National Vegetarian Week 2013 – Vegan Lasagne

Happy National Vegetarian Week! This year I’m setting myself the challenge of cooking seven new recipes, with a particular focus on vegan dishes. Each day I will post a photo, a summary of the recipe and my verdict on whether the meal will make its way into my repertoire.

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Vegan lasagne, packed with protein

This wasn’t the recipe I was planning on sharing with you tonight, but unfortunately the photos I took of the tomato soup were blurry to the point of being useless. My camera has all the disadvantages of a film camera (no screen on which to preview the photo) without the advantage of a viewfinder, so it really is a case of point, shoot and hope for the best. I’m amazed all the other photos have come out so well! I will have another attempt at photographing the soup when I eat some for lunch later in the week.

This was the main course for the vegan dinner party. The initial plan was to make cannelloni, but we concluded that the lasagne sheets were not really large enough to successfully roll so lasagne it was. I also managed to forget to buy spinach, so we substituted bok choi and purple sprouting broccoli. The “white sauce” is silken tofu combined with the green vegetables and whole stems of steamed asparagus were spread throughout the layers.

My friend Heidi did the majority of the work in assembling the dishes, while I chopped, steamed and otherwise prepared the vegetables and made the salads. The lasagne was very good – I particularly liked the chickpeas which were included on top for additional protein. I am a big fan of cheese in my lasagne but I didn’t feel that this recipe was missing anything at all. I shall definitely be using silken tofu again; I’ve always been intimidated by it before but this challenge is beginning to show me that vegan cooking is not as complex as it feels. I suspect a lack of familiarity is at the root of people’s aversion to vegetarian cooking too, but that can only be remedied by experimentation. Stay tuned, as I have a couple of experimentation projects planned once National Vegetarian Week is over!

Tomorrow and Friday I will share the side dishes for this meal. Sadly I didn’t manage to take a proper photo of the dessert either, so I will simply state that it was a rhubarb and mixed fruit strudel with some rather liquid vegan custard (I have yet to find a dairy-free milk which successfully thickens, suggestions would be very welcome) or oat-based vegan cream.

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2 thoughts on “National Vegetarian Week 2013 – Vegan Lasagne

  1. I’d suggest using a bit of cornflour (cornstarch) as a thickener for the custard. You might want to test the quantities though…

    • Thanks – I was actually using Bird’s Custard Powder (vegan, because no egg) which is entirely cornstarch with a bit of flavouring and colouring, but I think you’re right about the quantities. I forgot that cow’s milk contains natural coagulents, so we should have used more powder and less coconut milk!

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