This is a much longer post because I wanted to say thank you to Chef Alison Cruddas. Ali is the creator of this Vegan lasagna but she is also the inspiration for our Vegan friendly bundles. She is an executive and private chef with over 28 years of experience. She only cooks Vegan and on a whim, I reached out to see if she can help our little kitchen.
We sat, we chatted and she said no problem.
Here's the thing about asking for help, it's a hard pill to swallow but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and acknowledge, you need the help. The best part of asking Ali for help wasn't her knife skills, her awesome energy that fills the kitchen, her willingness to aide in the mundane things like labeling lids...it's her knowledge of food and all the sharing she graciously gave to us. I'm not Vegan myself even though the majority of our soups and meals are but I always find it hard to choose a Vegan option because nuts play such an important role in those dishes and I am allergic to nuts amongst other things. And then comes Ali. Introducing us to the work around the nut situation and how Vegan is much simpler than you think.
This lasagna was cooked in parts, over days but was 100 percent worth the education, the recipe and the wait. And we get to share it with you.
And a big thank you to Ali for introducing us to new ideas, broadening our horizons and giving us that kick in the butt to get our Vegan menu out there!
Vegan Butter 8oz
1 cup of Gluten Free Flour
4 cups of Oat Milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
28oz can of diced tomato
1 1/2 eggplant
1/2 - 1 cup of bechamel
Gluten free Lasagna noodles, cooked
4oz vegan parmesan (follow your heart has a good one but now whole foods has one that is nut free as well)
2lbs of frozen or fresh spinach
1 -2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 - 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 tsp of garlic
1 tsp of basil
Whisk in flour until thick roux forms.
Whisk in milk a little at a time.
Heat until slightly thickened.
Remove from heat and add salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350
Slice eggplant 1/2 inch thick. Thoroughly salt eggplant and let drain in a strainer. Do this for about 30 minutes and then pat dry.
Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to eggplant and marinate for a few hours. The longer the better.
Roast eggplant for 30 minutes.
On the bottom of your baking dish add some tomato sauce. Then your Gluten Free lasagna noodles, then your spinach, layer your eggplant. Layer some Bechamel and REPEAT.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Uncover and then bake for an additional 15 minutes.
*Optional - you can also layer with Vegan Parm and/or sprinkle on top.