Quorn ‘Meat’ Lasagne

One of my favourite meals to make, especially on a Sunday night is my Roasted Vegetable Lasagne however having made this quite a few times, I decided to try something different! As I’m not a great lover of meat (I spent about 10 years as a vegetarian before becoming allergic to nuts) I always prefer to cook and eat vegetarian meals where possible… This has, however, become increasingly difficult since following the low FODMAP diet. Most vegetarian alternatives contain the dreaded onion and garlic, or other high FODMAPs such as beans, pulses and mushrooms. The Quorn mince though is brilliant as it’s gluten and dairy free, and so easy to cook with. I happily replace meat with Quorn in a number of meals (see my Vegetarian Chilli). Of course, you can replace the Quorn with real mince if you’re a meat-fan, however if you haven’t tried Quorn, I definitely suggest you give it a go as you’d be surprised at how tasty it is, and guilt-free! I always feel bad about eating animals and the impact on the environment… But that’s another story (and the influence from my degree in Zoology)…

The recipe below is adapted from the one posted on the Quorn UK website (I went there as a starting point for inspiration) and adapted it to make my lasagne low FODMAP (gluten free and lactose free). I have included garlic infused oil and the green tips of spring onions in this recipe, however I’m still skeptical that the tips of spring onions are safe..! This recipe was made for two people (however there were leftovers of the meat sauce which I will use for an easy spag bol one night, or recreate the lasagne another day).

Ingredients
500g Quorn mince
1 tbsp garlic-infused oil
4 tips of spring onions finely chopped
390g chopped tomatoes
390g plum tomatoes (I chop the plum tomatoes into smaller pieces)
75g courgette finely chopped
3 tbsp red wine
1 vegetable stock cube (I used oxo as they contain very little wheat, and are free from onion, garlic & leek, however if you are coeliac you may need to use a suitable alternative)
2 tbsp mixed peppers finely chopped
2 tbsp oregano
handful of chopped basil leaves
salt and pepper
lasagne sheets (gluten/wheat free) – I used 7 sheets for two of us

For the roux sauce:
25g butter or margarine (I used a dairy free variety)
25g gluten free plain flour
300ml lactose-free milk
100g cheddar cheese grated (I used the Arla lactofree range)

Method
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6 or 200 degrees. Heat the garlic infused oil and fry off the peppers and courgette for 5 minutes. Add the Quorn mince (I used mine from frozen so this needs a little extra time), and fry until soft. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, plum tomatoes, oregano, wine and vegetable stock cube and simmer for around 10 minutes (or until the courgette softens). Remove from the heat and stir in the basil leaves.

In the meantime, prepare your roux sauce. Measure out the butter, flour and milk in a saucepan, and stir this continuously on a low heat. You must not stop stirring otherwise it will burn, or won’t thicken. Once it has thickened, remove from the heat, stir in most of the cheddar cheese (leaving a little to one side to sprinkle over the top of the lasagne – my favourite bit!) and season.

Now build your lasagne, I personally always put a layer of lasagne sheets first, followed by a tiny amount of roux sauce to spread over them (to ensure they soften). Next add a layer of the mince mixture over the lasagne sheets. Then add a layer of lasagne sheets, roux sauce, then another layer of mince, followed by a final topping of lasagne sheets and roux sauce! Sprinkle the surface with all the remaining cheese (if you’re a big fan of cheese, and not lactose intolerant, you could add some parmesan too!) Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and sizzling, and serve on it’s own, or with a light salad.

I hope you enjoy this lasagne as much as I did, it was a delicious and comforting meal, which was much needed the night before returning to work after having two weeks off. It’s also best served with a glass of the leftover red wine that you didn’t use in the recipe (I had a Chianti in the cupboard, probably a bit too nice to cook with, but it gave me an excuse to enjoy a glass with dinner!)

I’d love to know if you give this recipe a try, and what you think of it, so let me know in the comments or on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.

Alice x

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