Butternut Squash Lasagne - Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian and Low Carb

I popped to Sainsburys with my mother last week, and we had a look at the vegetable section, and found these butternut squash lasagne sheets. I have wanted to try these for so long, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to eat lasagne for nearly 5 years now. The last time I ate lasagne I ended up with horrific food poisoning (The last time I let my other half cook for me!). But my mum always makes a lasagne and it always looks and smells amazing, plus it used to be my favourite dish growing up!





So, I thought I would conquer my fear and give it a go. The sheets are cut in the perfect shape and you can make a large lasagne with them as there are so many!

The main reason that this is a vegetarian version and not a beef mince-meat version, is that I have been cutting down on my meat consumption. I am a massive fan of being more sustainable, so cutting down my meat consumption is the start of this. I am not going to label myself a vegetarian, because sometimes I do have the odd bit of meat (and I don’t like being labelled anything.)

I will admit, the butternut squash sheets aren’t very sustainable, they are wrapped in plastic, and I can’t imagine how much food waste went into making these. But I am rubbish at cutting up squash, maybe if I go to the gym a little more I’ll be able to make my own next time! 

Some modifications you can make are:

·      Traditionally, lasagnes have a b├ęchamel sauce, but I’ve always grown up with a cheesier sauce being put in my lasagne. I think my mum made it like this to get us to try it and we never changed it back.
·         I used garlic oil when cooking all the vegetables in the frying pan, but if you don’t want garlic to be the main flavour of the dish then simply use Olive Oil.
·         If you want to make this recipe vegan friendly (The mince has egg protein in it), then boil up some green lentils and put them in instead for a good source of protein. 
·         If you are a fan of something with a little more of a kick, then a teaspoon or two of chilli should sort this out. Depending on how brave you are!
·         A splash of red wine will give the ‘ragu’ a lovely rich sauce with a nice little twist! (The rule is you have to pour yourself a glass alongside this! Think of the phytochemicals!)


Ingredients:

·         100g Chopped Mushrooms (Approximately 3 Chestnut Mushrooms)
·         1Large Carrot (Grated)
·         150g Quorn Mince
·         2 Cloves of Garlic
·         1 tbsp Garlic Oil
·         Half tsp Mixed Herbs
·         500g Passata




For the cheese sauce:
·         20g of Dairy Free Butter
·         1 tbsp of Gluten Free Flour
·          200ml Unsweetened Almond Milk
·         60g Grated Cheese (I used Lactofree grated cheese, but you can use a vegan cheese with this too – Violife will work just as well)
·         Half tbsp of Chives (I only had dried, but fresh would taste even better!)




Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven – 160 degrees (Fan oven). 
  2. In a large frying pan, heat up the oil and chuck in the chopped garlic, mushrooms and carrot. Leave for 5 minutes to soften, stir frequently to ensure that they don’t stick.
  3. 3.  Add in the herbs, mince and passata. Bring to the boil and cover. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently to stop any sticking.
  4. 4.       To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter. When melted, add the flour and stir until combined. (Until it looks something like this) 
  5. 5.   Pour in the milk and use a whisk to stir constantly until it starts to thicken. Make sure that it isn’t on too high otherwise it will burn and split the mixture.
  6.     Once it has started to thicken, add in the cheese and the chives. (This is where I like to taste test to make sure that I have a good level of cheese in the mixture).
  7. Now time for the layering! In a dish, add a layer of the ragu mix, then cover with the butternut squash sheets, then the cheese sauce. Continue this until you have finished all of the your layers, and ideally you want the cheese sauce to be the top layer.
  8. On the top, sprinkle on some cheese and some breadcrumbs.
  9. Place in the oven for 1 hour, to ensure that the butternut squash is softened properly.
  10. Serve with a side salad, coleslaw  and some gluten and dairy free garlic bread!





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