The Vegetarian

Lasagna with meat replacement

"Meat" sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

100g of pretend ham or bacon - not essential

1 onion - finely chopped

1 carrot - finely chopped

1 stick of celery - finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic - crushed

500g of "mince" equivalent

5 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 cups water

1 stock cube (pretend chicken or vegetable)

Cheese sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons plain flour

2 cups (500ml) of full cream milk

125g of mozarella cheese (in cubes or shredded)

Lasagne sheets, salt, pepper, nutmeg.

I usually use dry "instant" lasagna sheets such as "San Remo" 250g packet.

Sanitarium make some awesome meat alternatives. They make great "not-bacon" and a "deli slice" ham alternative - which are both found in the fridge section. They make a mince which is okay. I first started this recipe with TVP (textured vegetable protein), when Sanitarium used to have a dry boxed version of pre-flavoured TVP mince. Now I use whatever TVP mince is available in the health food aisle and flavour it with stock before using it.

Massel make great vegetarian stocks - in vegetable, chicken and beef flavours. -see the picture in the panel to the right ->

Preheat the oven to 180degrees C.  You will need a large baking dish of approximately 35cm by 25cm.

Meat sauce:

Gently fry the "ham", onion, carrot, celery and garlic in the olive oil until they start to brown. Add the "mince" and simmer. Stir in the tomato paste, and the stock cube dissolved in some of the water. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Continue to simmer and add enough water to allow the mixture to be easily stirred. There needs to be plenty of fluid when the lasagna is assembled or else the dry lasagne sheets will not cook well. Adjust the flavour of the sauce with salt and pepper once you have got the sauce to the fluid consistency you are happy with.

Cheese sauce:

Melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook gently for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk. Gently simmer the mixture until thick and smooth, stirring constantly - don't let the bottom burn. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mozzarella and stir until the cheese is melted and stirred through.

Assemble the Lasagne:

Choose a large baking dish (roasting pan size). Place a layer of lasagna sheets on the bottom, followed by a layer of meat sauce, another layer of lasagna then cheese sauce.

I like to use lasagna sheets between all layers, as it keeps the layers separate. Make sure there is plenty of fluid over the sheets (in the meat sauce), to soak the sheets during baking. If not add a little more water.

Use the cheese sauce as the topmost layer, spreading it over the top to lock the liquid into the lasagne underneath.

Consider sprinkling parmesan, nutmeg, basil leaves and sliced tomatoes over the top.

Bake the lasagna for about 35minutes, because it is vegetarian all the components are edible raw... but you do want the lasagna sheets to cook! Prick through the top with a fork to check if the lasagne sheets are cooked.

Mmmmm.... I'm getting soooo hungry thinking about this!

Buon appetito


The same pretend meat sauce can be used as the bolognaise sauce for spaghetti too!

Also try an easy and delicious variation - place a layer of ricotta cheese and spinach in between the meat sauce layers. It can be plain ricotta and spinach with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper. You can even use frozen spinach!!... it tastes delicious!!

This version of the lasagne recipe includes extra grated vegetables in the "meat" sauce, a layer of ricotta cheese, a layer of spinach and some grated parmesan on top.

 Cheese and mushroom pasta

Fennel and Mandarin Salad

- find the fennel salad recipe on the salads page (click above for the link)

Cheesy mushroom pasta

- this is not a healthy dish... as you will see by the end of the recipe... we'll call it an "occasional" dish.

200g of pasta (I used spaghetti above)
1 tablespoon of butter (consider replacing with olive oil)
400g of mushrooms - washed and sliced
2 spring onions- all sliced
100g of parmesan -grated
100g of mozarella -grated/shredded
200ml of pouring cream
handful of parsley, chopped.
salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta until al dente in a pot of boiling water with a teaspoon of salt. Drain and set aside.

In a large non-stick wok on medium heat melt the butter and saute the mushrooms and spring onions until the mushrooms reduce in volume. Add the cream and cheeses and allow to simmer until the sauce starts to thicken.

Season with salt and pepper, stir in the chopped parsley, followed by the cooked pasta. Continue to toss the pasta in the wok until the pasta is well coated in the sauce.

Serve with a salad, to add a bit of healthiness to this dish! I decrease the amount of cream in this dish with every trial... I wonder if low fat milk may even work.

Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli

coming soon...


Cheese and Spinach Filo

coming soon..



I love making pizza!... mainly because this means I can use whatever toppings I want!
It's sooo boring to eat "vegetarian" pizza all the time. Usually, I do the quick/cheat method... by the pre-made pizza base, or use a flat-bread, slather it with "pizza sauce" such as Leggo's and then top with whatever I feel like.

However, if you do want to make a proper pizza from scratch... here are my favourites.

Pizza Dough

-This is a variation from the recipe in my favourite cookbook - "The world vegetarian cookbook".

225g of wholemeal flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 sachet of dried yeast (usually 7g)
1 tablespoon olive oil
200ml of water at room temparature (microwave for 10seconds if you live in a cold climate)
extra flour for kneading

In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and yeast. Add the olive oil and then slowly pour in the water while mixing. As soon as the mixture has formed a soft, sticky dough, stop pouring in water.

Knead the dough on a well-floured surface until it is not sticky anymore. Form a ball and then flatten/roll out to form a pizza shape - adjust the size according to the size of oven tray/pizza tray you have. Leave in a warm place while preparing toppings.


The base =Tomato paste
                   +  Mixed italian herbs (dried basil, oregano, parsley)

Variation 1-
Bocconcini -sliced into thin circles
garlic - minced.
large ripe tomatoes - sliced similarly into circles
fresh basil - torn apart
topped with freshly cracked black pepper and finely shredded parmesan

Variation 2 -
finely sliced red onion
finely sliced mushroom
diced pineapple (canned variety)
shredded soy ham/bacon
sprinkle of crushed red chilli
topped with shredded mozarella and parmesan

Variation 3 -
soy sausages - thinly sliced
red capsicum - thinly sliced
mushrooms - sliced
diced red onion
top with shredded mozarella, parmesan and a sprinkle of allspice


Lightly oil a baking/pizza tray and lay the pizza dough over this. Prick the surface of the dough all over with a fork.
Spread a layer of tomato paste thinly over the dough, and sprinkle with mixed herbs. Layer your toppings over this - spreading ingredients out evenly, cheese on top. Don't make too thick a layer of toppings, or else your dough may not bake properly underneath. Adjust the toppings according to your own tastes... that's the beauty of home-made pizza!

Bake at 200degreesC for approximately 30-45minutes depending on your toppings. The pizza is ready when the dough looks crisp and the toppings look melted/dried/browning.

Note: If you like your pizza bread crisp, try baking the bread separately for a few minutes (until just browning), before spreading over with toppings.

Mmmmmm... I'm starving now!

Comment Form is loading comments...
Make a Free Website with Yola.