My husband has been amazing at adapting his cooking to be salt, oil and sugar-free, and this is a perfect example. This absolutely scrumptious and flavourful lasagne uses sweet potato slices instead of pasta sheets, and omits vegan cheese altogether. I know, is it lasagne without those ingredients? In my humble opinion, this retains the best parts of the traditional lasagne, then improves it by adding more flavour, and removing those parts that are less healthy for us. That bit makes me happy because then I can have this more often! I honestly did not miss either cheese or lasagne sheets, in fact the Sweet Potato is a significant improvement. It is firm enough to keep the layers we all love and obviously boosts the nutrition and flavour in this dish significantly.
Notes from Liam:
You can cook the onions out in some red wine if you have it and want to use it. I also put a few chopped capers in it. If possible, sprinkle stock or broth over each layer of potato to help it steam. The key is to properly cook the sweet potato and this adding of stock/broth helps achieve that much quicker. It took far longer to cook it when I didn’t do that.
We like to have cooked lentils and beans always ready in the fridge, batch cooking them in the weekends. But if you don’t, you’ll need to add the lentil cooking time here or used canned lentils.
We use a mandolin slicer to slice the sweet potatoes, but make sure you use the guard that comes with those slicers! They are relatively cheap to purchase, I think ours was around £6 and is one of our most-used kitchen gadgets.
This recipe makes a large lasagne, 6-8 servings altogether. You can half this if you wish to, but I like to make extra to freeze or have leftovers for the next day’s lunch. For the full recipe, you will need a large rectangle oven-proof dish.
Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Cooking Time: 45-55 minutes
- 3 cups cooked puy lentils- or any brown lentil
- 2 onions, diced
- approx 1/4 cup no-salt vegetable stock/broth
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1-4 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 cup mixed vegetables, chopped thinly, as required ( I used carrot and runner beans )
- 330g can of chopped tomatoes or 1/2 680g bottle of passata ( we use Biona organic )
- dash of apple cider vinegar
- red wine ( optional )
- 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1-2 tablespoons homemade date syrup*
- 1 – 1.5 blocks firm tofu
- 2-3 cups fresh chopped spinach
- a few pinches of grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free whole grain flour
- plant milk, we used oat
- 1-2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1- 2 teaspoons ground flaxseeds/linseeds
*I make date syrup by boiling medjool dates in water and blending. Store bought syrup tends to have all the fibre filtered out and therefore is not much better than other sweeteners.
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Starting with the sauce, chop onions and fry in stock or water with oregano, basil and paprika.
- Add chopped garlic and any other vegetables.
- When onions are translucent add tomatoes or passata, apple cider vinegar and wine if using.
- Add cooked lentils.
- Cook as slowly as you have time for to let flavours develop.
- Add nutritional yeast late in cooking along with date syrup. Set aside.
- For the tofu ricotta layer, I just break up and crumble tofu in my hands, add spinach, grated nutmeg, flour and enough plant milk to start to combine it.
- Then layer in a large oven-proof dish, starting with sweet potato then the sauce, then sweet potato then tofu mixture, and carry on that way until you are finished. Don’t forget to sprinkle homemade stock or broth over the sweet potato as you go, to help cook it.
- Sprinkle ground flaxseeds on the top if desired, it adds a nice crunch.
- Cook for 45 minutes, or long enough so the sweet potato is soft and easily sliced through.
Serve with salad or steamed vegetables.
This recipe can be frozen.