Looking For A Kick-Ass Vegan Lasagna?

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Well, if you are, you’ve come to the right place! Today was kind of an awesome day, one that was spent chopping, slicing and dicing to my heart’s content – thank you, Netflix! Just when you think you’ve already binged on every conscientious food documentary it has to offer, its “Because You Watched…” section always seems to plate up something new n’juicy.  And, although I somehow managed to miss the quite unassuming gem that is The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue from 2011, I think I couldn’t have caught up with it at a better time. Running at a very short and sweet 52 minutes (perfect commute/lunch hour viewing!), whole-food plant-based diet advocate and presenter, Rip Esselstyn, provides viewers with the best hands-on approach to the adoption of this lifestyle that I’ve seen. Working with two families keen to kick their conventional eating habits, he spends about a half-hour of on-screen time with each, giving practical advice on how to go about a weekly shop, and then, more importantly, how to cook up the bounty of herbage they’ve returned home with.

And it was at this juncture, my dear friends, where I witnessed the magic that was Rip’s preparation of the mouthwatering, Raise the Roof Sweet Potato Lasagna. Taking a very “bish, bash, bosh” /Jamie Oliver approach to its assembly – a style I absolutely love, and one, I think, which makes us all feel like we can be rockstars in the kitchen – I knew I had found my new go-to mid-week dish! Truthfully, I had been at a loss for the last couple of months since scrapping the old Sunday Shepard’s Pie whip-up, and this recipe fits the meal-prep bill just perfectly. Better still, now it’s just out of the oven, I can confirm that it also tastes exactly as it looks on camera – bloody delicious!

Pun possibly intended there, but what wasn’t was the extra sprinkling of nutritional yeast that I used as an add-on to Rip’s specified ground cashew topping. Mentioning in one of the film’s grocery sprees that it makes a nice parmesan substitute, I was dying to give it a go. Result = Spot On! Another quick tip on this – the veggie/tofu mixture makes a ton, so be sure to have a decent size Pyrex dish on hand to squish it all in. I spent the entire 60 minutes of its cook-time trying to cope with the unadulterated fear of a possible overflow, and a night spent not eating but cleaning. Happy to say, though, that the aluminum foil covering, as recommended, relieved me of that chore – which is perfect, as one of Rip’s books, “Plant-Strong” just arrived in the mail, and with another 150 life-saving recipes to sift through, I know where my time is more wisely spent!

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