Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Vegan Mexican Lasagna (Including Gluten-Free Version)

Vegan Mexican Lasagna
When you think lasagna, we typically think Italian. But we can change it up from time to time and mix and match flavors. With any number or fillings and vegan cheeses, you can have a different one whenever you want. In some cases you can be creative and make it gluten free, great for anyone that likes gluten free, wants to try it, or making it for a loved one, this is your lasagna. This recipe shows you how to take that typical lasagna and turn it into a fiesta of flavors and colors. With lots of textures and different goodies in the filling, you are sure to want seconds. Made gluten-free or regular, you are sure to have a treat for any occasion and for any member of the family. Perfect for parties, Sunday dinner, and/or a weeknight meal. Serve it along side a fresh garden salad, your favorite bread, and maybe a glass of vegan wine for the adults. You are now prepared to celebrate any moment in your lives, big or small with this recipe. Enjoy!

Vegan Mexican Lasagna
(Including Gluten-Free Version)

Ingredients

-1 Tablespoon oil (1/2 to cook filling & grease dish) + more to drizzle on top of lasagna
-1 14 to 15oz can stewed tomatoes, lightly chopped. with juice
-1 14 to 15oz can organic black beans
-1 cup organic corn, fresh or frozen
-2 cups fresh organic red bell pepper, thinly sliced
-1 cup fresh organic green bell pepper. thinly sliced
-3 garlic cloves (medium sized), minced
-1 cup onion, diced 
-1/2 Tablespoon Parsley, dried  
-1/3 cup fresh cilantro
-1 teaspoons chili powder
-1 1/2 to 2 cups vegan cheese (I used Mozzarella Shreds)
-1 to 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
-1 teaspoon Salt
-Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
-Pinch Cayenne pepper (powdered)
-1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles, undrained
-1 package vegan-gluten free Lasagna noodles (regular for none gluten)
-5 to 6 cups homemade vegan chile con queso (Recipe Below)
-6 small gluten free corn tortillas (regular can be used)

Optional Add-ins

*If you want to make the recipe gluten-free you can skip the vegan chicken and add extra of your veggies and/or gluten-free tofu.*

-1 package (4 cutlets) vegan chicken cutlets, thawed and chunked (was used in this recipe)
-Slice Mushrooms
-Zucchini and/or squash
-Gluten-Free Tofu
-Favorite veggies

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 Degrees

Prepare a casserole baking dish by greasing it lightly.

Prepare your veggies and herbs according to the ingredient list.

For Filling

In a saute pan with oil, heat to medium-high heat. Add in your prepared chopped/sliced/minced veggies and add to the saute pan.

Sauteing Veggies
Once the mixture cooks for about 8 to 10 minutes or onions are translucent. Add in your chiles.

Add Chiles
Mix to combine in the chiles and continue to add your remaining ingredients one by one until combined.

Chopped Cilantro
Add Seasonings
(Cumin, Chili Powder, Salt/Pepper, Cayenne)

Add Beans
Add Stewed Tomatoes
Once all your ingredients have been added to the saute pan, mix to combine them all. Cover the mixture and let it cook on medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until veggies have softened and the mixture stews.

Combined Mixture
Stewed Filling
For Lasagna

Cook your lasagna noodles according the package directions for al dente. Same goes for the gluten-free pasta as well, it has specific instructions different from the regular pasta you may buy.

Cooking Pasta
Cooked Pasta
Ladle 1/2 of the sauce into a casserole baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. 

Saucing the Baking Dish
Then add the layers as follows:

4 to 5 cooked lasagna sheets and 2 to 3 tortillas (gluten-free used here) slightly overlapping to ensure the lasagna stays secure. 


Top the pasta, add half the filling on this layer.


On top of the filling, add on 1/2 cup of the frozen or fresh corn. Don't worry, the corn will cook in the oven with the lasagna. Once the filling has been added, add on another 1/2 to 1 cup vegan queso and distribute around.



Place another layer of 4 to 5 lasagna sheets and 2 to 3 tortillas slightly push down. 


Add the remaining sauce on top of the last pasta layer and spread to evenly distribute around the lasagna. 


Once you are done layering and the sauce is on top, you can add the shredded cheese, nutritional yeast, and remaining herbs sprinkled all over the top. When you place the remaining ingredients, the last thing you need to do is sprinkle a little salt and pepper around the cheese to taste. I also sprinkle with a little cumin and chili pepper powder (optional). Right before it goes in the oven drizzle with a little oil to help the cheese brown and melt evenly. 


Bake for 35 minutes covered, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted down. 

Baking Lasagna
Cooked Lasagna
After 35 minutes, remove the lid of the lasagna and on a low broil brown the top of the lasagna until cheese has browned slightly. This should take around 5 minutes depending on oven, do not walk away, you don't want it to burn or over brown.

Browned Lasagna
When the lasagna has cooked completely, take out of the oven and let it sit to cool slightly and rest to set up before cutting. Cut into pieces and serve with your favorite bread, a fresh garden salad, and maybe a nice glass of vegan wine. Store the rest of the lasagna in the fridge or store in individual containers in the freezer for future meals. Enjoy!


Outrageous Vegan Chile Con Queso Dip

Outrageous Vegan Chile Con Queso Dip

Ingredients

-3 Tablespoons vegan butter
-2 Tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour
-2 cups warmed vegan milk
-1/4 cup chopped cilantro
-5 cups grated vegan cheddar cheese
-1 cup grated jack or mozzarella cheese
-1 cup prepared organic vegan salsa (mild/medium/hot, your favorite can be use)

Optional
-2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup diced Jalapeno peppers (pickled) 

Directions
First off, shred your vegan cheese and set it aside for later use in the recipe. You can mix and match your cheeses and add anyone you like to customize your dip. 

Shredded Vegan Cheese
Melt the vegan butter in a medium-large saucepan over medium heat. 

Melting the Vegan Butter
Whisk the flour into the pan and cook for about 30 seconds. 

Flour Added
Slowly pour the warmed vegan milk into the pan while whisking, and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickens, about a couple minutes. If you do not warm the vegan milk beforehand, the mixture will not turn out smooth, the heat helps dissolve the flour away evenly.

Vegan Milk going in 
Smooth Sauce Base
Slowly add in the cheese a little at a time, stirring continuously. The cheese will take some time to smooth out. Reduce the heat to low, add in salsa and stir in to combine. 

6 Cups Vegan Cheese Blend
1 Cup Organic Vegan Salsa
Cheese Added, keep cooking
Cover the sauce with a lid, stirring occasional until it is completely melted. The mixture will take about 15 to 20 minutes to melt down. Once the mixture has melted completely, add in cilantro and optional jalapenos. 

*If you want it spicy, add jalapenos or leave out for mild. You can also seperate the dip at the end and make half spicy and half regular for family & friends.*

Ready to Serve Smooth Dip
Can be refrigerated and then reheated when you're ready to serve again or used for lasagna. Enjoy!

Ready to Serve Lasagna
-Amy