Lasagne is one of those dishes that I love to eat, despite horrific memories of it being the only “veggie option” on countless basic menus through the 90’s. A lasagne, done well is wonderful & warming, full of delicious flavours that combine to become so much more than the sum of it’s parts. My Smokey Vegan Mushroom & Kale Lasagne isn’t a quick meal to make, but it is well worth the effort.
It’s the weird time between Christmas & New Years Eve. Leftovers have been eaten, soups and sandwiches have been conjured up from the dregs of the fridge & we all have Christmas flavour fatigue. Yet, there are still people to feed and if you’re like me, you have time. Time is the friend of a Lasagne. The more time you spend making the sauces & fillings, lovingly layering them together, the more delicious the whole thing tastes.
Even better, once you have spent time pottering around in your kitchen, probably with a few glasses of wine, you can put the lasagne in the fridge until the next day, ready to bake on a slow oven heat, whilst you welcome (yet more) guests. You can even do what I do, and drag everyone out for a brisk walk while the lasagne bakes, perhaps with a flask of mulled something to keep them happy.
You might be wondering Hang on. Lasagne. I understand how it can be made vegetarian. But Vegan?
How DO you get a cheesy béchamel sauce to work with no butter? Well. To create a roux, you first melt the butter. So, rather than melting butter, simply use a good quality organic rapeseed or olive oil. Add mustard, miso & nutritional yeast for cheesy flavour. I also like to add a few shreds of my favourite vegan ‘smoked gouda’ cheese, but this is entirely optional.
The rest of the ‘smokey’ flavour that makes this lasagne so delicious is created by cooking the kale (or use chard, cavolo nero, cabbage or spinach) in a hot wok with no oil. This adds a slight charred edge & wilts the greens just enough to be happily layered into the lasagne.
The rest of the lasagne is created with a simple tomato sauce and a yummy mix of mushrooms cooked in wine.
This Smokey Vegan Mushroom & Kale Lasagne is definitely not fast food, but it is so much the better for the slow cooking.
Serve with salad, bread and love.
A delicious Vegan lasagne with mushrooms & kale. Perfect for when you have lots of guests to feed
- 2 tins passata or crushed tomatoes (approx 800g or 2 1/2 cups)
- 75 ml red wine (1/3 cup)
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 800 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced (8 cups)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp thyme
- 75 ml white wine (1/3 cup)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 400 g kale torn into 3-4 cm pieces (6 cups) (use other greens if kale not available)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- pinch salt
- 2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
- 3 tbsp plain flour (add a little cornstarch incase the mixture doesn't thicken)
- 500 ml oat or soya milk (2 cups)
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 tbsp miso / white miso (white miso keeps white colour)
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- pinch salt
- 3-4 slices vegan cheese that melts (we like Applewood vegan cheese or Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda) (optional)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika if you want a smokier flavour
- 15-20 sheets lasagne depending on your lasagne dish size
- handful panko breadcrumbs / other breadcrumbs
- 50 g vegan 'parmesan' cheese or 5 slices of other melty vegan cheese e.g. Applewood (optional)
Gently sautee the garlic in the olive oil until softened
Add all other ingredients and simmer for around 20 mins until the sauce is thickened
Taste and add a little sugar or salt to balance the flavour as needed
Add all the mushrooms, oil & garlic to a large pan
Sautee until the mushrooms start to loose their water & brown a little
Add the herbs, seasoning & wine. Sautee until the wine evaporates
Add the cut up kale & garlic (or other greens) to a large pan or wok with NO oil
Heat until the greens start to 'char' a little - this gives a lovely smokey flavour
Put the lid on & heat for another few minutes until the greens wilt
Gently heat the oil & flour in a large saucepan. Heat on low for a few minutes to ensure the flour is 'toasted' to remove any floury taste
Gently add the oat or soy milk, little by little, whisking constantly
After a few minutes the flour should be incorporated & the sauce will start to thicken. If it isn't thickening, you can add 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water and gentle whisk in
Add the miso, nutritional yeast, mustard & other flavourings. Taste & adjust with more flavours to taste
Use a large roasting dish & swish with oil. You can add a little flour or semolina to the base to prevent sticking if you wish
Add some tomato sauce to the base & spread thinly
Add a layer of lasagne sheets. Then layer sauce, mushrooms & kale & bechamel
Repeat with another layer of lasagne sheets, sauce, mushrooms, kale & bechamel
Add one more layer of lasagne sheets. Layer over the last of the sauce and dot becheamel over the top
Bake in a low oven (180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4) for at least 45 minutes to cook through. At around half an hour of cooking, sprinkle on the breadcrumbs and add vegan parmesan/vegan melty cheese to the top.
When serving be sure to 'rest' the lasagne for 10 minutes as it will be SUPER hot inside!
Note: The lasagne can be made the day before & kept in the fridge, until ready to bake.