I had an abundance of vegetables in my fridge that were not at their best and needed to be used up fast. I absolutely love lasagna but find it way too heavy so this vegan alternative is much lighter and packed full of vitamins and minerals. The borlotti and aduki beans add a bite to the dish and make it a ‘plant protein’ power house of a meal! There are so many vegetables in it that there is no need to serve anything on the side but a simple green salad with vinaigrette would work a treat.
Bean Mixture Sauce – can be made well in advance and popped in the freezer until needed
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 bulb of fennel, chopped
1 large leek, sliced
4 celery stalks, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 carrots, grated
1 large punnet of heritage tomatoes but you can use any tomatoes, chopped
2 aubergines, diced
½ bottle of red wine
500ml bottle of passata
1 tin aduki beans, drained and rinsed
1 tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
250ml Vegetable bouillon
Sea Salt & Freshly ground black pepper
6 large courgettes sliced lengthways
1 large pot of coconut yoghurt (I use Coyo)
1 bag of spinach, washed
1-2tbsp whole grain mustard
1 lemon juice
Make the sauce first. Melt 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a large heavy based pan, add the fennel, celery, leeks, onion and garlic and sweat until translucent.
Stir in the aubergines, peppers, carrots and tomatoes. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
Pour in the red wine, passata and vegetable bouillon. Add salt and pepper and cook for a good 45-60mins until thick and rich. Stir occasionally
Meanwhile make the sauce, place the washed spinach in a blender, pour in the coconut yoghurt, whole grain mustard and lemon juice. Whiz until smooth, taste and add seasoning, more whole grain mustard and lemon juice if required.
Taste the sauce, add seasoning if needed then add in the drained borlotti and aduki beans. Cook for a further 15mins.
Slice the courgettes, I used a peeler but you can cut by hand or use a mandolin (mind your fingers!)
Set the oven for 180c
Get a large oven proof dish and pour enough of the bean mixture to cover the bottom of your dish really well, then layer the courgettes on top, slightly over lapping each other.
Spread the courgettes with ½ of the prepared sauce (depending on how many layers you are doing you need to divide the sauce evenly)
Then repeat the process.
My dish wasn’t that tall so I only managed two layers and I had enough of the bean mixture to freeze for another day.
Bake in the oven for 45mins and then enjoy.
The flavours improve with age so if you can make the day before and tehn just reheat it will be even better.