If you still believe veggies are side and not a main, well Dané Vermeulen might just have the veggie lasagne recipe that will knock your socks off. Tender veggies, a full-bodied tomato sauce and oozing with cheese, this meat-free treat will put that argument to rest.
Vermeulen (31) is a foodie and systems leader at Health For Mzansi’s digital partner, Yehbaby Digital.
Who says vegetarian is boiled and boring? If you have any meatless-meal sceptics in your life, this lasagne will change their mind. It is cheaper to make and will have you switching over to the veg side, swopping it out for its greasy meaty cousin.
Dig your teeth into this awesome, spicy and yummy veggie lasagne.
- 2 large, sweet potato (or 3 medium)
- 1 cup lentils
- 1 canned tomato
- 70g tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 tablespoon mother-in-law curry
- 2 medium garlic cloves (diced)
- 1 thumb fresh ginger (diced)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- Lasagna pasta sheets
- 150g butter
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1 – 2 cups of milk
- 1 cup of grated cheese (white cheddar or mozzarella)
- Oregano, salt, and pepper for seasoning
- Fresh coriander
1. Peel and cut the sweet potato into large pieces and cook in water until soft.
2. In a separate pot, cook the lentils in water until soft.
3. Drain the water from the sweet potato and remove it from the pot. Place the pot back on the heat and brown the onion, ginger, and garlic in 50g of butter.
4. Once browned, turn off the heat and add the sweet potato and mash until smooth.
5. Drain the water from the lentils and add it to the mashed sweet potato.
6. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, turmeric, curry powder, salt and pepper and mix well.
To make the white sauce
1. Start by melting the remaining butter in a small pot on the lowest heat setting. You need patience to perfect a white sauce so take your time.
2. Once the butter is melted, take it off the heat and add the flour. Mix it with a whisk until a thick but smooth consistency.
3. Don’t let it reach a clay consistency because then you’ve added too much flour. Add your milk and stir the mixture until all the butter and flour has dissolved into the milk.
4. Add a bit of salt and pepper to enhance the taste before putting it back on the low heat.
Pro tip: To perfect white sauce you need to get the balance of butter, flour, milk, and heat right. The heat activates the butter, flour, and milk to result in a thick creamy sauce. Too much heat too fast will result in a lumpy sauce and we don’t want that. The key is to keep the heat low and to continue stirring the mixture until it reaches the desired consistency.
Layering your lasagne
1. Once your sauce is ready you can start layering your lasagne. Start with a thin layer of white sauce (I find that this is best to provide some extra moisture to cook the bottom layer of pasta).
2. Then a layer of pasta, a layer of sweet potato filling. Repeat once more and then lastly another layer of pasta, then white sauce and then you top the dish with a layer of cheese and some dried oregano.
3. Place in a 180-degree preheated oven for 30min to cook through. Once out of the oven, let it cool slightly and garnish with fresh coriander.