The Best Vegan Lasagne EVER!

Best ever veggie lasagne The Urban Ma

 

I came across this recipe early last year and had a bit of time last Sunday so I spent the afternoon chopping and roasting and baking away. This is not an easy dish to complete with a curious toddler who constantly needs attention so it’s no wonder I hadn’t made it in a while! This recipe is from Like A Vegan who share amazing culinary creations from smoothies to main meals. Check out their website for endless vegan recipes! I had to change few ingredients when I baked mine so below is what I used:

Ingredients

  • 2 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 large pumpkin, thinly sliced
  • 1 eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 packet instant lasagne sheets
  • 1/3 packet blue style Cheezly (you can find this in the refrigerated section of some vegetarian outlets)

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 “beef style” stock cube
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Béchamel Sauce

  • 1/2  cup Nuttelex or vegan margarine
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • 2-3 cups soy milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a large rectangular baking dish and baking trays.
  2. Evenly spread out vegetables on baking trays and bake until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce, combine stock cube and boiling water and set aside until water has been absorbed.
  4. In a large pan, lightly fry the finely chopped red onion and garlic before adding the stock, tomatoes, brown sugar, herbs and salt and pepper. Allow to fully heat through.
  5. To make a quick and easy béchamel, melt Nuttelex in the microwave in a large jug.
  6. Whisk in flour and nutritional yeast before cooking in the microwave for a further minute.
  7. Slowly whisk in soy milk until your desired consistency is achieved and season with salt and pepper.
  8. In the base of the baking dish, place down a layer of lasagne sheets (you may have to cut some to size).
  9. Pour on a thin layer of tomato sauce followed by béchamel, pumpkin and mushrooms.
  10. Add another layer of lasagne sheets before more tomato sauce, béchamel, eggplant, potato and onion.
  11. Lay down a final layer of lasagne sheets and finish off with the remaining tomato sauce and béchamel.
  12. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes before grating Cheezly on top. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until Cheezly has melted.
  13. Serve piping hot!

 

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Hoy! Let’s go to the night market.

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Luna1878 Night Market – Queen Victoria Market, cnr Elizabeth and Victoria streets
Every Wednesday in August 2013 (last one tonight!)

Last Wednesday night we rugged up and headed out to the Luna1878 night market. It seemed a lot more spacious than the night market held in the summer months when we arrived early at 5pm but the area soon filled up with excited visitors wanting to taste the array of cuisines and street food on offer. Lines began to form and there was an energetic buzz buzz as everyone was deciding what delicious dishes they should try out.

From Nepalese, Sicilian, Hungarian cuisines to Filipino bbq and mulled wine there was such an impressive variety of food it was a great sight! Every food stall at Luna1878 offered something different and I just wanted to try the lot!

 There were bar tables, picnic tables and some live music being performed that further lifted the vibrant atmosphere in this undercover foodie haven! If you haven’t been yet, then head on down there tonight as it is the last night for the August series this year! Come early with an empty stomach and lots of mula! It’s going to be an awesome night tonight 🙂

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Winter Weekend fun! – Markets and festivals


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Slow Food Farmers Market – Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers st, Abbotsford

Every fourth Saturday of the month

The sun was shining so we embraced the crisp winter morning and went for a wander through the Slow Food farmers market. It was bustling with families, dogs and plastic-free shoppers lapping up the fresh fruit, meat and veg for sale. Baby D made some friends with Zac and a little lab x named Forest who was rescued from the dogs’ home. I got excited to see truffles and also brussel sprouts because for some reason I never knew they grew like that (see pics above)! I had also never tried a cauliflower or cardoon fritter before and boy were+- they good! Will try to make some this week and see how I go.

We got our dose of vitamin D whilst eating pies and croissants from the Convent bakery and also enjoyed a berry lamington from the MoVida Bakery stall. There’s something special about being up early in the morning and catching that first wave of freshness in the air, and it’s even more special when you’re spending it with good company and good food.

Williamstown Toddler, Tweens and Teens Festival 2013

Face painting, a talent quest, farm animals, basketball games and book signings were just some of the things happening down in Ferguson street, Williamstown for the Toddler, Tweens and Teens Festival. It was great to see lots of kids outside all rugged up and enjoying a day outdoors with their parents and friends! There were a few activity stalls and dance schools MDX and The Dream Academy were there too. Baby D loved the little petting farm in the middle with a piglet and the cutest little lamb 🙂

When we first got there I thought “Is this all?” There were a handful of stalls and one main stage. But walking around and seeing all the excited little faces and huge, happy smiles I was brought back down and remembered it’s the simple things. It’s the simple things that can excite a little toddler and baby and it’s a simple smile or hand reaching out in awe that can make us parents feel so fulfilled. Seeing Baby D’s eyes widen at the sight of the ducks quacking and piglet snorting was so cute! And slowly the more I looked around the more I appreciated how special these festivals can be as they create lifelong memories that our kids will cherish. So get up, get dressed, and get out there and enjoy the wonderful world around you! <3

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Crispy Kale Chips

Kale chips

After our first visit to the Gasworks Farmers Market in Albert Park, I decided to see what all the hype was about in terms of kale and what could be more easier than baking some kale chips!

– 1 bunch of kale ($2)

– 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

– a sprinkle of salt

1) Preheat oven 2) Cut away the leaves from the thick stems 3) Tear leaves into bite sized pieces 4) Wash and dry thoroughly 5) Drizzle leaves with olive oil and a little salt 6) Place leave on a tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15-20mins or until leaves are a little brown on the sides.

Serve straight from the oven!

Transparent Moment!: Ok so they’re not as easy as I thought! Firstly I forgot to dry the leaves after washing them (they still turned out crunchy!). Then I didn’t have any baking paper so I used foil, and then I burnt one whole tray!! – and it wasn’t even the tray on the top (see the last photo below!). I’m no masterchef but the ones that did work out were great! Super crunchy and a great way to get your serving of greens 🙂

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Spiced Tofu Stir Fry

Looking for something quick and tasty to cook for dinner? I found this recipe in a vegan recipe book when I was looking for some dishes to cater for a couple of friends who have chosen not to eat animal products. To my delight, it is a really easy dish to cook and is super tasty! – I love the combination of maple syrup and lime juice!

P.S Sorry I wasn’t able to take my normal step-by-step photos as this weekend I cooked 6 batches for a birthday party and was rushing to get it all cooked and ready to go.

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Spiced Tofu Stir Fry

Ingredients

(Serves 4)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp caster sugar

275g tofu

4 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 bunch spring onions sliced

1 red capsicum seeded and sliced

1 yellow capsicum seeded and sliced

generous 3 cups of muschroom, halved or quartered, if necessary

1 large zucchini

115g green beans

50g pine nuts

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp maple syrup

good pinch of cayenne pepper

salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

1. In a bowl, mix together the cumin, paparika, ground ginger and caster sugar with plenty of seasoning. Cut the tofu into cubes and coat the cubes in the spice mixture.

2. Heat half the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Cook the tofu over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally (take care not to break up the tofu too much). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper.

3. Add the remaining oil to the wok or pan and cook the garlic and spring onions for 3 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and cook over a medium heat for 6 minutes, or until they are beginning to soften and turn golden. Season well.

4. Return the tofu to the wok or pan and add the pine nuts, lime juice and maple syrup. Heath through and serve immediately.

Let me know how you go if you end up trying this dish! The original recipe stated 2 tsp of cumin but it was a little overpowering for me so changed it to 1 tsp.

Happy Monday everyone!! 🙂

(The aftermath – my dirty stove!)

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