I am a pasta lover-- a die hard carb fanatic as I would like to call myself. I have posted the recipe of my favorite vegan lasagna here so you can join me in the carb-thusiasm. This lasagna is made with lentils, red sauce, noodles, vegetables and vegan cheese. When you put it all together it tastes out of this world. What more could you ask for?
I hope you said nothing because then you are right!
THE BEST VEGAN LASAGNA
Time: 45 min
8 lasagna noodles broken up
2.5 cups marinara sauce
2.5 cups water
1 cup cooked lentils
1 medium sweet white onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 bag of baby spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 cup shredded vegan cheese
In a large skillet, fry the diced onion and minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant ~5 min. Add the marinara sauce, spinach and water and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 min. Add the cooked lentils, seasonings, and broken lasagna sheets to the skillet. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Prepare an 8X8 baking dish by wiping all sides with olive oil. Add the mixture from the skillet to the prepared baking dish. Spread 1 cup of cheese over the top. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Broil on high for an additional 3 minutes for crispier cheese. Let cool and slice into four equal pieces.
Okay, but y'all. This recipe is a GAME-CHANGER. As a vegan, I am always aiming to cook complete and balanced meals. This lasagna has the complete ratios of carbs, proteins, and fats coming from the pasta, lentils, and olive oil respectively. More than that, it incorporates the vital micronutrients from the spinach, onions, and tomato. Micronutrients, which is just the fancy way of saying vitamins and minerals, are important for keeping us strong and healthy. This lasagna is a complete meal and better yet, extremely filling. Trust me, you will not be hungry after eating this. I sure wasn't!
I served the lasagna alongside bread with olive oil and balsamic. Olive oil and balsamic is one of my favorite combinations to ever exist. There is something about the richness of olive oil coupled with the sweetness of the balsamic that makes it the MOST wonderful combination. Plus, when you add a fresh baked french baguette to the scene... it's a recipe for a foodgasm.
If I am being honest, when I first decided to go vegan I was a bit worried that I wouldn't get enough nutrients. I had this notion that vegan's only ate fruits and vegetables which I know are lacking in protein. After some research though, I quickly realized I was wrong. The vegan diet still aims to incorporate the necessary carbs, proteins, and fats that we need to survive but just eliminates the animal products. By focusing on plant sources of these macronutrients--such as beans, legumes, nuts and seeds-- it can be a very well-rounded diet.
Another worry of mine was that I wouldn't stay full. I know myself and there is no way I would stay full on a mixed greens salad as no one would. I learned though that a bed of lettuce doesn't constitute a meal and the foods that do are very satiating due to their fiber content. Let me explain. Plant-based food is often full of fiber which is important for satiety and digestive health. A common plant-based protein, Lentils, contain 30% of your daily fiber requirements per 1/2 cup in comparison to meat which contains zero. In addition, fiber cleans out your colon and has been found to prevent certain cancers such as colon cancer. Even if I ate meat... I'd be sure to incorporate healthy sources of fiber just to keep myself regular if you know what I mean.
But while I have focused on the whole foods side of plant-based eating, it doesn't always have to be! I love to enjoy cakes, cookies, pasta, and veggie burgers. Now, there are so many options out there that I never feel like I am missing out on anything! Enough talk about me, if you're plant-based or just in the mood to try some plant based food, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! It was definitely a hit in my house and I hope you ENJOYYYYYYY!!!