Best Ever Vegan Lasagne

If there is one thing I miss, it’s lasagne! Just the juicy creaminess of it; it’s such a satisfying, comforting meal! I’ve had some vegetarian lasagnes but they use a lot of dairy so how happy was I when I discovered a vegan bechamel sauce on offer at Ocado! It’s from Conserve Della Nonna and available at Ocado and free of dairy, eggs and soy! Couldn’t believe my eyes.

What with that and the amazing new vegan cheese I’ve discovered from Follow Your Heart, I was able to make the (genuinely) yummiest lasagne that could possibly be.

I added lentils to this to ensure enough plant-based protein is going into my diet, something you must watch out for when not eating animal proteins. (Plant-based proteins are way more bio-available anyway.)

Make it, it’s the best!

Ingredients

Filling:
2 courgettes, sliced
3 portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 large aubergine, sliced
Fresh spinach
Half cup lentils
1 tsp bouillon
Drizzle olive oil
Pinch Himalayan salt

Marinara sauce:
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
Dried oregano
Dried parsley
Himalayan salt and black pepper

Wholewheat or gluten free lasagne sheets
Vegan bechamel sauce
Vegan grated cheese

Method

Preheat the grill and oven, both to 180.

Boil the lentils as per the packet instructions and add the bouillon.

Place the sliced vegetables, except the spinach, on a baking tray, drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with some salt and put under the grill. When they look slightly browned, turn them over and grill until brown on both sides. Set aside.

Make the marinara sauce by browning the onion and garlic in olive oil on a low heat, slowly, until transparent. Then add the rest of the marinara ingredients and keep on a low heat, stirring often.

Once everything is ready, layer the vegetables at the bottom of a baking dish and put some spinach over the top. Add a layer of lentils on top of this, then a layer of marinara sauce. Layer the lasagne sheets over the top and put the bechamel sauce and cheese on top of that. Repeat this whole step once more, sprinkling with as much cheese as you like on top.

Bake for 40 mins and serve with a green salad.

Love & health,
Lauren

Mung Daal (Moong Dahl)

I got tips for this recipe from a few Indian friends (everyone seems to make it slightly differently), then put my own stance on it, but only a little bit because why change something that works? So thanks to Deepa, Roshni and Abigail!

Mung beans have been part of traditional Ayurvedic diets for thousands of years and are used for their amazing nutritional values.

Not only are they absolutely packed full of nutrients (manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc and various B vitamins), they are also very high in protein (a great option for a vegetarian diet) and fibre, and are a great anti-inflammatory food. When cooked with turmeric it is the perfect anti-inflammatory meal. They’re also great anti-oxidants.

One of the main reasons I made it this week is because more than anything, mung beans help digestion and after coming back from holiday and eating way too much, I needed something nutritious that aided digestion and was also filling and wholesome enough as a meal for Braxton.

It sounds like a lot of ingredients but just get all the spices out in front of you and add one by one. Just gives it the best flavour to have all the spices.

It’s such a delicious, wholesome, comforting meal and easy to make, which helps!

Ingredients – (NB: make sure to soak the beans at least overnight. You can soak them for days, changing the water each day.)

3/4 cup mung beans / moong beans
1 tsp turmeric
Choice of vegetables. I used: okra, baby corn, carrots, onion, courgette, sweet potato (could also add beetroot, pumpkin, peas, broccoli, green beans)
1 tbsp coconut oil (you can also use Ghee if not dairy free)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves, crushed (optional)
1 inch ginger, crushed
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp saffron
1/2 tsp cumin
Black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste
Handful fresh coriander

Optional spices – use what you fancy:
Cardamom, chilli, hing, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, bay leaf

Method

Once the beans have soaked for long enough, cook them. If you have a pressure cooker use this, if not, cover with boiling water, turn down the heat and put on a lid, stirring often and adding more water if needed.

Add the turmeric to the beans as they cook.

Once 3/4 cooked, add all the vegetables and continue to cook.

Once nearly ready, get a small frying pan and heat the coconut oil (and add ghee if using). Turn down the heat and add the cumin seeds and stir continuously. Once cooked, turn off the heat and immediately add the garlic, ginger and the rest of the spices except for the salt and pepper and stir. If the heat disappears too much, turn it back on to a low heat then turn off again. You don’t want the spices to burn or the garlic to brown too much.

Once cooked, add this mix to the bean mix and stir, and add salt to taste, then stir in the coriander and serve with fresh coriander and brown rice..

Love & health,
Lauren

Cauliflower Bites With Tahini Dip

Don’t these just look as awesome as they tasted?! They were demolished almost instantly. Just such a tasty snack for before dinner or as a starter and really easy to make with relatively few ingredients. I used rice breadcrumbs but you can use any breadcrumbs you may have at home.

Ingredients

1 cauliflower, broken into small florets
2 eggs
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp paprika
Salt & pepper

Tahini dip:
2 tbsp tahini paste
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
Sprinkle garlic salt
Himalayan salt to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 180° and cover a baking tray with silver foil (you don’t have to but it keeps you from having to wash the tray!)

Break the eggs into a bowl and beat with the mustard, oil and some salt and pepper.

In another bowl add the breadcrumbs and spices and again some salt and pepper.

Dip each floret into the egg mixture then in the breadcrumb mixture and place on the tray and repeat until you finish them all.

Put in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Take them out about 5 minutes before they’ve finished cooking and sprinkle the parsley over the top.

To make the tahini dip simply mix all the ingredients vigorously, adding more water if it’s too thick, seasoning to taste, and top with olive oil, paprika and parsley.

