Looking for a yummy, vegan side dish for Thanksgiving this year? This Vegan Apple Sweet Potato Lasagna might be what you’re looking for.
It feels as though Fall has only begun with this strange, warm weather that’s lingering, but I don’t care, I’m still making hearty, warm dishes, with all that good Fall stuff. Speaking of Fall stuff, you can imagine the bounty of apples there are at the farmers markets in New England, and lucky for me, this past Monday, I was given a hefty bag of apples from Hutchins Farm, “organic since 1973”.
To cook with local ingredients is to literally taste the land around us. Eating these apples gives me warm feelings when I connect the smiles of the farmers with the lovely, perfectly imperfect fruits and veggies they produce; yeah, you know you’re eating real food when it doesn’t look like it belongs in a bowl for display. All apples are lovely, worm holes and all.
On my way home from the farmers market on Monday, I started brainstorming different recipes that I could use the apples in, and since I am very determined to present the best, healthy food blog that I can, I wanted to keep the ideas original, but simple. When the idea of a vegan lasagna popped in my head, I got really excited, and started thinking of other ingredients to use in this recipe.
We all know how well apples do in the oven, and since I had some sweet potatoes that needed to get used up, I decided to include them as well. I used local onions from a very nice man named Michael, who sells produce on Atwells from time-to-time. Since my boyfriend works at the Providence Oyster Bar, I have a drink on the hill with him once in a while, so it was a lucky night to be out that night. I love caramelized onions, so I decided to include them in the lasagna.
Growing up, I ate a lot of Italian meals, and lasagna was a specialty my family enjoyed often. My favorite part was always the cheese. Even though I work for a great, local cheese company, I can’t help but be curious about how to make a healthy, cheese-like product, and as seen in food media today, cashews are a leading ingredient in vegan cheese. To add even more flavor (and because I love it) I decided to add some roasted garlic.
I’ll have to experiment with making a molded cashew cheese, as you can see, what I made is more of a cheese spread, but, I was very happy with the flavor. I added some fresh thyme, and plenty of cracked pepper as well.
When I was ready for lasagna production, I was really hungry, so I threw it together in not the prettiest way, but I’m telling you, the flavors mingle so good together. I put the roasted garlic cashew spread into a piping bag to make things a little easier, but if you don’t have a piping bag, feel free to use a plastic bag.
The pattern I chose to follow was sweet potato, cashew spread, onion, kale, apple, repeat.
I thought I only had thyme, but when I searched through my dried herbs plate, I found a little sage left, so I topped the lasagna with that, because, I love sage with apples, and, I love it in general.
Getting the lasagna to cooperate when I dished it up was challenging, but it was done. I scarfed down a tiny piece and didn’t give myself enough time before I scarfed down a second; I was too full, but oh well.
Apple Sweet Potato Lasagna
A perfect comfort food meal for fall.
- 2 apples sliced thin
- 2 sweet potatoes sliced thin, longways
- 2 kale leaves sliced thin
- 1/2 onion sliced thin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup cashews
- 2 garlic cloves, roasted
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 tbsp almond milk
Preheat the oven to 375. Roast the garlic in some olive oil salt and pepper for about 15 minutes.
For the caramelized onions, heat the oil in a small pan, add the onions, and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat, and continue cooking for about 15 minutes.
Blend all ingredients together for the cashew cheese. Put into a piping bag, or put into a plastic bag and cut one of the corners.
Stack the lasagna by doing apples first, followed by sweet potato, cashew cheese, caramelized onions, and kale.
Bake in the over for about 40 minutes.