Vegan and Gluten Free Cheesy Spinach Lasagne
This is a quick and easy to prepare recipe delicious recipe for a dairy (vegan) and gluten free lasagne. I have used a bought white sauce in the recipe but it could be adapted to use a homemade sauce if you preferred, just keep the quantities the same. I used a creamy cheddar style cheese spread but this can also be changed to suit your tastes or what you have available.
This recipe will serve four people if served with a side dish such as garlic bread, salad, vegetables or crispy or chipped potatoes. The lasagne can be frozen at the end of the preparation steps and cooked straight from frozen at a later time, making it ideal for batch cooking or make ahead meals. The small foil trays that can be bought in many supermarkets or cooking shops are idea for this.
Spinach belongs to the chenopodiaceae family which also includes beets, chard and quinoa. This highly nutritious leaf is in season in the spring but is generally available all year round.
Spinach has long been regarded as an excellent choice for restoring energy levels and for healthy blood and circulation. It is rich in iron, which helps red blood cells to function correctly and carry oxygen around the body as well as being a good source of vitamin K, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin B, manganese, magnesium and folic acid. The dark green colour of this leafy green is due to the fact that it contains high levels of chlorophll and carotenoids such as beta carotene and lutein. These phyto chemicals have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties making spinach an excellent food choice.
Fresh spinach can be stored in the fridge for around four days and can also be successfully frozen. When cooking spinach steaming, sautéing and microwaving are better choices than boiling as they help to retain more nutrients. This leafy green veg is also a green addition to green smoothies.
Cheesy Spinach Lasagne Recipe
480g (17oz) Free From White Sauce (either homemade or bought)
225g (8oz) Free From or vegan cheese spread
300g (10.5oz) fresh spinach
8 Free From lasagne sheets (dairy and gluten free)
A handful of cherry tomatoes or 2 tomatoes
Grated dairy free cheese to top
1. If needed prepare the lasagne sheets according to the packet instructions. Some recommend a short pre-boiling before use.
2. Chop the spinach finely using a food processor or by hand and place into a bowl.
3. Melt the cheese spread in a large saucepan over a low heat. Once melted stir in the jar of white sauce and combine well. Finally stir in the chopped spinach and mix well to complete the filling.
4. Spoon a layer of filling into the bottom of an oiled dish (or several small ones for individual portions). Place a single layer of lasagne sheets on top of the filling, cutting or snapping them if required to fit.
5. Continue to layer the filling and lasagne sheets until they have all been used, finishing with a layer of the cheesy spinach filling.
6. Slice the tomatoes and place them on top of the cheesy filling. Top the lasagne with grated cheese.
Note – if you wish the lasagne can be frozen at this point. Allow it to cool, cover, label and freeze until needed.
7. Cook the lasagne at 200C (400F/Gas Mark 6) for 15 – 20 minutes, until the lasagne sheets are tender and the filling is bubbling. If cooking straight from frozen the lasagne will need to be cooked for approximately 40-45 minutes.
© 2015 Claire