As lockdown continues for us in the UK (and many elsewhere), eating well becomes ever more important for our physical and mental health. Unfortunately, that need comes in tandem with restricted food supplies and a lot of having to make do with what you have.
With that in mind, I am trying to make my recipes as flexible as possible – knowing that my limited supplies may be completely different from yours! This recipe was made from a lot of long-life pantry ingredients with the addition of one fresh vegetable – but it’s very adaptable!
I haven’t seen pasta on the supermarket shelves for about two weeks but I had half a pack of lasagne sheets left over. If you’re not that lucky though – you can use slices of veg (courgette is good), rice paper sheets or tortillas. The filling can be adapted too – try swapping for a jar of sauce languishing at the back of a cupboard (uh, curry lasagne?) and using pulses like lentils or chickpeas to bulk it out.
You can you use sunflower seeds or brazil nuts to make the creamy sauce or make a traditional bechamel with milk, oil and flour. Flavourings like herbs and garlic can be changed or swapped out. And the kale? Use spinach, use frozen veg, use broccoli, use cabbage. That’s just a few ideas – adapt it to your own stocks 🙂
But, if you can, try to keep eating food with some nutritional value. Everyday I am trying to stop myself sliding into a cereal-eating, never-getting-dressed existence and proper meals are a real help. Stay strong!
- 6-8 (gluten-free) lasagne sheets (depending on the size of your dish)
- 1 bag/200g kale, washed
- vegan cheese/cheese/nutritional yeast to sprinkle on top (optional)
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tin/400g chopped tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp dried mixed herbs
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tin/425g pumpkin puree
Cheesy Cashew Sauce
- 1 cup/150g cashews, soaked (in water for at least 4 hours) and then drained
- ¼/15g cup nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp tapioca flour
- Preheat the oven to 200C or 180C (fan oven).
- Cook the onion gently for 5 minutes in a large frying pan until soft and fragrant.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, dried herbs and salt. Put a lid on the pan and leave to cook on a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir the tinned pumpkin into the tomato mixture and heat until warmed through. Take off the heat and set aside as you make the cashew sauce.
- Place all the cashew béchamel ingredients in a blender along with 1½ cups/375ml water and blend until smooth. Add a little extra water if necessary.
- Put the cashew mixture in a saucepan and heat on a low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the sauce is thick. Take off the heat.
- Assemble the lasagne by layering the ingredients in your lasagne dish: place half the tomato and pumpkin sauce at the bottom and cover with half the kale.
- Cover with a layer of lasagne sheets (I use 3 for my size of dish). Pour half the cashew sauce on top and spread out.
- Repeat these steps, starting with the remaining tomato and beans and finishing by covering the last layer of béchamel with a sprinkling of vegan cheese or nutritional yeast (if you’re using it).
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and piping hot. Serve with a side salad, garlic bread or extra veg (if you like).