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Bush Tales

Vegan Sweet Potato, Spinach and Butternut Lasagna Recipe

Cooped up at home and missing the ‘lodge life’ on the banks of the Zambezi River? Soon you’ll be able to come to visit our luxurious lodge, in the meantime, we thought we’d share our vegan lasagna recipe so you can at least get a taste of the good life during quarantine. 

Thorntree Lodge’s wooden deck offers an all-encompassing view along and beyond the mighty Zambezi River. Surrounded by dimmed lanterns at sunset, frames the ideal dinner setting. Dining alfresco will never be the same after settling for the lodge’s dynamic menu. Catering for all preferences to make a safari trip an all-diet friendly adventure, Thorntree Lodge’s leading chefs’ endless options of wholesome and beautifully plated cuisine make it challenging to not entertain the offerings.  

Vegan Laqsagna African Bush Camps

 While many will first associate this Vegan Sweet Potato, Spinach and Butternut Lasagna with the day-to-day homely dish, the meal certainly delights those who are weary to opt for a no-meat plate while on safari. Made from fresh ingredients without the compromise of losing its creamy texture, the lasagna perfectly tops off a stretched day in the bush. Match its creamy profile with a chilled Chenin or even beer –  the dish’s ladder-topping rating will have you dish up seconds in no time. 

Restaurant Location: African Bush Camps Thorntree Lodge, Zambia 

Chef: Tawanda GS Gatawa 

Recipe: Vegan Sweet Potato, Spinach and Butternut Lasagna 

 Ingredients:

  • For the vegetables and tomato base - 
  • 1 kg spinach, roughly chopped 
  • 600g sweet potato, washed, peeled and thinly sliced, as widely sliced as you can (*tip: a mandolin slicer works well) 
  • 600g butternut, washed, peeled and sliced similarly like the  
  • 100g onion, finely chopped 
  • 500g tomato, roughly chopped 
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed 
  • 200g vegan parmesan cheese 
  • Olive oil for frying 
  • Salt and pepper  
  • 1 x vegetable stock cube 

 

For the vegan bechamel sauce –  

  • 6 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 4 Tbsp all purpose flour  
  • 2 cups soy milk  
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 3 sprigs thyme 

 

For the vegan cheese - 

  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes 
  • 4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped 
  • 5g garlic powder 
  • 5g onion powder 
  • 5g salt 
  • 45ml lemon juice 
  • 65ml extra virgin olive oil 
  • 125g nutritional yeast 

 

Methods: 

Vegetables: 

Blanch spinach for approximately 45 seconds in a deep stainless steel pot. Lower the heat, remove excess water and sauté for two minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Using a griddle, pan fry sweet potatoes and butternut until slightly darkened and set aside. 

 

Tomato Sauce: 

Fry garlic and onion in olive oil until the mixture is translucent. Add a vegetable stock cube, and stir until dissolved. Add tomato and simmer until tomato is cooked (about 20 minutes). 

Remove from heat and blend until the tomato mix is smooth. 

 

Vegan Bechamel  Sauce: 

Heat oil in skittle over medium heat. Add flour stirring vigorously. Add soy milk and continue whisking while adding the thyme sprigs. Ensure sauce shows a thickened, smooth texture with no clumps before removing from heat. 

 

Vegan Cheese: 

Boil potatoes and carrots together in a deep stainless steel pot until cooked. Remove from heat and add to a blender. Add all other ingredients for vegan cheese and blend until the cheese mix is smooth and thick 

Assemble the lasagna in a baking tray: place grease proof paper on the bottom and sides of a 30cm x 45cm x 5cm ovenproof casserole type dish. 

Layer sweet potatoes onto of each other, then spoon wilted spinach onto sweet potato layers. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. 

Spoon tomato sauce on the layering, followed by the bechamel sauce. Layer butternut on top and spread the vegan cheese. 

Repeat the process two more times. 

Do not add cheese on the last layer. Instead, place a grease proof paper on top. 

Cover small bricks with foil paper and place on top of the lasagna. Set in the fridge for two hours before baking. 

Set the oven at 180 degrees or gas level four. Bake the lasagna (leave the bricks on top) for one hour. 

Remove the bricks from the lasagna and add the remaining vegan cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and bake for a further 10minutes. 

Remove from the oven and let the casserole rest before portioning.