When I first started cooking I was so scared to veer from a recipe. To me, a recipe is like the instructions on Ikea furniture, leave something out and it just won’t work right.
What I have slowly come to realize is that although there are some recipes that need to be followed pretty closely, there are others that can be adjusted a bit.
I had some extra red lentils in my cabinet that I wanted to use so I went to my trustiest cookbook, Google, and started looking for something to do with them. Red lentil lasagna, sure!
|The Top Layer|
Only problem is I didn’t have everything the original recipe called for so I decided to take some liberties with it. Take this out, add this, adjust this… It worked! Success! I am the next vegan Julia Child! Respect...
Well not yet, but this lasagna turned out pretty darn good.
I ate it like Garfield.You should too…
My slightly adapted Red Lentil Lasagna, after the jump…
|Weird, but good, creamy topping|
Red Lentil Lasagna
Adapted from: VegWeb
6-8 Lasagna Noodles
15 ounce red lentils (about 1 ½ - 2 cups)
1 small onion, chopped
3 small cloves garlic, diced
2 roasted red peppers, chopped
3 small jarred artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
Olive Oil, as needed
2.5 cups tomato pasta sauce (1/4 cup reserved for the pan)
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
1.5 tablespoons vegan butter
1 tablespoon flour, plus more as needed
1 cup nondairy milk, divided
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Some need to be boiled and some don't. Boil lentils with water in a medium sized pot for 30 minutes.
2. While lentils are cooking, fry the onion and garlic until onion becomes translucent (approx 6-8 minutes). Add the roasted red pepper and artichokes in towards the end. Drain and rinse the lentils when done, then add them to the pan with the veggies. Add the tomato sauce and spices, and then cook the mixture for a few minutes.
3. Add ¼ cup of sauce to the bottom of the pan (a square baking pan, around 8 x 8 would work well). To assemble your lasagna, put a layer of noodles over the sauce, a layer of the lentil mixture, a layer of noodles, a layer of the lentil mixture, then top with a layer of noodles.
4. Next, prepare the white sauce for the topping. In a small sauce pan, melt vegan butter. When it is melted, remove from heat and add flour, and mix well. Add flour as needed until you get a thick creamy sauce. Add ½ cup milk, stir well, and heat on medium-high heat. Constantly stir.
5. When the sauce starts to thicken, add the second ½ cup of milk. Keep stirring until the saucer starts to thicken, then reduce heat and let sit for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the sauce is a thick creamy texture, pour over the top of the lasagna. Bake for about 45 minutes - 1 hour. Be careful not to burn, or let the top get brown.
Chubby Vegan Notes
- You can double this recipe and make a full lasagna pan, but this was plenty for husband and I (with some leftovers).
- The creamy white sauce is a bit bizarre and a little old school. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good but it’s a little strange. I think the whole thing is optional. You could make a Daiya cheese sauce to add or just add a little bit more pasta sauce.
- The original recipe suggested adding mushrooms, which I think would be excellent.
- Lasagna filling can really be anything, so if you have extra vegetables lying around you could probably throw them in. Be a rebel.