How To Make Trini Vegetarian (Soya) Lasagna
This week's episode is for vegetarians looking for a tasty solution to their lasagna cravings:
Yield: 12 Portions
To Activate Minced Soya: 3½ cups water 2 tsp salt ¼ tsp black pepper ½ tsp paprika 2 tbsp green seasoning 16 oz pack of Cook’s Mate Minced Soya
For Minced Soya Filling: 3 tbsp of vegetable oil 2 tbsp of minced onions 1 tbsp of minced garlic ¼ cup of chopped celery ½ cup of chopped mushrooms 2 lbs of minced soya, swollen 3 tbsp of tomato paste 3 cups of bottled tomato sauce 2 tsp fresh thyme 3 tbsp fresh parsley 3 tbsp of freshly chopped basil Salt and black pepper to taste
For The Béchamel Sauce (Yield: 3 Cups): 2 tbsp of butter 2 tbsp of flour 2½ cups of milk ¾ cup of cheddar cheese Salt and black pepper to taste
For Lasagna: 16 boiled sheets of lasagna pasta ¼ cup of parmesan cheese ¾ cup of cheddar cheese 1/8 cup of breadcrumbs
To Activate Soya:
Place boiling water into a medium bowl. Add, salt, black pepper, paprika and green seasoning. Mix well then immediately add in soya to soak.
Stir to evenly distribute, cover and let sit for 15 minutes for minced soya to absorb the flavoured water and double in size.
Strain water and squeeze the minced soya in the palm of your hands to remove any additional moisture from it. It is important to remove as much water as possible during this process.
Place soya into a clean bowl and set aside.
For The Minced Soya Filling:
Place a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the oil followed by the onions, garlic and celery. Sauté for one minute until fragrant.
Add the mushrooms and cook for two minutes, followed by the soya and tomato paste. Sauté for three minutes then add the 3 cups of tomato sauce.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about ten minutes until flavours amalgamate and the sauce reduces to half its quantity. Then add the fresh thyme, parsley and basil. Season with salt and black pepper, stir and taste to your liking.
Remove pot from the stove and set aside the sauce in the chiller to cool.
For The Béchamel Sauce:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and swirl pan until melted. Immediately add the flour and with a whisk stir the flour and cook in the melted butter until it turns light blond in colour.
Add the milk and whisk to work out any lumps of flour and butter. Bring to a light simmer on low heat and when bubbles barely break the surface of the milk, add the cheese and whisk to allow it to melt.
Continue whisking and season with salt and black pepper to taste. The mixture should be thick, slightly cheesy and creamy.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a medium baking dish with oil.
Place a little of the minced soya filling on the bottom of the baking dish and spread out evenly.
Then lay 3 to 4 boiled lasagna sheets into the tray to create the first layer.
Add a few tablespoons of minced soya filling on top the pasta sheets, followed by a few tablespoons of béchamel sauce on top. Place another 3 - 4 sheets of pasta on top the béchamel sauce and continue this process to form 4 layers. Then drizzle some more of the minced soya filling sauce on top followed by shredded cheddar and parmesan cheese. Lastly, sprinkle the bread crumbs and place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes or until crispy on top.