Carrot and Sweet Potato Lasagna with Basil Tomato Cashew Cheese Sauce

After my first experience with cashews used as a sauce, my mind was overflowing with ideas on how to change creamy sauces (which I usually hate) to something healthy and delicious. I love, love, love lasagna. It can be made vegetarian without meat eaters batting an eyelash. You can add any type of meat, vegetable, or cheese and usually you will get an amazing result.

My veggie friend Lacey made me some yummy vegetarian lasagna the other day, which included carrots and I loved it so much a had to expand on it. Carrots add a great texture that lasagna is usually missing. So then I thought..... why not substitute the ricotta with some sort of cashew cream sauce? The textures are similar enough....and like I said.... pretty hard to mess up....hopefully :)

Carrot and Sweet Potato Lasagna with Basil Tomato Cashew  Sauce

1 medium sweet potato*
2-3 large carrots
1.5 cups Basil Tomato Cashew Sauce (recipe below)
2 cups Roasted Tomato Sauce (recipe below)

* Next time I may just use carrots. The sweet potatoes make this dish a little too sweet for my liking. 

Basil Tomato Cashew "Cheese" Sauce

1 cup cashews
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
1/2 cup water

Soak cashews in water for 4 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse, and add to a blender with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary. IT should be about the same consistency of ricotta cheese. Set aside.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

3 cups tomatoes  ( I used assorted cherry & roma)
1 large yellow onion, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss tomatoes and onion in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a food processor along with tomato sauce and garlic and pulse until almost smooth.

To assemble :

Peel carrots and sweet potatoes. Using a vegetable peeler cut this ribbons with carrots and potatoes and set aside.  Using a 8x8 inch pan, add a thin layer of sauce. Continue with a layer of carrots and sweet potatoes, making about as thick as a standard lasagna noodle. Spoon half of the cashew cheese and spread evenly over the top. Next add a generous layer of sauce, followed by carrots and sweet potatoes and remaining cashew cheese. Follow with a layer of sauce, carrots and sweet potatoes, and remaining sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until sweet potatoes and carrots are tender.

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