Creamy, cheesy and comforting while not too heavy: a single-serving eggplant lasagna that leaves you feeling good – and longing for a repeat. Vegan and gluten-free options.
Anniversairies. Birthdays. Christmas. New Year’s Eve. Special occasions call for special food to celebrate. And Wednesday happened to be one of those special occasions – or at least for a fairly large group of people: World Vegetarian Day. In case you stopped by that day you’ll have known this already and seen some foods I ate to celebrate. One of them being a pan of cheesy deliciousness …
As an advance apology for the quality of the pictures: I celebrated World Vegetarian Day early [Saturday rather than Wednesday] but late at night. I’m not a food blogger so I don’t plan my meals according to the best photography times. Fail whale. But as I know I’ll be making this lasagna again very soon updated pictures will follow. Unless I slack at time management again – not that this might happen …
Deciding what I’d prepare to celebrate surprisingly – unlike in past years – wasn’t hard. I’d been craving lasagna -forever-. I mean it. Lasagna with all the fixings: Vegan bolognese sauce, white sauce, cheese. These three components are what -make- lasagna for me. Only: preparing all three of them is quite involved. I know why my mum didn’t feature lasagna as a regular weekday lunch years back but just on those days with extra time. And preparing just a single serving of each because it’s only me eating? No way. But I still had my heart and mind set on lasagna so there had to be a way. You get what you want after all. So I went with a few short-cuts: store-bought organic vegan bolognese and switching out the time-intense bechamel for a quick blend-and-go option. A magical vegan high-protein favourite jumped in to help out.
And preparing just a single serving of each because it’s only me eating? No way. But I still had my heart and mind set on lasagna so there had to be a way. You get what you want after all. So I went with a few short-cuts: store-bought organic vegan bolognese and switching out the time-intense bechamel for a quick blend-and-go option. A magical vegan high-protein favourite jumped in to help out. The fact I don’t currently have any lasagna noodles at hand proved to be the smallest problem. If you’ve never had twice-baked eggplant in a casserole before you’re in for a treat. However, if you absolutely dislike eggplant you could easily sub it for real pasta. And mail me some lasagna noodles pretty please?! Eggplant or pasta, though: with the hearty bolognese, creamy white sauce and packing in an abundance of nutritious vegetables this is good-for-you comfort food. And let’s not forget the cheese. Perfect for a little celebration. Or just any day you want to treat yourself with food.
Cheesy Eggplant Lasagna
- 1 small to medium eggplant, sliced into 10-14 rounds [250 g]
- 3/4 cup store-bought vegan bolognese sauce [180 g] – I used this organic brand OR prepare your own [see notes]
- 3.5 oz silken tofu [100 g/ 1/3rd of a regular package]
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh spinach, chopped – vary the amount according to preference [I had a lot to use up so went with ~ 3 oz]
- 1/2 cup vegetables such as cauliflower and carrots, chopped/ diced finely [about 100 g]
- 1/4 cup [~ 28 g] [vegan] shredded cheese [Daiya is a great vegan meltable option]
- Grease a single-serving baking dish. Set aside.
- Layer the eggplant slices in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 30 minutes to release some of their water content. Squeeze between kitchen paper to remove as much water as possible but don’t stress too much.
- Places the rounds on a sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for twenty minutes, flipping the eggplant once in between to brown evenly on both sides.
- Blend the silken tofu with a generous grating of nutmeg plus salt and pepper to taste.
Bring the bolognese sauce to a low boil on the stove. Add the vegetables and let simmer for 6-8 minutes or until the vegetables are a little more tender. They should still have some bite, though.
- Assemble by speading a thin layer of tomato sauce at the bottom of the baking dish.
Top with spinach and a few spoonfuls of white sauce.
Layer half of the eggplant slices on top. Spread with more tomatoe sauce.
- Stir the cheese into the remaining white sauce, add a splash of non-dairy milk for a more spreadable consistency. Spread on top of the lasagna.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.
This is gluten-free if you use a gluten-free bolognese or marinara sauce.
Make it vegan by using vegan cheese like Daiya. Mixing vegan cheese with a sauce like here helps it melt better.
Happiness-inducing today: Having the day off of work due to a public holiday.
Stay in touch!
What is a dish that screams ‘special occasion’ to you?
Do you make lasagna completely from scratch or use a few short-cuts? I can’t be the only one there.