, rich and extremely moreish sauce. I like to add a little chili for a spicier version, actually I add chili to almost everything so just ignore me.Lasagne - ready for assembly!

Here is a fact and an opinion: Fact first, this is much healthier than traditional meat lasagnes. The tomatoes, peppers and pumpkin make this dish extremely nutrient dense and the cheese, creme fraiche and lentils provide an excellent protein content too. Now opinion, well I believe this is tastier than any other lasagne by miles, meat or non meat. It’s the ultimate vegetarian lasagne.

Do you have quirky routines/habits around cooking?Lasagne + Russ' salad is perfection

The ultimate vegetarian lasagne

(serves 2 hungry people)

200 grams pasta sheets (I used gluten free)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 romano peppers
2 cups cubed pumpkin or squash
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon, oregano + thyme
1 white onion, chopped finely
1 can chopped tomatoes + 1 can water
1/2 cup lentils
chopped parsley

cheat’s white sauce:
1 cup creme fraiche + a little water to loosen
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1 cup mozzarella, grated

1. Pre-heat oven to 190ºC. Place whole peppers + squash in an square 12″ oven proof dish. Season + drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil + roast for 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil, add the onion, garlic + seasonings stirring until fragrant + translucent. Add the tomatoes + water, keep on a low simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are roasted.
3. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven. Peel the skins off the peppers (they should fall off) + chop roughly. Add both to the tomato sauce.
4. In a small bowl, combine the creme fraiche with a little water + stir through the parmesan. It should be a pourable consistency.
5. Assemble the lasagne in the square dish starting with a base layer of sauce, followed by the lasagne sheets. Continue for 3 layers of tomato base + pasta. Pour the white sauce over the assembled lasagne + place in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes depending on pasta sheets used.
6. Remove 5 minutes before the end + add the mozzarella. Place bake in the oven until the cheese is lightly browned + bubbling. Serve immediately with a big salad + garlic baguette.

Keep refrigerated, delicious eaten cold + freezable on day of making.