Yay !!! Today is Nutty Vegetable Lasagna day !!! I seem to have a thing with lasagna these days and seem to be experimenting quite a bit with them 🙂 .
Oh ! Before I forget !!! Great news, you may have noticed a few little changes to my site…FINALLY !!!! and a HUGE THANK YOU, SAMANTHA 🙂 XOX (I seriously could not have done this without you). There is still stuff I want to do, like increase the size of the social media icons, but for now, it works, and it is fine. The Lynne’s Recipe Trails, Facebook page is up and running, not that I have a clue how to operate it, so please be patient with me….for me, things like this, equal ‘baby steps’. (no joke!)
Now back to this AMAZ-Balls Nutty Lasagna. This is a great meal, and I strongly suggest you should have a Nutty Lasagna night hahaha. I swear, my meat and potato hubby, didn’t even miss the meat 🙂 I wonder if he is realizing that he is eating less and less meat these days….Hmmm oh well…..
The original recipe came from a magazine, which was cut out, and it is dated back sixteen years ago ! so clearly even then I was into my veggies. I have made a few changes from the original recipe, for instance I included a load of toasted raw almonds, roughly crushed which I include in the layering process. The original recipe just had flaked almonds sprinkled over the top of the lasagna. I mean, really, how can that be enough? I love nuts and the crunch, and personally, biting into the crunch, just made the meal so much more pleasing. I used Gluten-Free Pasta Sheets, but that was my choice, any pasta sheets would do. I added tomatoes into my lasagna, for colour and as I felt the tomatoes would go well with the combo of veggies. I used a combination of leeks and onions, as I ran out of onions (yes, I know…who runs out of onions?) I did not have parmesan, so used a combination of white and cheddar cheese and increased the cheese amount. I added a generous amount of nutmeg, because nutmeg and cheese are such good friends. I increased the amount of cream cheese required, because cheese rules ! and of course I used fresh spinach. So, yip, I think I have covered it all :-).
Oh, and this meal is super easy and can be made in an hour ! What a plus !
Nutty Vegetable Lasagna
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 – 40 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes – 60 minutes
9 – 12 Gluten-Free Lasagna Sheets
500 grams fresh spinach, deveined and chopped
250 grams button mushrooms, chopped
6 leeks, sliced
3 large onions, peeled and chopped
2 – 3 large garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
500 grams whole raw almonds
75 grams butter
75 grams flour (I used Gluten-Free)
700 millilitres full cream milk
250 grams plain cream cheese
100 grams grated, white cheddar cheese
100 grams grated, cheddar or matured cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/170 degrees (Fan) / 350 degrees F.
Dry toast the raw almonds, roughly chop (I used a pestle and mortar). Divide in half using two separate bowls, and set aside.
Cook spinach your preferred way. Squeeze out any excess water, and set aside.
In a medium-sized pan, saute the mushrooms, onions, leeks and garlic. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until the veggies have softened. At this point, add the chopped tomatoes. Put the pan aside.
In a medium-sized pot, melt the butter. Take the pot off the stove and add the flour. Stir together until the flour and butter are mixed well. You will notice that the mixture starts to clump together and forms a ball.
Now, return the butter and flour mixture to the stove, and on a medium heat, gradually pour in the milk, whilst continuously stirring. I usually wait for the milk to be totally combined with the flour mixture, before adding more. Continue with this method, until you have used up all the milk, and a thick-ish sauce forms.
Stir in the cream cheese.
Add the cooked spinach.
Add half the grated cheese and a good sprinkling of nutmeg.
Set the sauce aside.
At this point if you are wanting your spinach to be more refined (like I did), I suggest you use a stick blender, to try to break the spinach down a bit.
Now, the layering begins.
Spread a layer of the spinach at the bottom of an oven-proof dish (approximately 23 x 23 x 5 centimeters deep/ 9 x 9 x 2 inches).
The add some of the mushroom mixture over the spinach layer. Not too much bearing in mind, you want to have at least three layers.
Then take a handful of the toasted chopped almonds from the one bowl and spread generously over the mushroom mixture.
Place lasagna sheets over the almonds.
Repeat this process, of layering and end with a spinach sauce.
Sprinkle the balance of the chopped toasted nuts (should be 250 grams) over the top.
Then add the balance of the grated cheese over the nuts.
Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 30 – 40 minutes until the nutty cheese topping is golden brown.
Serve with a fresh green salad.