Nostalgic & Nutritious Meal
My Sicilian grandmother was a phenomenal cook and one of my favorite childhood meals was lasagna with her amazing gravy. I used to love eating the gravy she made on everything, so naturally creating my own plant-based gravy and lasagna was one of my first plant-based meal creations. I’m excited to share with you my gravy recipe and how I use one batch of gravy to cook two meal. Along with nostalgia, I want all my meals to be delicious, easy to make, and nutritious.
2x Tablespoons of vegan vegetable broth
3x Cans 28-ounce of tomatoes
4x Garlic cloves
2tsp. Thyme seasoning
Large bunch of fresh Basil (can use seasoning if fresh basil is not available )
Pepper to taste
- In a large pot, start by sautéing onions and garlic in vegan vegetable broth about 5 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the three cans of tomatoes and then add the thyme and basil and stir together. Continue to cook on medium heat until the gravy starts to boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes covered.
- Add pepper to taste, give gravy a final stir and your ready to serve.
Once this easy to make gravy is done, I will use this one batch of gravy to make two meals: lasagna and stuffed peppers, and store the remaining gravy in the freezer to use another week.
Need some help making your childhood favorite meals plant-based?
- Homemade pasta (semolina flour and water. kitchen aid needed) or packaged whole wheat pasta lasagna noodles or Brown Rice lasagna noodles
- 3x Sweet potatoes
- 2x packages of silken tofu
- A leafy green of choice- my favorite to use is either spinach or swiss chard
- Veggies of choice- my favorites to use are mushrooms, onions, broccoli, and carrots
- Spices 2tsp of each -oregano, parsley, basil, rosemary, pepper
- Nutritional yeast (optional)
- Cashews (optional)
- Chop veggies and mix with spices. Use parchment paper on a baking sheet to bake veggies for 15 minutes 375 degrees. once cooked set aside.
- Skin on sweet potatoes can be left on or peeled, your choice. I like to wash and leave the skin on. Sweet potatoes can either be baked or microwaved. Once your sweet potatoes are cooked mash them in a bowl and set aside.
- Start to boil water for the lasagna noodles and cook noodles. Once your noodles are cooked you can start to build your lasagna.
- In a deep baking pan start with a layer of gravy, then lasagna noodles, more gravy, add your veggies, then crumble the silken tofu (drain as much of the water as you can prior to crumbling over the veggies), add another layer of gravy, add a layer of lasagna noodles, layer of gravy, layer of mashed sweet potatoes, layer of leafy green over the sweet potato, layer of gravy, the last layer of lasagna noodles, and last layer of gravy.
- Bake for 30 minutes on 375 degrees covered with foil
- After 30 minutes remove foil and sprinkle nutritional yeast and crushed cashews over the top of the lasagna. Put back into the oven for 15 minutes uncovered.
- 8 x peppers – any color. I typically will buy an assortment of red, orange, yellow, green
- Farro (you can use any grain that you prefer)
- Leafy green of choice (kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, spinach)
- Veggies-diced yellow zucchini, diced onion, shredded brussel sprouts (you can use any veggies you prefer)
- Mint leaves 1/4 cup chopped up
- Spices 2tsp each- oregano, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, basil.
- 1x can of navy beans
- Gravy- 1 cup
- Nutritional yeast (optional)
- Cook 1 cup of a grain in water or vegan veggie broth
- While grain is cooking in a large bowl, combine chopped mint, all spices, can of navy beans, chopped up uncooked veggies, chopped up uncooked leafy greens into the bowl and mix together.
- Add one cup of gravy and mix again
- When grain is cooked add to mixture in the bowl and mix again.
- Add small amount of veggie broth to the cooking pan
- Stand up peppers in the veggie broth (you may need to very carefully cut a small piece of the bottom of the pepper to make it flat). Add the mixture until pepper is full.
- If you have left over mixture you can freeze or cook separately in another pan.
- Bake on 375 degree for 30 minutes covered with foil.
- Remove foil and sprinkle nutritional yeast on top of each pepper and bake for 15 minutes uncovered.