Do you know how when you eat something as a child and it makes you sick to your stomach, so you never want to eat it again (well into adulthood). That was me with deviled eggs, and meat lasagna. I remember eating a meat lasagna at a youth retreat and throwing up everywhere and being so embarrassed (...probably not the best way to set up a recipe for lasagna...sorry). The memory was so strong that even pasta dishes scared me (hence the lack of pasta dishes on my blog). It wasn't until 2 years ago that I started eating lasagna again, and it was only veggie based. Long story short, from this apparently 'traumatic' experience I like my lasagnas minimal: no fuss, stomach happy ingredients, avoiding anything that reminds me of younger lasagna years. So here it is, one of my favorite noodle variety lasagnas, so good I have happy memories only. This lasagna has very limited ingredients, noodles, butternut squash, fresh spinach and basil, and a delicious 'cheesy' cream sauce. Yum!
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp vegan butter, or margarine
2 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups cooked butternut squash (about 1 whole squash)
Cashew Cream Layer:
2 cups cashews
1 cup milk alternative (I use almond)
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp arrowroot powder, or thickener
a few grinds of pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 cups spinach, torn
1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles (cooked/ uncooked according to package instructions)
1 bottle of your favorite pasta sauce (or about 2 1/2 cups)
1) Saute the onion and bay leaves in oil and butter/ margarine until translucent (about 4 minutes). Saute the garlic for an additional minute, remove from the heat and fold in all other ingredients (removing the bay leaves first). Set aside.
2) Soak the cashews in the milk alternative and stock for at least 1 hour. Add all other cashew cream ingredients and blend in the blender until smooth. Set aside.
3) To assemble, place 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 lasagna baking dish. Place 3 of the noodles, followed by 1/2 of the squash mixture (you may have to gently spread it on the noodles with a spatula). Place the torn spinach and basil, followed by 3 more noodles. Pour on the cashew cream, 1/2 of the pasta sauce, followed by 3 more noodles. Spread on the remaining 1/2 of the squash mixture, the remaining noodles, and the remaining pasta sauce. Sprinkle with vegan cheese, if desired. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, cut, serve and Enjoy!