Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pumpkin Parsnip Lasagna

Another great recipe from VegNews' Holiday 2012 Issue. I couldn't wait to try this one, and made it for my visiting family members the night before Thanksgiving this year. The pumpkin and parsnip went so well, with just the right amount of Daiya mozzarella cheese- this was a hearty, delicious holiday meal.

Pumpkin Parsnip Lasagna
Recipe adapted from VegNews' December Holiday 2012 Issue
Lasagna ingredients:
  • 1 package lasagna noodles
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped sage
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and shredded
  • 1.5 cups Daiya mozzarella shreds
Pumpkin cream sauce ingredients:
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 3/4 cup cashews, soaked for 2-3 hours and drained
  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • 1.5-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  1. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package instructions- it helps to add a little oil to keep the noodles from sticking, and to boil the noodles in batches. After boiled til tender, drain the noodles, separate them, and place them on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Brush them with about 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375F and lightly grease a 9 x13 glass baking dish with a little oil. You can add one layer of noodles now if you don't have enough cookie sheet space!
  3. Heat ~1 Tbsp olive oil in large pan and add onion & garlic, sauteing for a minute. Add kale, sage, and salt, and cover for a few minutes to wilt a bit. Continue sauteing until kale is fully cooked. Add a little pepper to taste.
  4. To prepare the sauce, add the cashews to a food processor and pulse well. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until completely smooth; this may take up to 7 minutes. Scrape the sides as necessary. If your processor is not big enough to fit it all, you can do this in 2 batches (don't worry too much about measuring out equal amounts for each batch) and then mix together in large bowl afterwords- the main thing is to get it nice and smooth.
  5. Assemble the lasagna by starting with noodles, followed by a healthy helping of sauce to thickly cover the noodles, and then the shredded parsnip, sauteed kale, and mozzarella. Complete this until your pan is full, topping with a layer of cheese. 
  6. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove foil and set on broil for 5 minutes.
  7. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then slice and serve!

I served this lasagna with caramelized Brussels sprouts with apple cider sauce- another VegNews recipe- but I thought the sprouts came out drowning in the sauce, so not my favorite. But the lasagna we all really liked. It's not exactly quick & easy to make, but it would be great as a make-ahead meal, and in my opinion, also tastes great as cold leftovers.

Speaking of leftovers, I only used about 1/2 the sauce, but it was nice to have some leftover- use it as a pasta sauce for another night for an easy meal! Or, you can make little tarts and a creamy saute like I did- simply use some greens of choice, white beans, and the leftover sauce for pumpkin-take on a creamed spinach sort of dish. As pictured below, my re-purposed leftovers: easy tarts in pre-made pie crust placed in mini-tart pans, filled with chopped chard, canellini beans, and the leftover sauce, and sprinkled with a tiny bit of Daiya - delicious!

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