Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Raise the Roof Sweet Potato Vegetable Lasagna

My husband is going thorough cheese withdrawal.  It ain't pretty.  But we found a pretty good plant-based vegetable lasagna recipe to help him work through it.

It's a lot of work to make it, I'm not going to lie.  But the recipe makes a TON, so you only have to make it once to eat it two or even three times. Or more.  Seriously.

Start by prepping your veggies!  It took about an hour for me to chop/thaw/mash all of these veggies.

The weird looking thing on the bottom left is mashed sweet potatoes.  That's the first thing you'll want to do.  Peel, chop, steam and mash two sweet potatoes. In the meantime, chop an onion, two carrots, one head of broccoli, and two red bell peppers. Slice 8 ounces of button mushrooms and 8 roma tomatoes (when I went shopping they only had three roma tomatoes, so I had to go with regular tomatoes. I used two...they were large). Thaw 16 ounces of spinach and a few cups of corn. While you're at it, cook a large box of whole grain lasagna noodles, but don't cook them all the way. 

Cook the onions and some garlic in a saute pan for a couple minutes.  I now saute without oil.  If the veggies start to stick, I throw in a little water.  I don't really have sticking problems, and my saute pan in stainless steel, not teflon. It's been nice to lose the oil.

Anyhoo, throw in the mushrooms and when they're limp and cooked, remove everything to a large bowl. 

Now add the carrots and broccoli to the same pan and saute for about five minutes, or until the carrots are soft.  OK, the carrots don't really get soft. Just make sure they're cooked.  I cut them really small to help them along.

Remove the broccoli and carrots to the vegetable bowl.

Repeat with the corn and red bell peppers. Remove to the bowl.

Stir up all of the veggies and add some rosemary, basil, oregano and salt. The recipe calls for cayenne pepper, but I don't think it goes, so I leave it out. (I think the recipe was going for spicy Italian sausage [without the sausage], but it didn't work out.)

Stir that all up well and set the bowl aside.  Now, if we were following the recipe exactly, here is where we would add a block of crumbled tofu. We don't eat tofu (or any unfermented soy), so we leave that out.

Grab your noodles and some sauce. You can make your own sauce, or you can find some without sugar or additives/preservatives. After reading what seems like hundreds of bottles of pasta sauce, I found two that do not contain sugar or additives of any kind. They do have a little oil and salt, but I can live with that. The first was Meijer Naturals brand. The second was Classico Tomato Basil.  You have to watch the Classico, though. Some of them have sugar. 

Put a little sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish.  The original recipe says to use a 9x13 pan, but I think whoever wrote that was on crack.  The first time I made this, my lasagna was standing about an inch over the top of my 9x13 dish when I was done.  Wasn't pretty. I now use a Wilton 1/2 sheet cake pan - not to be confused with a true half sheet pan, which is actually bigger. But back to business, put some noodles and some more sauce in the bottom of whatever pan you choose to use.

Dump in the veggies.

Top with more noodles and more sauce.

Sprinkle on the thawed, drained spinach.  I only used 10 ounces because we're not really fond of cooked spinach here in the D-oh household.

Schmear on the sweet potatoes.  You may have to add some water to make them spreadable.  Just reserve some of the cooking liquid to add if you need it.

Add more noodles and more sauce.

Cover the top with thinly sliced tomatoes.

Cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.  

When it's done, remove the foil and sprinkle on a cup of ground cashews (give them a spin in the food processor).  I used less than a cup, because a cup just seems to be too much.  And cashews are expensive.

Bake for another 15 minutes, uncovered. When it's done, let it sit for 15 minutes, then serve.

How's that for a freaky photo?  

Anyway, it's an undertaking, but depending on how many people are in your family, it will make 2-3 meals.  More if you're single.  Eat some and freeze the rest for later.

Here's the recipe:

Raise the Roof Sweet Potato Vegetable Lasagna
(adapted from the Engine 2 Diet)

1 large or two small boxes lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
2 jars pasta sauce
2 sweet potatoes, mashed
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 head broccoli, chopped
3 cups corn, thawed
16 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
8 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup cashews, ground
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400.  Saute onions and garlic in a saute pan over medium heat for 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and cook until limp. Remove veggies to a large bowl. Add carrots and broccoli to the pan.  Saute for 5 minutes or until beginning to soften. Remove to the veggie bowl.  Add red peppers and corn to the pan.  Saute for 3-4 minutes, or until cooked. Remove to the veggie bowl. Add salt, basil, oregano, and rosemary to the veggies in the bowl.  Stir well.

Line the bottom of a large baking dish with cooked noodles and sauce.  Add the veggie mixture and spread evenly over the noodles.  Add another layer of noodles and sauce.  Add the spinach.  Spread the mashed sweet potatoes over the spinach. Add another layer of noodles and sauce.  Cover with thinly sliced tomatoes. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.  

When it's done, remove foil and sprinkle ground cashews over the lasagna.  Return to the oven for 15 more minutes.  When done, remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

If you're wondering how this lasagna relates to the hubby's cheese withdrawal, once it's all cooked the sweet potatoes actually become something reminiscent of ricotta cheese.  Really. It's quite amazing. 

Well, that's all for today.


  1. My sister makes an amazing vegan lasagna....I didn't miss the meat and cheese at all. But it was labor intensive for sure! Yours looks delicious!

    1. Thanks, Susie! Yeah, it's a ton of work, but very tasty!

  2. Oh my, absolutely mouthwatering! I can’t wait to get this recipe in my oven

    1. Let me know how you like it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. This looks and sounds delicious...love the nuts in the recipe as well!