This is a wonderful way of eating quinoa – It is a very light dish with rich undertones brought out by the ‘cheese’ sauce. I don’t think I have ever made anything that goes down as fast as this dish – something about the texture which makes it so easy to devour, together with the mouthwatering taste brought on by the mixture of vegetables and cheese. The little cherry tomatoes just give it that final edge, and marry so well with the cheese sauce. The pumpkin seeds are a cheeky touch, and add that extra crunchy bite – making this a perfectly satisfying dish, and easy to make too ! Enjoy, and please let me know how it goes.
1½ cups quinoa (I used a mixed variety) – wash it, then cook it (it will yield more once cooked)
1 large eggplant/aubergine, cut lengthways into slices around 1/4 inch (then fry on both sides on a griddle, and set aside)
14 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cut lengthways and also griddle fried
15 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
½ cup pumpkin seeds
olive oil for drizzling
2 cups extra grated vegan cheese (optional)
INGREDIENTS FOR CHEESE SAUCE
2 cups (500 mL) soya milk, or other non-sweetened milk (I used Alpro)
1 Tbsp gluten-free plain flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp fine garlic granules
salt (don’t omit)
a knob of vegan butter/margarine
¼ tsp turmeric powder
a little water if needed
METHOD FOR CHEESE SAUCE
- Place all the ingredients in a ‘milk’ pan and whisk.
- Heat the mixture up, mixing virtually non-stop, until you have a thickish consistency. Lower the heat, and continue cooking for a further minute or so.
METHOD FOR ASSEMBLING
- Having pre-cooked your quinoa, and griddle fried your aubergine/eggplant, set them aside.
- Then fry your mushrooms, do these in two batches so they will fry and not boil – too many in a pan can cause them to boil in their own juices. Frying them in smaller quantities yields a richer juice.
- Pre-heat your oven to 320ºF (160ºC)
- Place the half your fried aubergine in a pre-greased oven proof dish (mine is around 12 by 6 inches, and about 1½ inches deep). If using vegan cheese, distribute it over the aubergines at this point – by all means leave a little for your next layer – it doesn’t matter where you put it, but don’t put it on the top, as it might not melt well, given that we want a golden top – my ‘cheese’ sauce will help you achieve this.
- Next add half your quinoa, and then all your mushrooms, your red pepper, and then half of your cheese sauce. Repeat this process again until you only have aubergines left enough for the final layer – ie this layer will enclose your lasagna.
- Now place your last layer of aubergine on top, and gently pour or spoon in the remaining sauce. Try and distribute it well – it doesn’t matter if some of the eggplant is showing, it looks great if it does.
- Finally, distribute the cherry tomatoes evenly, and garnish it all with the pumpkin seeds – sprinkle with salt, and drizzle some olive oil on top.
- Place in your pre-heated oven for half an hour, then put up to high for 15 minutes or until golden.
- Allow to cool down before cutting your portions in readiness to serve.
- Bon Appétit.
All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell mouthwateringvegan.com 2010
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