Vegan Sweet Potato Lasagna

Sweet potatoes are on my short list of amazing greatness in the food category. My favorite kind of sweet potato is the Japanese variety. It has a yellow flesh, a dry texture, and the flavor of Italian chestnuts. Japanese sweets are delicious in this recipe, but any sweet potato will do. The combination of sweet potatoes, marinara, and noodles is ridiculously satisfying, and shockingly surprising to omnivores in this vegan sensation of an entree. This recipe could possibly change your life and the lives of those around you.

Think ahead and if you can, roast the sweets while cooking other things in the oven to get the maximum usage of your BTUs and save time when putting the lasagna together.

splasagna

Prep time: 20 to 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hours, 10 minutes, plus roasting sweet potatoes

Serves 8 to 10

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 small onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces mushrooms (any kind), finely diced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh
2 bay leaves
24-ounce jar marinara sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon light-colored vinegar
1 cup water
3 roasted sweet potatoes, peeled and cooled 
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
16-ounce package lasagna noodles (traditional or no-boil)
roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs or Nu Cheeze 
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and sauté onion, garlic, mushrooms, red pepper, carrot, celery, thyme, and bay leaves until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add marinara, sugar, vinegar, and water and stir to combine. Move to the back burner and simmer over low heat. While it simmers, lightly mash sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, but don’t use more than called for.

After about 15 minutes, remove sauce from heat. Assemble lasagna by scantily covering the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan with 1/2 cup sauce. Next, lay out a row of noodles edge to edge in a single layer. Evenly drop about half of the mashed sweet potatoes in large spoonfuls over the noodles; do not spread. Drop 1 cup sauce in spoonfuls, add a second layer of noodles, and press down gently until sauce oozes through the noodle layer. Add remaining sweet potatoes, then 1 1/2 cups sauce and a third layer of noodles. Spread remaining 1 cup sauce over the top. Cover lasagna with thinly sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle breadcrumbs or Nu Cheeze on top and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Cover with foil and bake for 60 minutes, removing foil at 40 minutes to brown the top. The lasagna is done when a knife inserted in the very middle slides in and out easily, ensuring cooked noodles. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy and think about what your life was like before sweet potato lasagna.

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White Beans and Greens Soup – Deliciously Vegan

I love bean soup in any variety, but this is without a doubt my all time favorite. This delicious and classic recipe makes a hearty portion for sharing with friends or freezing and is guaranteed to satisfy.  Invite your friends over, feed them soup. Spread love.bean sparkle

Prep time: 30 minutes, plus overnight soaking

Cooking time: About 2 hours
Serves 8 to 12 (about 3 quarts)

Ingredients 

1 pound dried white beans, picked over and soaked overnight in 4 quarts of water, then rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cider or rice wine vinegar

4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried, divided

4 bay leaves, divided

6 cups vegetable stock

1 teaspoon celery seed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups onion, diced

4 carrots, diced

6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 cup white wine

2 cups tomato sauce (unseasoned) or diced tomatoes

1 bunch kale, cleaned and ripped into small pieces, ribs removed

1 teaspoon sugar

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place beans in large stockpot and cover with cold water by about 2 inches.
Add 1 tablespoon vinegar, 2 sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until beans are soft, 30 to 60 minutes depending on the size of your beans (refer to the package directions). Pour into colander to drain, then return beans to stockpot. Add enough stock to cover, along with the remaining bay leaves, thyme, and celery seed, and return to a simmer.Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet and sauté the onion, carrots, garlic, and celery over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the mirepoix
of vegetables to the stockpot. Deglaze the skillet with white wine, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until wine reduces by half, about 8 minutes; add to the stockpot along with tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add kale and cook another 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon each vinegar and sugar. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add salt and pepper to taste.Puree a portion of the soup or smash beans with a large spoon to thicken the soup, or leave it brothy if you prefer.

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