You all know my recipe posts normally come on Friday, but I thought I would change it up a bit. Last night I jumped feet-first into the world of plant-based recipes.
Since I started my nutrition and wellness consulting company, I have been watching every documentary about food and nutrition that I can get my hands on. After watching Forks Over Knives I was intrigued by the health benefits associated with a plant-based diet. I started hearing more and more about this lifestyle change people were making, so I purchase Rip Esselstyn’s book, The Engine 2 Diet. No matter how good it sounded, I was certain that a life without meat and cheese was not the life for me. I LOVE bacon!
Let’s fast forward to last week when I saw Rip speak at Whole Foods. He was promoting his new book, My Beef with Meat. His case for a “plant strong” diet as he calls it was very compelling.
I decided I was going to take part in the Engine 2 Diet – 28 Day Challenge and begrudgingly my husband will too. I invited all of my Facebook followers to join us and I am inviting you as well! So far we have 11 people participating and I am hoping more come along!
Check out the event page here
You can get all the information you need to get started on the Engine 2 website. They provide a welcome video, shopping lists and recipes. One of the recipes is called Raise the Roof Sweet Potato Lasagna which I made last night for my southern father-in-law and carnivorous husband. If you have unadventurous eaters in your house, I would recommend telling them the ingredients after they eat. This is a healthy and fun dish filled with vitamins! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
The amount of vegetables in the recipe is enough to make two lasagnas. I would suggest cutting the chopped vegetable mixture quantity in half. Otherwise, you end up with too much. I froze the unused portion for a later date. I also only used one package of noodles.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 small head of garlic, all cloves chopped or pressed
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1 head broccoli, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 can corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 package Silken Lite tofu
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 2 jars Engine 2 approved pasta sauce
- 2 boxes whole grain lasagna noodles
- 16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
- 6 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
- 1 cup raw cashews, ground
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Sauté the onion and garlic on high heat for 3 minutes in a wok or nonstick pan.
Add the mushrooms and cook until the onions are limp and the mushrooms give up their liquid.
Remove them to a large bowl with a slotted spoon.
Reserve the mushroom liquid in the pan.
Sauté the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes and add to the mushroom bowl.
Sauté the peppers and corn until just beginning to soften. Add them to the vegetable bowl.
Drain the silken tofu by wrapping in paper towels. Break it up directly in the towel and mix into the vegetable bowl.
Add spices to the vegetable bowl and combine.
To assemble the vegetable lasagna :
Cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole with a layer of sauce.
Add a layer of noodles.
Cover the noodles with sauce. This way the noodles cook in the oven, saving time and energy.
Spread the vegetable mixture over the sauced noodles.
Cover with a layer of noodles and another dressing of sauce.
Add the spinach to the second layer of sauced noodles.
Cover the spinach with the mashed sweet potatoes.
Add another layer of sauce, the final layer of noodles, and a last topping of sauce. Cover the lasagna with thinly sliced roma tomatoes.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
Remove the foil, sprinkle with the cashews, and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Let lasagna sit for 15 minutes before serving.