This sumptuous vegan lasagne uses coconut milk for its white sauce, providing a sweet creamy alternative to traditional dairy-based sauces, while textured vegetable protein (TVP) flakes are perfect as a cruelty-free mince substitute. As well as being delicious, it's easy to make and is sure to be a party-pleaser with friends and family, whether they're vegan or not. It's also a good recipe to make in bulk as it freezes well, if you want to cook extra to use for lunches or pre-cooked dinners throughout the week. Finally, this vegan lasagne is a very versatile recipe: if the vegetables that I've mentioned here are not to your liking, replace them with your personal favourites or whatever happens to be in season.
This recipe will be enough for two medium-size casserole dishes, and will feed eight hungry adults.
Ingredients I packet of lasagne sheets
1 or 2 large tomatoes, sliced finely, to garnish the finished lasagne
2 x 400 gram cans of tomato pieces or puree (If desired, add more, or make your own with fresh tomatoes)
1 cup of TVP (textured vegetable protein) flakes or 1 can of vegetarian mince
3 medium carrots
1 medium broccoli
2 medium turnips
1 medium bunch of basil (or add according to your personal taste)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1½ cups plain flour
3 x 400ml cans of coconut milk
Pinch nutmeg, cinnamon or both (optional)
Place the textured vegetable protein (TVP) flakes into a bowl and cover with boiling water. After 5 minutes (or when the flakes are completely soft), drain the water and put aside.
Cut the carrots, broccoli and turnips into bite-size pieces and steam until soft.
Cut the basil finely and put aside.
Place the steamed vegetables and basil into a saucepan along with the textured vegetable protein, and add the canned tomato puree or tomato pieces. More puree can be added if desired. An alternative to canned puree is a home-made mixture.
Add salt and pepper, then heat the mixture gently and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Remove the vegetable sauce from the heat.
Place the coconut milk in a saucepan and place on heat.
Melt the copha in a saucepan. When it has completely melted, add the plain flour and stir regularly, being careful to not let it burn.
When the coconut milk begins to boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer.
When the copha and flour have formed a smooth paste, gradually add the coconut milk. Stir constantly until the mixture becomes thick and smooth in consistency. If it's too thick, add some warm water, still stirring it constantly.
Add salt, pepper and if desired, a small amount of nutmeg or cinnamon.
Remove from the heat.
Constructing The Lasagne
Cover the base of both casserole dishes with a small layer of the tomato and vegetable sauce.
Place a layer of lasagne sheets firmly over the sauce and add a layer of white sauce above these.
Place another lasagne sheet layer over the white sauce and continue the process until all the sauce has been used.
Personally, I'm not too fanatical about how many layers there are or their thickness. I'm also not particularly bothered about whether the tomato or white sauce ends up on the top, although I usually try to make it the white sauce, as it's usually less runny than the tomato one. However, it's really not important as regardless whether it's the tomato or white sauce, it always tastes great. Lasagnes are so versatile and you really can't go wrong with them.
Decorate the completed lasagnes with the tomato slices.
Place the completed lasagnes into an oven pre-heated to 200 degrees and cook for about 40 minutes, monitoring it regularly. Check that the lasagne sheets are completely cooked (nice and soft) by inserting a knife into each dish.