Going meat free can be difficult sometimes. You may feel like you need to eat differently from family and friends. While this is sometimes true, I believe there’s always ways to alter recipes to suit everyone’s taste.
Lasagne is one family tradition that you can try meat free.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 900 g Naranka Gold Pumpkin, peeled, cut into 1.5cm cubes
- 2 x 400 g cans brown lentils, rinsed, drained
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 690 g bottle Coles Brand Italian Tomato Passata
- 500 g ricotta
- Good pinch ground nutmeg
- 375 g pkt fresh lasagne
- 120 g pkt baby spinach, trimmed, finely shredded
- 1.5 cup Tasty cheese, grated (I used 1 cup plus parmesan cheese)
- Rocket leaves, to serve
- Preheat oven to 190°C or 170°C fan. Grease a 26cm x 20cm x 6cm baking dish.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion for 5 minutes or until soft and lightly golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add pumpkin, lentils and stock. Reserve 1 cup of the passata and stir the remaining passata into the pumpkin mixture. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat slightly and cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender and the mixture is thick. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly, then refrigerate until cold.
- Meanwhile, use a fork to mash the ricotta in a bowl. Stir in nutmeg. Season.
- Line the base of the prepared dish with a layer of lasagne sheets. Spread over half the pumpkin mixture, then top with another layer of lasagne sheets.
- Sprinkle with the ricotta mixture and use damp fingertips to spread evenly.
- Spread over the remaining pumpkin mixture, then top with remaining lasagne sheets. Spread over the reserved passata to cover completely. Sprinkle with cheddar.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Serve with rocket.
I made this for a dinner gathering with a couple of friends and they all liked it! My friends and I are surprised by how delicious a vegetarian lasagne can be. It has much less fat then traditional meat lasagne but the lentil and pumpkin texture resembles meat – great replacement!
Nutritionally, Legumes provide a range of essential nutrients including protein, low glycemic (GI) carbohydrates, dietary fibre, minerals (iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium) and B vitamins. They are also low in fat, sodium, and gluten free.
Eating legumes can play a role in preventing chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and overweight, as well as improving gut health.
The Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council recommends 2 – 3 serves (1/2-1 cup cooked) of legumes a week.
This recipe is adapted from Coles.