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8 Vegetable Lasagne

As someone who generally follows a paleo(ish) dietary template, certain recipes have generally fallen off my radar over time. Don’t get me wrong, I treat myself to a good sourdough pizza every now and again, or even a cheeky kids’ fish and chips every now and again, so I don’t abstain from grains and dairy completely. But I rarely give pasta dishes like lasagne much thought, until I started writing my last blog Struggling to Boost Your Vegetable Intake…

Supermarkets have stocked butternut squash lasagne sheets over the last few years, but I could never think of an appealing and tasty dairy-free bechamel alternative. Cashew nut “cheese” works great for raw food lasagne (and Christine Bailey has a great recipe for this!); but remembering a smoked fish pie recipe (by Cave Girl NZ) got me thinking about cauliflower.

Cooked cauliflower blends really well with non-dairy milks to make a creamy sauce, and after some googling, I found a moussaka recipe using a cauliflower bechamel sauce (from Paleo Hacks). Using this as a base, I played around with it, adding some nutritional yeast and seasoning. If you’ve not tried nutritional yeast before, it’s something often used in vegan recipes to provide a cheese flavour, as well as being a great source of B vitamins.

With two vegetables replacing the grains and dairy, I experimented with adding more vegetables to the mix – eventually coming up with my 8 Vegetable Lasagne!

Although the ingredient list may seem long, this is a relatively simple dish to make. You can also make the cauliflower bechamel sauce in advance.

NB. This dish contains meat, but you could substitute this for some additional mushrooms and chopped walnuts for a vegetarian meal.

8 Vegetable Lasagne


For the Cauliflower Bechamel Sauce:

  • 2 cups of cauliflower florets
  • ½ onion (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (chopped)
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 eggs

For the Lasagne Layers:

  • 1 packet of butternut squash lasagne sheets
  • 2 cups of organic spinach*
  • Nutmeg (for sprinkling)

*Although I would encourage you to buy organic food in general, spinach contains particularly high pesticide residues, so organic is definitely a better option.

For the Meat Sauce Filling:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 cup of mushrooms (chopped)
  • 500g turkey mince*
  • 1 courgette (grated)
  • ½ cup broccoli “rice”
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/3 cup (85ml) red wine

*You could use lean beef mince instead.

To Make the Cauliflower Bechamel Sauce:

  • Place the cauliflower, onion, garlic, almond milk, seasoning and bay leaf in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is soft.

  • Remove the bay leaf, and pour the ingredients into a blender (take care with the hot liquid).
  • Add the nutritional yeast and blend until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl or jug, beat the eggs.
  • Add a few drops of the cauliflower mix into the eggs and beat again.
  • Continue to add small amounts (¼ tsp to 1 tsp at a time) of the cauliflower mix into the eggs, until they are almost the same temperature.
  • Pour the egg mix back into the blender and mix until smooth.
  • Set aside until needed.

To Make the Meat Sauce Layer:

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
  • Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and fry for a few minutes until soft.
  • Add the turkey mince, breaking up and cooking for 5-6 minutes, until no pink can be seen.
  • Stir in the courgette and broccoli and fry for another few minutes.

  • Pour in the tomatoes, tomato puree and red wine.
  • Bring to the boil, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Set aside until needed. 

To Make the Lasagne:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan assisted)
  • In a pyrex or ceramic dish lay one layer of the butternut squash.

  • Spread 1/3 of the mince mixture over this.

  • Place a layer of spinach leaves over the top.

  • Pour over 1/3 of the cauliflower béchamel.

  • Repeat the layering until the mix is used up (or until you fill up your dish!).
  • Finish off with a layer of the bechamel and sprinkle with nutmeg.
  • Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

  • Garnish with basil leaves and serve with a green salad.

Left over portions can be frozen individually.


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