Vegan Lasagne Roll-ups
Have you heard? 2016 is the International Year of the Pulses. Pulses are better known as legumes, and include dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas, and lentils. These tiny powerhouses are loaded with protein, fiber, iron, and zinc. If you haven’t been incorporating more pulses into your plate, there is a new way to make it happen by giving an old favorite a makeover.
I was recently introduced to Explore Cuisine and their full product line by a family friend (who, in full disclosure, works for the company). I had tried one of their products a few weeks back on my own when I came across it in my local grocery store, and was excited to see more varieties. I love being a Mad Scientist in my kitchen, so I offered to play around and see what I come up with. So be prepared for many future recipe posts featuring Explore Cuisine products.
Related Post: Bulking Up
What makes the brand worth blogging about? Their pastas are all made with pulses, from Black Bean Spaghetti to Lentil Penne to Edamame Fettuccine. While this Italian girl loves her traditional pasta, it’s unique to find a pasta that is high in protein and fiber due to being made from pulses. If you or a family member are diabetic, this is a high fiber pasta that will help control blood sugar. For those who have celiac, it’s a dream come true to be able to enjoy gluten-free pasta that’s high in fiber and NOT pasty. And for my vegan and vegetarian friends, these pulse pastas provide healthy sources of complete protein.
My first project involved playing with their new Organic Green Lentil Lasagne. I decided to make lasagne roll-ups, because in a house with only two people, making a full lasagne is A LOT for just myself and Mr E. Lasagne roll-ups provide the best part of the lasagne (the filling!) in a smaller packaging. When it comes to portion control, smaller is the big winner.
I decided to take a stab at making a vegan lasagne version, to see how fully vegan-friendly these lasagne sheets could be. And I know a lot of vegans, so it’s nice to have some go-to meals when needed. I created cashew ricotta cheese (which is quite delish!), and added veggies to the filling. There’s no set rule on the veggies, so use what you like. I decided to go with eggplant, zucchini and roasted red peppers because that’s what was around.
Once the cashew ricotta was made, the veggies were mixed in. To prep the pasta, I placed the lasagne sheets one at a time in very hot water that had previously been boiled, and soaked them 2-3 minutes to get them softened. Using tongs to remove the lasagne sheets from the water, run briefly under cold water to stop the cooking process, and place on a flat surface. Spoon 2TB of the ricotta veggie filling to the far left of the lasagne sheet, and then roll up, placing seam side down on a pan lined with non-stick foil or parchment paper. Spoon marinara sauce over the top, sprinkle with some basil, and into the oven these go for 15 minutes.
Of course, no recipe is ever complete without a taste test by Mr E. And while Mr E was of course suspicious, I never lied or tried to trick him into thinking it was the “real deal” – because I learned my lesson on that one. These vegan lasagne roll-ups were given a “not bad”, which is considered a gold medal in this house when it comes to vegan dishes.
Have you taken the Pulse Pledge to eat more pulses in 2016? Will you give this vegan version a shot, or more of a traditional cheese lasagne household? Sound off in the Comments!
And for my non-vegan friends, I have also created a traditional cheese lasagne version!
Vegan Lasagne Roll-ups
For the Cashew Ricotta:
- 1 C raw cashews soaked overnight (or minimum 1-2 hours)
- 1/4 C water reserved from soaked cashews
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1 TB nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic quartered
For the Lasagne:
- 1/4 C chopped zucchini
- 1/4 C chopped eggplant
- 1/4 C chopped roasted red peppers
- 8 sheets Explore Cuisine Organic Green Lentil Lasagne
- 1 C marinara sauce
- Dried or fresh basil for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Prepare a pot of boiling water while preparing the cashew ricotta filling, then turn down to low heat to keep hot.
- To create the cashew ricotta, drain the cashews, reserving the water. Place cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and garlic into a food processor and pulse, creating coarse pieces. Slowly add the water 1-2 tablespoons at a time, and pulse. Continue adding water and pulsing until reaches the consistency of ricotta cheese.
- Mix the cashew ricotta with zucchini, eggplant, and roasted red peppers. Set aside.
- Place the lasagne sheets into the hot water for 2-3 minutes at a time, careful not to stick together. Using tongs to remove the lasagne sheets, run lasagne under cold water to prevent further cooking.
- Prepare the rollups one at a time by placing a lasagne sheet on a flat surface. Spoon 2TB filling on to the left 1/4 of the sheet, spreading filling the width of the sheet. Proceed to completely roll up the lasagne with the filling, placing seam side down into a pan lined with non-stick foil.
- Continue rolling all lasagne sheets with filling.
- Once all roll-ups have been placed in the pan, spoon marinara sauce on top and sprinkle with basil.
- Bake 15 minutes in the oven, and allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
Cashew Ricotta recipe inspired by The Simple Veganista.
2 roll-ups = 490 calories, 21g fat (4g sat fat), 61g carbs, 7g fiber, 21g protein, 27 mg sodium (Source: SELF Nutrition Data)
DISCLAIMER: All opinions are my own and are not influenced or biased by any third parties. I am not compensated for mentioning any specific brands or retailers on this blog, however I do serve as an affiliate for several retailers. I was provided with free samples of product from Explore Cuisine to experiment with recipes and blog about my opinion of their pasta.