Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Spinach-Squash Lasagna

This months topic for Heart of the Matter, hosted by the Accidental Scientist, is Stews and Casseroles. Heart of the Matter is all about heart-healthy food that is delicious without putting your health at risk. Hm, last months topic was soups. I didn't want to make anything that would resemble last months theme, so I went for a spinach-squash lasagna, since lasagna could arguably pass as a casserole.

This lasagna is almost fat-free and 100% cholesterol-free, something your ordinary lasagne is probably not. Still it is chock-full of flavors and veggies: caramelized squash, tender spinach and heart-healthy garlic. This one is a keeper.

Spinach-Squash Lasagna

2 1/2 cups vegan broth
2 1/2 cups soymilk
2 tblsp flour dissolved in some cold water
nutmeg, freshly ground pepper, minced garlic, lemon juice
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes + some more for sprinkling

1 1/2 cup squash/pumpkin cubes, roasted with garlic and sea salt
1 cup spinach (I used frozen thawed)

dry lasagne sheets

Cut the squash/pumpkin into approx 1/3" cubes, toss with some olive oil, season with sea salt and garlic and roast until tender. Defrost the spinach (or wash, cook, and drain fresh spinach).

Bring the broth and soymilk to a boil. Season with nutmeg, pepper and a spritz of lemon juice. Stirr in the dissolved flour and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Then start by pouring a thin layer of "bechamel" in your lasagna form to prevent the sheets from sticking to the bottom. Cover the bottom with lasagna sheets but leave room for them to expand (they will). Top with the roasted squash and a generous amount of sauce. Add another layer of lasagna sheets, top with the spinach and again sauce. If you still have veggies left and room in your form, then just repeat. Make sure you use plenty of sauce because the pasta will soak it up and you want a nice and moist lasagna. The amount of sauce you need will vary with the size of your lasagna form, you may need more or less. Make sure you have one cup sauce left over.

Stirr the nutritional yeast flakes into the remaining 1 cup of sauce, pour on top of the lasagne. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and into the oven it goes. The yeast flakes on top give it this nice crunch that is usually achieved with cheese that has baked for a long time. Bake for approx. 45 minutes until the pasta is tender and the top is nicely browned and crunchy.

This was the first time I've attempted to make a non-tomato-based lasagna and I was really surprised at how rich and creamy it tasted. The starch of the pasta makes for very creamy results even though this is almost fat-free. Serve with a BIG salad, lambs lettuce is in season plus it tastes divine.

Serves two.


pi said...

What do you mean by "squash/pumpkin"? Does that mean I can use any sort of squash? Or should I look for a pumpkin squash, like kabocha?

Anke said...

I meant that any type of pumpkin would do. acorn, hubbard, butternut, halloween pumpkin, whatever you can find. I am a big fan of kabocha, here I used acorn, but with all the types of pumpkin/squash out there I didn't want to give one a preference

Vegan_Noodle said...

Definitely looks like a keeper to me!! I've never made a non-tomato based lasagna either and I think it's about time I did.

Vaishali said...

This looks fabulous. I am a big fan of creamy pastas, and I love your combination of spinach and squash. Thanks, Anke!

Veggie Cookster said...

An almost fat-free lasagna? You've got MY attention! And the photo is awesome, great job. Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

VeggieGirl said...

spinach-squash lasagna... now THAT looks divine - it's a nice change from the traditional tomato version!

Ann said...

Love that it's tomato free (not tomato-ist, just sometimes like a change)!
Ann at Redacted Recipes

Veggie said...

Yum. Another great looking recipe to add to my 'recipes to try' folder.