Love & health,
Lauren

‘Cheesy’ Carrot & Potato Bake (Dairy-Free)

Real-life mum struggles here – don’t have time to write a huge post today! But wanted to upload this recipe that I made last week because Braxton loved it and it’s awesome for little ones. Nutritional yeast is a great vegan cheese substitute and makes it a bit ‘cheesy’. Sorry for the short post but hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

6 carrots, peeled and diced into small pieces
2 white potatoes, peeled and diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tbsp almond or oat milk
1 egg, beaten
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup brown rice breadcrumbs
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
Himalayan salt & black pepper

Method

Steam the carrots and potatoes until soft.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
When the carrots and potatoes are ready, mash them and add the milk, egg, parsley, salt and pepper (to taste).
In a shallow baking dish, spread the mixture evenly.
Combine the breadcrumbs with the nutritional yeast and sprinkle over the mash.
Bake for half an hour.
It also freezes really well if you don’t finish it all.
Love & health,
Lauren

 

Sweet Potato, Kidney Bean & Roasted Pepper Patties

As usual, thanks to my lovely friend Deepa at GirlBoyFoodBaby. Her baby led weaning recipes are always so inspiring and easy and use the best ingredients. I love being able to collaborate and join forces with other gentle-parenting and health-focused mummas to make the best food for our babies. Luckily for Deepa her little one (only 10 days younger than Brax), actually eats well, whereas I make all these things for Brax and he just looks at them then throws them on the floor.

I’m trying not to get stressed about his lack of interest in food as I know that it can happen to babies from 12 months. Babies who loved food before then often go off food and it can last for a while. This happened with us, pretty much around 11/12 months and although it’s getting a little better, he’s still not a great eater. It’s not that he’s fussy with flavours, he just isn’t interested in food. Apart from bananas – loves bananas!

Anyway, regardless of the fact that Braxton didn’t eat these, hopefully your babies will. And if they don’t, do what I did and eat them yourself!

They are so nutritious and full of perfect ingredients for babies.

Ingredients

2 peppers (I used red and yellow), very finely chopped
About 4 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
2 tin / carton organic kidney beans
1 cup tomatoes, blended
Juice of half a lime
Handful coriander, chopped
Handful parsley, chopped
Pinch of ground black pepper
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of Himalayan salt (omit for young babies or if you don’t want any salt in there)
Tbsp ground cumin
Tsp turmeric
Tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup cornmeal

Method

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

Roast the peppers on a baking tray.

Cook and mash the potatoes then add them to a bowl with the kidney beans and mash, leaving some small lumps.

In a small separate bowl, combine the tomatoes with all the spices and nutritional yeast. Mixing the spices in the tomatoes helps liquid spread them evenly in the burger mix.

Add the tomato mixture to the potato mixture then add in the roasted peppers and mix well until everything is combined well and the batter is thick, sticky paste (a good couple of minutes or so). It will seem a bit moist, but thats fine. Add the cornmeal and mix into the batter until well mixed.

Put the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes then shape into patties on a lined baking tray using a spoon and press down and bake for 25 minutes. Then flip them. They’ll still be a bit tender at this point, so flip gently, but will firm up much more by the end. After flipping, cook them 10 more minutes on the other side. Let cool 10 minutes before eating, as they will firm up even more. They should be crispy on outside and slightly moist and chewy on inside.

These freeze really well. Just par bake for 25 minutes then freeze. Then cook for 20 minutes once out of the freezer.

Thanks to Deepa for this one!

Love & health,
Lauren

Vegan Lunch Wrap

vegan-lunch-wrap

I got home today just in time to give Braxton lunch and I was starving. I thought, what can I have for lunch today that won’t take ages and will be healthy?

I had some gluten free wraps in the fridge and remembered all the Mexican flavours in Miami and decided to put together a very British Burrito!

It’s so easy, totally vegan and delicious!!

Ingredients

Gluten free wrap (I use BFree wraps)
Tsp dairy free ‘cream cheese’ spread (I use Violife)
Half a tin of black beans (I use Biona)
Paprika
Cumin
2 tbsp sweetcorn
4 cherry tomatoes, cut in small pieces
Half an avocado
Pinch salt

Method

Simply heat the beans in a saucepan with some paprika, cumin and salt, then spread everything over the wrap in whichever order you fancy!

Sprinkle with a little Himalayan salt, roll up and enjoy!

Love & health,
Lauren

 

 

Gluten Free Seed Crackers (Suitable For Kids)

seed-crackers-for-kids

A friend of mine shared this recipe after I ate these at her house. The reason they’re so great for children is that they’re a little bit soft on the inside which makes them less of a choking hazaard. Crackers that are too hard are not so great for babies – Braxton always gets bits stuck in his throat then gags!

I altered this recipe slightly to make it vegan (egg free).

For some reason I always think crackers will be really time-consuming to make but they’re not at all. This was so easy and went down really well with my lot.

Ingredients

120g buckwheat flour
120g oats
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
50g groud flax seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp Himalayan salt
Sprinkling of mixed herbs
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
600ml water

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, making sure to mix well and get all the flour from the bottom.

It should be fairly thin and spreadable on the tray. If it seems too thick, add a little more water.

Pour onto the prepared tray and smooth out.

Bake for 15 minutes then remove and cut into squares with a pizza cutter or thin blade knife.

Put back in the oven for another 35-40 minutes.

Leave to cool before cutting fully again with the knife.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Love & health,
Lauren