Layered vegetable bake

So this is sort of a lasagna…but there’s no pasta or meat and the white sauce isn’t really the traditional kind, I think it’s delicious though and a healthy alternative to lasagna, it’s also great to keep in the fridge for mid-week meals.

This recipe is mostly low FODMAP depending on how you react to cashew nuts, but as the cashews are soaked and blended into a sauce I find it’s tummy friendly, if you react to mushrooms then just leave them out. Like all my recipes, this is endo diet friendly and if you prefer, you can use chopped tomatoes instead of tinned for a fresher take on the recipe. This dish is vegan if you omit the Parmesan cheese.

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Layered vegetable bake

You’ll Need:

White sauce

  • 1 cup of raw cashew nuts soaked for at least 30 minutes in cold water
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/3 cup garlic infused olive oil (plus some extra for drizzling over the dish once it comes out of the oven), try adding a bit less oil to start and add more as you need to.
  • Sea salt and pepper

Tomato sauce

  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • Some slow roasted tomatoes for extra flavour (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves chopped finely
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g fresh mushrooms diced

Vegetable layers

  • 1 eggplant, sliced thinly length ways
  • 3 medium zucchinis, sliced thinly length ways
  • Sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Method:

Firstly sprinkle a generous amount of sea salt all over the eggplant and zucchini layers and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. Then rinse and pat dry and remove as much excess moisture as possible.

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees fan forced, then prepare the tomato sauce. In a large frypan heat the olive oil, then add the dried herbs and mushrooms, gently cook the mushrooms on a medium heat until they start to collapse a little, then add the tomato paste and tomatoes, stir through some garlic infused olive oil and allow to simmer on a low heat and reduce for at least 25 minutes. Then stir through the basil, chilli flakes and some salt and pepper to taste.

While you are making the tomato sauce, prepare the white sauce. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until it forms a paste, if it’s too thick just add some more almond milk or olive oil.

Start assembling the layers, place eggplant layers at the bottom of a large lasagna dish then top with white sauce then tomato sauce, then add a layer of zucchini and top with white sauce then more tomato sauce and repeat. Once you’ve completed the layers top with grated parmesan cheese, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes. After this time the top should be golden, remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes and drizzle with garlic infused olive oil. Serve warm.

Yours in health,

Meredith x

Zaalouk – slow roasted eggplant and tomatoes

Here is a vegan recipe I love and tastes better after sitting in the fridge for a few days. Perfect as a side dish for your choice of protein or just a beautiful warm salad (or chunky dip) to accompany other veggies on your table. This recipe has been adapted from chef Karen Martini’s version.

If you can eat garlic (if you aren’t on a low FODMAP or SIBO diet) then you can buy store bought harissa, if not you’ll need to prepare your own without garlic and use garlic olive oil instead.

Low FODMAP Harissa

You’ll need:

  • 4 long fresh red chilli
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil

Blend all ingredients into a paste and set aside. It can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

Zaalouk

You’ll need:

  • 4 medium eggplants (aubergines)
  • 12 ripe roma tomatoes, core removed
  • 100ml garlic infused olive oil
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tbsp harissa
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, leaves picked, plus some extra for garnish
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius (fan forced). Rest the whole eggplants over a naked gas flame for 3-5 minutes to blacken the skin, then transfer to a baking tray and roast for 15-20 minutes. Remove and cool slightly. Reduce the oven to 130 degrees.

Cut the eggplants in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh. Place the flesh in a baking dish, add the tomatoes and oil and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Place the dish in the oven and slow roast for about an hour.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and set aside for 20 minutes to cool slightly. Pull the skins off the tomatoes with your fingers.

Grind the spices in a mortar and pestle. Heat some of the roasting oil from the baking dish in a large frypan and add the spices. Stir in the eggplant flesh and tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes or until thickened. Season to taste with salt and add the harissa, then set aside to cool.

Drizzle over the lemon juice and stir through the coriander, sprinkle with nigella seeds and extra coriander leaves on top.

Enjoy!

Meredith x