Red Bean Lasagna

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Red bean lasagna offers a balance of grains, beans and vegetables typical of Ayurvedic and Mediterranean recipes. In addition it’s quick and easy as lasagnas go, and quite delicious. Enjoy a healthy comfort food this New Year.

Ingredients

Serves 6

  •  1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium zucchini, cubed in ½ “ pieces
  • 2 carrots, cubed
  •  14oz can organic whole peeled tomatoes
  •  2 15 oz. cans red kidney beans, drained
  •  2 heaped Tbsp. organic tomato purée
  • 1 tsp. mild chili powder
  • A few springs fresh rosemary and/or fresh sage
  •  ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • Natural mineral salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  •  8 oz lasagna (nine pieces of noodle for 9"x 12" dish
  •  Béchamel sauce (see below)
  • 12 oz. goat chèvre, cut in rounds
  •   2 oz. freshly grated parmesan or sheep pecorino

Method

  • Lasagna: Initially I used No Boil lasagna noodles. They are much easier to use, but the lasagna dish became drier than I had wanted. The No Boil noodles do soak up the moisture. In my most recent version of this recipe I used ordinary noodles and parboiled them. But after ending up with clumped noodles, I found the best method is to cook the noodles just three at a time and fish them out with a wooden spoon. Then lay them on a plate with waxed paper between. I cooked them al dente, which in Colorado was ten minutes but would probably be eight minutes at a lower elevation. You will need 2-3 noodles per layer, depending on the size of your pan. In the photo I actually used a 9"x9" pan but subsequently I have used a 9"x12" pan, which used a total of 9 lasagna noodles.
  • Set oven to 400’F.
  • Grease with ghee a casserole tin or glass dish 8”x 12” and at least 2.5” deep.
  • Heat oil in medium saucepan. Fry garlic for a few seconds. Add carrots and stir fry for a few minutes, Next Add zucchini and stir-fry.
  • Add tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon, then add red beans and herbs.
  •   Simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, until it thickens.
  • Meanwhile, make the béchamel (see below).
  •  Add tomato puree, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste
  • If using No Boil lasagna, rinse under cold water
  • Cover base of pan with lasagna, pour on a layer of béchamel, then half the bean mix.
  • Add another layer of lasagna, half the remaining béchamel and the rest of the bean mix.
  •  Top it off with lasagna, dot the chèvre over the top, pour on the rest of the béchamel and scatter the grated cheese on top.
  •   Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. Take the foil off for the last few minutes to top to turn golden brown.

Low- calorie béchamel

Ingredients

  • 5 Tbsp. cornflour
  • 1 qt. unsweetened almond milk
  •   1 bay leaf
  •  A few stalks flatleaf parsley
  •  1 .5Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  •  Natural mineral salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  •   Freshly-grated nutmeg to taste

Method

  •  Put the cornflour in a bowl and mix with a little of the almond milk.
  •   Bring the rest of the almond milk to a boil with the bay leaf and parsley.
  •  Pour the boiling milk over the cornflour mix, stirring well. Tip it all back in the pan and stir over moderate heat until it thickens.
  • Stir in the mustard and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Recipe adapted from Rose Elliot's Vegetarian Pasta