Easter Feast - Vegan Style

April 18, 2019

Easter Feast - Vegan Style-Leafy Souls Vegan Blog Post

Veganism is Here


Our cruelty-free policy is not only for clothes, but food too! At Easter, so many animals in big meat farms are slaughtered for a feast. The source of the meat is generally from terrible conditions - crammed, disease-ridden and most important: unhappy and scared animals. It’s time to make a move away from these money-driven factories and start cooking vegan!

Vegan cooking is not always easy. People are limited to the ingredients that they can use and it takes a lot of imagination to come up with new and exciting food combinations that will let people forget about meat. But trust us! Once you start going vegan, you will feel the difference in your body. Not eating meat and dairy everyday does have positive effects.

In addition to having a healthier body, cooking vegan allows you to explore ingredients you have never used before including different spices, vegetables and grains. If you can, make sure that all your ingredients are not processed for an even tastier result. You may be surprised by how much you like it and suddenly find yourself cutting meat and dairy from your diet by a significant amount -  if not totally!


Lasagna with Roasted Eggplant, Mushrooms and Carrots

Mama mia! Who doesn’t love a good lasagna? It’s the ultimate dish for a festive holiday. It’s easy to make, it can be cooked the day before and it is perfect warm or cold. If you are worried about not having enough, make two batches - it won’t take much longer and you will be fully prepared for any number of guests who gobble this yummy meal down.

If you have never tried a vegan recipe this one from theNew York Times is a great one to start with. Vegetarian lasagna or Melanzane dishes are so good without meat anyway. Now it’s just about replacing that bechamel sauce and parmesan and luckily for us, there are alternatives. This recipe doesn’t need bechamel sauce.  It does however require some dairy-free mozzarella and vegan parmesan which is made out of cashew nuts. These two ingredients are available in most vegan and organic stores.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant, about 1 1/4 pounds, cut in lengthwise slices about 1/3 inch thick
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound mushrooms, cut in thick slices
  • 1 large carrot, cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2½ cups marinara sauce, preferably homemade from fresh or canned tomatoes
  • 7 to 8 ounces no-boil lasagna
  • 3 ounces dairy-free mozzarella, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) vegan-grated Parmesan

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the eggplant slices on a sheet pan or a cooling rack and sprinkle with salt. Let sit 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Pat dry with paper towels and toss in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place on the baking sheet in a single layer (you may have to do this in two batches) and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, close the oven door and, using tongs, flip the eggplant slices over. Return to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender when pierced with a knife and browned in spots.

  2. Toss the mushrooms, carrots and thyme with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the carrots are lightly caramelized and the mushrooms tender. Remove from the heat.

  3. Lightly oil a rectangular baking pan. Stir the mushrooms and carrots into the marinara sauce. Spread a small spoonful of the sauce over the bottom of a baking pan. Top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Top the noodles with a spoonful of sauce, then a layer of eggplant slices. Top the eggplant with half of the mozzarella and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of lasagna noodles topped with a layer of tomato sauce and a layer of Parmesan.

  4. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and place in the oven. Bake 40 minutes, until the noodles are tender and the mixture is bubbling. Uncover and, if you wish, bake another 10 minutes, until the top begins to brown. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving

This recipe is a winner and you will see the pieces disappear seconds after you have served it!


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