I wanted to make something they'd really like, seeing as they'd made such an effort, but also because they were genuinely bewildered about what I could actually eat and I wanted to show them how tasty (and decedent) vegan food could be!
I decided to make veggie lasagne, but was a bit unsure as to how well it'd go down, as I ended up using ingredients like tofutti and nutritional yeast and I wasn't sure if people would like them... but it all came together really well and everyone came back for seconds, woop woop!
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 red onion
1 large red pepper
1/2 green pepper
1 large carrot
1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp dried marjaram
A few leaves of fresh basil
2 tsp stock powder
Arroroot to thicken if necessary.
Mushroom and 'cream cheese' style filling:
10 chestnut mushrooms
1 tub plain tofutti
1/2 block silken tofu
a little garlic puree
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 cups rice milk (approx)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp flour
largeish knob of vegan margarine
salt and pepper to taste
Enough sheets of lasagne to make two layers in a large lasagne dish.
1) Heat up 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan. Chop the onion finely and add. Keep on a moderate heat, stirring occasionally.
2) Chop the peppers roughly, add to the onion once it looks soft.
3) Chop the carrot into very fine cubes, add to the pan and stir again.
4) Chop the mushrooms and add to the pan. Cover pan and leave to cook for a bit.
5) Blend half the tomatoes in a food processor until smooth, add to the pan along with the other tin of chopped tomatoes. Add herbs, tomato puree and stock powder. Stir in.
6) Simmer the whole lot, covered, for about 15 minutes. Uncover, then continue to simmer whilst making the mushroom and 'cheese' sauce.
Mushroom and 'cheese'.
1) Chop muchrooms and sautee in sunflower oil in a separate pan.
2) Mash together all the other ingredients.
3) If liquid has come out of the mushrooms as they've been cooking, drain it away, then add the mushrooms to the creamy mixture.
Meanwhile, check to see how the tomato sauce is doing. Transfer about half to food processor and blend, then return to pan. The sauce should now be a mixture of chunky and smooth. Continue to simmer. If some of it looks watery, mix about a tsp arrowroot powder with some water, then add. It's also a good idea to preheat the oven at this point (180 degrees centigrade approx).
1) Melt margarine in a pan on a low heat, once melted add the flour. Stir until combined then continue to stir for a minute or so.
2) Gradually add the milk, bit by bit, so as it forms a smooth sauce. Once all the milk has been added, add the nutritional yeast and seasoning. Bring to the boil then simmer for a few minutes until thick.
Start to assemble the lasagne:
I layer of pasta followed by tomato sauce, followed by mushroom and cheese sauce (this won't make complete layers, just dot it around a bit), then fill in the gaps with the white sauce. Repeat for the second layer.
Bake for about 45 minutes, at this point I like to take it out and sprinkle a few breadcrumbs on the top for a crunchy topping. Return to oven to crisp the breadcrumbs for another ten minutes.
Oh yeah and we had chocolate flapjacks and tiffin (as in the biscuity cake thing, not the Carry On Up the Khyber meaning) and it all went down really well. Rar for friends :)