Secret mission unraveled: I’ve been on a quest to discover the perfect veggie lasagna.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a pasta lover. But let’s be honest: pasta isn’t the most nutritious stuff around. So I’ve tried to find a way to capture the essence of lasagna, well… without actually using pasta. Does that make sense?
On the hunt for perfection, it took me some time to come up with this recipe. But I’m really happy with how it turned out. So, I’m very excited to present to you: The Ultimate Vegetable Lasagna! No pasta, no meat, low-carb and gluten-free!
Instead of being just grains, meat and dairy – this recipe is almost entirely made from vegetables. Layers of eggplant and zucchini, with a rich sauce of tomato, onion, garlic and oregano, and a creamy soft ricotta layer in between. It might fool you in thinking you’re actually eating pasta!
As a final test I’ve even served it to my number one critic: my hubby. His first response: “Wow, this tastes really good. It’s like a lasagna, but then with vegetables!’ Check, mission succeeded!
Veggie Lasagna (no pasta/meat, low carb & gluten free)
- 2 Eggplant/Aubergine (preferable 1regular & 1Sicilian)
- 1 Zucchini
- 1 Red Onion
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- Tomato Sauce (2 2/3 cup / 21.2oz / 600g)
- Olive Oil
- Ricotta (1 cup / 8.8oz / 250g)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
- Cut of the stems and wash the eggplants and zucchini. Cut them into thin slices.
- Prepare the sauce: finely chop the garlic cloves and onion. Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, some salt, pepper and oregano. Cook 3-5min. Add the tomato sauce. Stir until all the flavors are absorbed into the tomato sauce. Remove the sauce from the heat.
- Construct your lasagna in a large oven tray. Aim to make 5 layers; 3 vegetable layers and 2 sauce layers. (Layer 1:) Start with a layer made with 1/3 of the eggplant/zucchini. (Layer 2:) Add a layer with halve of the tomato sauce. (Layer 3:) Follow with a layer of vegetables, again 1/3. (Layer 4:) Pour in the remaining halve of the tomato sauce and sprinkle over all the ricotta. (Layer 5:) End with a final layer of vegetables.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the veggies are tender and the ricotta cheese has melted.
I love to travel. A couple of years ago I’ve backpacked through five countries in South East Asia: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Cambodia. The ridiculously delicious food was among one of the many wonderful things this region had to offer and contributed to my exotic experience there. I can still fanatasize about all the lovely dishes I had the pleasure of trying (The coconut pancakes… the sticky mango rice… the curries… the pad thai… the spring rolls… OMG it’s all so good!)
I’m fond of the Asian Kitchen. Not only because Asian cuisine is a real heaven for veggie lovers, offering lots of vegetarian meals, but also because of its amazing use and balance of flavors and ingredients.
This raw crunchy Asian vegetable salad contains some of Asia’s best flavor combinations. I love using products like lime, coconut, chili pepper, soy sauce and cilantro. So bring a little bit of Asia to your kitchen and enjoy this delightful little salad!
Asian Crunchy Veggie Salad
- 1/2 Cucumber
- 3 Spring Onions
- Sugar Snaps (200g)
- Bean Sprouts (200g)
- Some Fresh Cilantro
- Some Fresh Mint Leaves
- 1 Red Chili Pepper
- 4 Tablespoons Shredded Coconut
- 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Honey
- Cut the cucumber julienne (thin slices lengthwise). Cut the spring onions into rings. Cut the sugar snaps into thin diagonal slices.
- Chop the cilantro, mint and red chili pepper.
- Mix the cucumber, spring onions, sugar snaps, bean sprouts, cilantro, mint, red chili pepper and shredded coconut in a bowl.
- Mix the lime juice, soy sauce and honey for the dressing (balance flavors to taste).
Doesn’t this look pretty?! Some dishes aim to provide a full senses experience. They don’t just please your pallet by offering great taste and flavors. They start to seduce you, the first time you lay your eyes on them. Pretty on a plate!
I love finding elegant veggie recipes that stand out of the ordinary. This recipe is inspired on Ottolenghi’s eggplant with buttermilk sauce. Instead of the buttermilk sauce, this dish comes with a refined saffron yogurt sauce. It will serve 4 people a starter or side dish. Great to impress your friends with some feisty veggies Middle Eastern style
Roasted Eggplant with Saffran Yogurt and Pomegranate
- 2 Eggplants (Aubergines)
- Greek Yogurt (2/3cup/ 5.3oz/ 150g)
- 1 Lemon (juice and zest)
- 1 Garlic Clove
- A small pinch of Saffron Strands
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- A large handful of Pomegranate Seeds
- Start by making the saffron yogurt sauce. Place the saffron strands into a bowl, pour over 3 tablespoons of hot water and let infuse for 5 minutes. Add the yogurt, finely crushed garlic clove, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and some salt. Whisk well to get a smooth, golden sauce.
- Cut the eggplants lengthwise into 1 cm slices. Brush both sides with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill both sides on a very hot griddle pan until soft and golden brown.
- To serve, arrange the eggplant slices on a plate, drizzle with saffron yogurt, sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top and garnish with some lemon/lime zest.
- This dish can be made up to 3 days in advance (stored in the refrigerator and served at room temperature).