Vegan MOFO2014 – Recipe: Tomato, Lentil and Herb Lasagne

This recipe s for the 52 Weeks of Vegan Cooking week 36 Italian Challenge on Reddit. For all my talk of “Italian food is not just tomato and cheese” in the challenge introduction for this week… I’ve made a pretty traditional (westernised) lasagne. In my defence I’ve had most of the ingredient in the cupboard for a while but have been too lazy to actually make anything.

Tomato and Lentil Sauce


1/2 a Yellow Onion, diced.
1 Clove of Garlic, minced.
1/2 a Medium Capsicum (Red Pepper), diced.
1/4 head of Cabbage, chopped small.
125 Grams(4.5 Ounces) of Spinach, I used frozen.
2 Cans of Diced Tomatoes.
1 Can of Lentils, drained and washed.
Salt and Pepper to taste.


Heat some oil in a large pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent.

Add the Capsicum, Cabbage and Spinach and cook until soft.



Add the Lentils, then add the Tomatoes plus one can full of water.


Before reducing

Cook until the excess water is gone, you want it wet but not watery.

Herbed White Sauce


1/4 Cup of Vegan Margarine or Oil.
1/4 Cup of Plain Flour.
1 Clove of Garlic, minced.
2 Cups of Water.
2 Cups of Non-Dairy Milk, I used Rice Milk.
1 Teaspoon of Vegetable Stock Powder, I used Massel.
1 Tablespoon of Dried Thyme.
1 Tablespoon of Dried Basil.
1 Tablespoon of Dried Oregano.
Mustard (Optional).
Salt and Pepper to taste.


In a large pan heat the Margarine and the Garlic. Add the Flour and whisk.

Add the Milk and the Water one cup at a time, whisking as you go.

Add the Stock Powder and the Herbs. Add the Mustard if you’re using it.

Add Salt and Pepper to taste.


The herbed white sauce (it’s under the steam)



1 Packet of Lasagne Sheets, I used Wholemeal.
Vegan Cheese (optional), I used Cheezly Parmasan style.


Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).

In a large deep baking pan ladle 1/4 of the White Sauce and spread evenly over the bottom. Place 1 layer of Lasagne Sheet.

Add 1/2 of the Tomato Sauce, then 1 layer of the Lasagne Sheet.

Add 1/3 of the White Sauce, then 1 layer of the Lasagne Sheet.

Add 1/2 of the Tomato Sauce, then 1 layer of the Lasagne Sheet.

Add the remaining White Sauce and then top with Vegan Cheese if using.


Ready to bake

Bake for 40 minutes.



Cool for 10 – 20 minutes then serve.



Verdict: Yum yum yum! A little too salty, but that’s my own fault. Sweet too, presumably from the cabbage. The vegan cheese left a lot of oil on the top, otherwise fantastic!


Vegan MOFO2014 – Recipe: Salami Style Crumb

52 Weeks of Vegan Cooking challenge on Reddit is back again (because I’ve recently taken over as moderator) and the Week 33 challenge was DIY Mock Meats. Now there was a recipe I saw and saved a while back that I’ve been wanting to try… sort of. I’ve never particularly liked the spice combination of chorizo but I thought the recipe had a good base. I used that base in an attempt to make my own vegan salami.


1 and 3/4 Cups of TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) Mince.
2 Cups of Vegetable Stock, Hot. I used Massel brand.
1/4 Cup of Roasted Capsicum (Red Pepper), finely chopped.
1/4 Cup of Black Olives, finely chopped.
1/4 Cup of Red WIne Vinegar.
3 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste.
3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce.
1/2 and White or Yellow Onion, minced. I used the food procssor for this.
3 Garlic Cloves, minced.
3 Tablespoons of Paprika.
Coarsly Ground Pepper.
A Pinch of Ground Cinnamon.


Put the TVP and the hot Vegetable Stock in a large bowl, cover and set aside for at least 10 Minutes. I only has TVP Strips so I had to rehydrated them then chop them into mince sized pieces; sooo time consuming!

