A few Saturdays ago I arrived at FoE, as I often do on a Saturday, at about 12:30. Esula called out to me as I sauntered past; "Hey Steph," he said, "You need to get yourself a lunch plate right now."
I wandered into the kitchen (after tying back my hair, I am a good girl) and discovered that Gen had made a super awesome vegan lasagne. She had also made a vegan and gluten-free one! The lasagne (not-gf) had her secret white sauce, and was thick with all sorts of deliciousness, including quinoa, and I knew that when I went home that night I had to try to make something just as awesome.
AND I DID.
super awesome tempeh and quinoa lasagne
These proportions made a third again extra filling and tomato sauce, but I'm okay with that because I used them to make pies the next night. If you had a bigger lasagne tray than me, you could just dump the extra filling in and make a bigger lasgane. I'm not sure how this extra filling will translate when I don't have leftovers to work in, as I've noted through this recipe.
400g tempeh, crumbled
450g spinach (this weight measurement included stalks and roots, as I was weighing bunches), washed and shredded (leaves only, though)
a tablespoon of nuttelex, and a little olive oil
half a red onion, diced
one third of a cup of red wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
half a cup of raw quinoa (or equivalent cooked)
leftover pasta + sauce OR half a cup of the red tomato sauce you will make at the same time
red tomato pasta sauce
1200g canned diced tomatoes (three small cans)
your favourite herbs and spices (I used a combination of dried chilli and fresh oregano and basil)
white cashew sauce
1 cup cashews
1 cup boiling water
shake of salt
some basil leaves
also: lasagne sheets
a tray, approx 15 x 30cm
to make the super tasty filling: in some nuttelex and olive oil, fry the onions and the tempeh. after a few minutes, add the garlic, and keep on frying. if it starts to stick as it sucks up the oil, add some more nuttelex or oil. occasionally, add some red wine, and let it suck it up. keep on frying until the onion is soft and the tempeh is mostly or all the way cooked, and you've used up all the red wine. at this point, gradually add the spinach, and let it wilt. at the same time or earlier, cook the quinoa if it's raw (remembering to wash it well first). then stir through the cooked quinoa, as well as the tomato pasta sauce (or the miscellaneous leftover pasta that you need to use up before it goes off), and let simmer for about five more minutes. set aside!
at approximately the same time, you need to make the red tomato sauce for the lasagne. this is super easy! on a medium heat, cook the tomatoes (juices and all), along with some fresh and dried herbs and spices, with the lid on, for about fifteen to twenty minutes, or until it's reduced and looking like a pasta sauce. set aside!
while this is all going on, soak your cashews in the water for about twenty minutes, and then really quickly, in a blender or food processor combine the cashews, water, basil leaves and salt for your white cashew sauce.
then you are ready to combine!
to put the lasagne together, begin: spread a thin layer of the tomato pasta sauce across the bottom of the tray. put out some lasagne sheets. put down some more tomato sauce, then some of the filling (about a centimetre thick), then about half of the cashew sauce. repeat a second time - lasagne sheets, tomato sauce, filling, cashew sauce. finally, put down the last layer of lasagne sheets, then some more tomato sauce.
heat that oven to 200C, then bake that lasagne for about 40 minutes, or until the lasagne sheets are soft.