Friday, August 15, 2014
Spicy Beef and Spinach Lasagna...
It’s been unseasonably cool here the past week. Mostly the days are warm but in the evening it cools considerably and there’s a good breeze. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, I love cooler weather - fall is my favorite time of year - but this kind of weather really makes me want to eat ‘out of season’ you know? The other day when it was particularly grey and quite cool I suddenly felt in the mood for lasagna. I have about a million different lasagna recipes in my arsenal but I didn’t want to use any of them. Instead, I wanted to get creative, so I took a look around and found a package of Beyond Meat Feisty Beef Crumbles that I’d bought when they were on sale but never used. I don’t normally buy these kinds of things but since they were new, my husband and I thought we’d try them out but I just never knew what to use them in, until I realized they would be perfect in lasagna.
Since I was only making a lasagna for my husband and I, and I only had one package of beef and one package of cheese I made a small one using my 8x8 baking pan. You could probably double the recipe for a larger lasagna if you needed to, but this dish is super hearty and filling, we only ate one slice each which is a real anomaly for us - especially my husband who’s been known to turn into Garfield at the site of lasagna. This recipe exceeded my expectations and I was quite happy with the end result. So next time you need to make a really hearty, meaty, cheesy lasagna for the omnivore in your life give this one a shot - provided they don’t mind a little heat of course!
Spicy Beef and Spinach Lasagna
6 Square Lasagna Sheets (8x8)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion Diced
8 Cloves Garlic Minced
*** 1 Package Feisty Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles thawed (Or your favorite vegan beef)
1 ½ tsp Crushed Fennel Seeds
14oz Can Diced Tomatoes
8oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp White Pepper
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tbsp Capers
3-4 Tbsp Minced Pepperoni Peppers
10oz Fresh Baby Spinach
*** 1 Package Daiya Mozzarella Shreds (Or your favorite vegan Mozzarella)
Tomato Sauce for Topping
1 8oz Can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp onion powder
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp minced pepperoni peppers
½ bunch minced parsley
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1 tsp Dried Basil
- Set a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. When boiling add the lasagna sheets and boil for 5-6 minutes until the sheets become soft and pliable. They don’t need to be fully cooked. Drain them, and rinse them.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 5-6 minutes until softened.
- Add in the crushed fennel seeds and the beef crumbles. Saute for 5 minutes, until crumbles have browned.
- Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, capers, red pepper flakes, and Pepperoni Peppers. Simmer for about 10 minutes then remove from the heat.
- Heat the olive oil in a small pot on the stove. Add in the garlic and saute for 4 minutes until golden.
- Add in all the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Then decrease the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 350'F
- Lightly grease an 8x8 baking pan. Layer in 2 of the lasagna noodles. Cover the lasagna noodles with enough spinach to cover them. Layer in enough of the meat filling mixture to cover the spinach. Then sprinkle enough of the cheese over the filling to cover.
- Layer 2 more lasagna sheets overtop, and repeat with remaining spinach, meat filling and cheese.
- Layer the last 2 lasagna noodles on top. Cover the top with the tomato sauce, and then cover in foil and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Alternately you can bake the lasagna without the sauce and spoon the sauce over top after it finishes baking.
- Once finished remove from the oven, garnish with fresh minced parsley, then cut and serve! Preferably with a nice side salad.
*** Note - Just because I used Beyond Meat crumbles and Daiya Cheese doesn’t mean you have to. Use whatever you favorite vegan meat and cheese are, though if you use a plainly seasoned vegan beef you may want to add a bit more heat to the dish, it’s up to you. Something to keep in mind that this dish is gluten-free and soy free - as long as you use gluten-free lasagna noodles -because both beyond meat and daiya are gluten and soy free products. If you're using other vegan products and gluten or soy is an issue you'll have to read the labels to make sure.***