Add all the other ingredients into the bowl and stir together.


All chopped up and ready to go

Set aside for about 20 minutes while you hang out the laundry (or whatever it is you need to do).


Almost done

Heat a little olive oil into a large pan or wok and add the mixture. Cook until all excess moisture is gone.


The finished product

Set aside to cool. Enjoy.

Verdict: So it doesn’t really taste like salami but that’s okay because it still tastes good. It has a rich flavour and a meaty texture. I added a bit too much pepper so it’s a bit spicy and I used all smoked paprika making it far to smoky. Next time I will use 1 Tablespoon of Smoked and 2 Tablespoons of Sweet Paprika.

Recipe: Creamy Tomato Pasta

This recipe is based on the recipe of a friend of mine; the original can be found here. I was a little unsure about this as I’ve never had a creamy tomato dish before, but I had some discounted Tofutti to use so I tried it.


500 Grams of Pasta (I used penne).
Salt for the Pasta water.

1 Small Onion, diced.
2 Teaspoons of Garlic, crushed.
100 Grams of Mushrooms, sliced.
1 Teaspoon each of Dried Thyme, Dried Basil and Dried Oregano (or whatever Italian herbs you want).
1/2 a 700 Gram Jar of Passata (pureed Tomatoes).
125 Grams of Cherry Tomatoes, halved.
Olive Oil.
100 Grams of Spinach.
1 Tub of Vegan Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti).
Salt and Pepper to taste.


Boil water in a medium pan, then add salt and the Pasta. Cook until tender, drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan heat the Olive Oil then add the Onion and Garlic. Cook until Onion is see through, stirring occasionally.

Add the Herbs, the Mushrooms and the Cherry Tomatoes, cook until softened.


Onions, Herbs and Mushrooms

Add the Passata and stir through.



Add the Cream Cheese and combine thoroughly.


After the cheese is stirred in

Stir through the Spinach and add the Salt and Pepper.

Add the pasta and stir through.


Ready to eat

Verdict: So creamy! I can’t believe my friend actually suggests using 2 tubs of Cream Cheese! Despite the creaminess the dish still has a strong tomato flavour. It’s nice but I wouldn’t make it again. Nothing wrong with it, it’s just not my thing.


Recipe: French Onion and Mushroom Soup

This is my entry for the 52 Weeks of Vegan Cooking challenge on Reddit. This is week 1 and it’s the Comfort Food challenge.

So comfort food. For me comfort food is warm and simple. I chose a soup. For me a good winter soup (it’s actually spring in Australia, but the weather is a bit crap right now) has barley in it. I love barley, at our house mum used to make a risotto with barley instead of rice (note to self: get the recipe). I’ve also always wanted to try making french onion soup so I had a bit of a Google to see what I could find.

So my recipe today is based on this recipe here. I’ve altered it to make it vegan.


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons nuttalex or other vegan margarine
2 large brown onions, thinly sliced
1 dried bay leaf
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
450 grams (16 oz) mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup dry sherry (sherry is also called apera in Australia)
1 litre (32 oz) beef style stock (I used Massel)
1 cup cooked barley
Salt and pepper


Melt the olive oil and butter in a large pot.

Add sliced onions and cook, stirring often, until they start to soften.

Add bay leaf, thyme sprigs, mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute, stirring often for 20-25 minutes until mushrooms and onions start to caramelize.


Herbs, mushrooms and onions

Turn the heat to medium and add the sherry. Stir just until the sherry has evaporated.

Add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Return heat to low and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.



Add the cooked barley and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Very yummy soup

Verdict: I hate cutting onions! Even with the ceiling fan on (which usually helps) I ended up with hurty eyes.

Other than that making the soup was pretty easy. The smell of the mushrooms onion and thyme sauteing was wonderful. The end product tastes fanatic. The flavor of the thyme comes through well, which surprised me. The initial flavor is thyme and mushroom with the sweetness of the caramelized onion coming later. Very yummy. I would definitely make this again (if I can find someone else to cut the onions for me).