1.10.2017

Day 10 of 30! A third of the way through my cleanse/lifestyle change. Since I have been pretty good on my routine of shakes, I thought I would solely focus on the dinner recipes. Let’s cut to the chase, am I right?

This evening I made a butternut squash and spinach lasagna with brown rice pasta sheets. Like all of my lovely recipes, I found this recipe on Pinterest, and can also be found here at VeggieCravings.com.

butternut-squash-spinach-lasagna-07                                                               (Via VeggieCravings.com)

I fell in love with this recipe because it was vegan, had a gluten free option, and it also didn’t call for soy.

Now I know what you’re thinking, a lasagna without cheese? Bianca, are you crazy?! Well I have made vegetable lasagnas before (with zucchini as the pasta sheets) and instead of ricotta, it calls for cashew cheese. Cashew cheese has to be my favorite vegan alternative! It tastes just like ricotta!

 

Here’s how you make the Cashew Cheese:

Easy Vegan Cashew Cheese

Prep time: 5 mins

Total time: 5 mins

Serves: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked and drained)
  • ¼ to ½ cup soy milk/non-dairy milk or filtered water
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon/lime
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of pepper

Methods

  1. Soak raw cashews in filtered water for at least 2 hours and then drain.
  2. Add soaked cashews and all other ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth.

Bianca’s Tip: If you don’t have two hours to soak your cashews, boil a small pot of water and once it stops boiling take the pot off of the heat and add the desired amount of cashews. Let them sit for about 15 minutes, and they’re nice and soaked.

Besides the pan and the baking dish, most of the dish was created with the use of a blender. Easy as a push of a button!

Back to the lasagna, this is another fun recipe to make with children because you just layer and spread in a pattern. You’re probably wondering how I made a lasagna Gluten Free. I used Jovial’s Brown Rice lasagna sheets. Jovial has 12 certifications! Two of which are certified Vegan and certified Gluten Free. I recommend checking out their website as well as their products, here. Another alternative was Gluten Free breadcrumbs, which I found at Lucky’s in their Gluten Free section! They’re Italian flavored too!

Another than those minor alternatives to the dish, I kept everything the same. Check it out! It’s a little something different than your traditional lasagna, but it was just as comforting and satisfying.

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 1 hour

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • Butternut Squash Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 14 oz (400 g) or half butternut squash (diced ½ inch or 1.5 cm thick)
  • 4 oz (115 g) canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained.
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon mushroom seasoningor vegetable bouillon
  • Pinch of fresh or dry thyme
  • Pinch of pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup cashew or almond milk
  • Spinach and Filling:
  • 2 cups of cashew cheese
  • 2 cups of fresh baby spinach or 1 cup or frozen spinach
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Other:
  • 9 oz (255 g) oven ready lasagna sheets (pre-cooked for 7 minutes)
  • 2 cups of panko(Japanese bread crumbs) or gluten free panko
  • Pinch of fresh or dry thyme
  • Pinch of salt

Methods

  1. In a large skillet, add oil, butternut squash, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and sauté over medium heat for 6 minutes. Add salt, mushroom seasoning (or vegetable stock), thyme, pepper, water and simmer with lid for another 4 minutes, or until the butternut squash is soft.
  2. Transfer into food processor. Add cashew or almond milk and blend until smooth.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 400 °F (200 °C).
  4. In a bowl, add all spinach filling ingredients together, mix well and set aside.
  5. Grease bottom and sides of baking dish (9 ×13 inch) lightly with oil.
  6. Add ⅓ butternut squash filling and spread on the bottom of baking dish.
  7. Add lasagna sheets and spread half spinach filling on top.
  8. Spread another layer (1/3) of butternut squash filling.
  9. Add another layer of lasagna sheets and spread other half of spinach filling on top.
  10. Layer again with lasagna sheets.
  11. Spread the final layer (1/3) of butternut squash filling.
  12. Sprinkle with panko, a pinch of salt and some thyme.
  13. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 min.
  14. Remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes.

 

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