Polenta and Eggplant Lasagna

I think everyone can agree that lasagna is a time honoured dish that can please a crowd at a fancy dinner party or just any week night meal with the family. The problem with traditional lasagna ( for me at least) is the cheese and pasta. So after some searching the internet for some alternative lasagna recipes (thanks Pinterest!) I came across some that made use of polenta, which I just so happened to have in the cupboards begging to be used. 
 
Polenta is one of those foods that are either thought of as being something fancy served at a French restaurant with duck, or goose and infused with flavours like lemon and saffron ( this actually sound delicious to me and I may have to make it one day) or completely overlooked in the grocery store aisles. 
 
Even I have been overlooking the tube of polenta I had in the cupboard for the period of time between the time I bought it and today, which was around a month, luckily polenta that is sealed in its tube has a long shelf life. It finally came to the point that I either use it or let it go, otherwise the tube would just sit in my cupboard taking up space and collect dust. 
 
If you are trying to be more adventurous and creative in the kitchen I recommend you pick up a tube of polenta at your local grocery store and experiment with it, polenta really has few limitations with what can be done with it. It can be used in the following recipe, as mini pizza crusts, cut into strip and baked as fries, or served creamy and smooth in place of rice or potatoes, the skies the limit! 
 
The cheese part of lasagna was much easier to combat as soy cheese is readily available in my grocery store, and making cashew cream is simple. I know that there recipes floating around the internet that helps you to make your own non-dairy ricotta/cottage cheese but I personally have yet to try my hand at making my own cheese and so when with another alternative to the ricotta mixture traditionally used. If you do decide to make your own cheese let me know how you get on as I really am interested by the process. 
 

You should feel happy to make this for your own family knowing it is chock full of vegetables and sure to fill anyones appetite. 

 
 
 
 
Polenta and Eggplant Lasagna
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 Servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tube of polenta cut into ¼ inch rounds
  • 1 medium eggplant cut into ¼ inch rounds
  • 1 pound ground bison ( or other protein such as beef, turkey, chicken, lentils, tofu)
  • 5 mushrooms, chopped small
  • 2 unpacked cups of kale
  • 1 jar tomato sauce or homemade sauce ( I cheated and used Classico Tomato and Basil Sauce)
  • 2-3 tbsp toffuti cream cheese ( or regular cream cheese)
  • ½ cup cashew cream ( see note)
  • ¼ soy mozzarella cheese (or regular mozzarella cheese), shredded
  • 1 egg (or equivalent)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread eggplant rounds on baking sheet and lightly brush with olive oil. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. This step is not needed if you prefer your eggplant more on the chewy side, doing a twice bake makes the eggplant creamy.
  3. Combine cream cheese, cashew cream and egg in small bowl.
  4. Cook bison and mushroom on stovetop. Add sauce and mix to combine.
  5. Take eggplant out of the oven and lower heat to 350 degrees.
  6. Spread some of the meat sauce on bottom of casserole dish.
  7. Place enough polenta rounds to cover bottom, slightly overlapping each other.
  8. Spread the cheese mixture onto of polenta.
  9. Place eggplant on top, overlapping slightly.
  10. Place kale on top of eggplant.
  11. Next place more cheese mix.
  12. Lay another layer of polenta.
  13. Continue layering until all ingredients are used except for a few spoonfuls of sauce and the mozzarella cheese.
  14. Add a last layer of sauce and spread mozzarella cheese on top.
  15. Cover dish with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes, take off tinfoil and bake for another 15 minutes.
  16. Let sit on stove top for 5-10 minutes, then serve ( I recommend a simple side salad to complete the meal).
Note: Cashew cream is really easy to make, just take a handful or two of raw cashews, a cup of water and 2 tbsp nutritional yeast(optional) in a blender and blend until smooth.
PS: Sorry the pictures are not that great, I didn’t realize my camera was dying until after I cut into the lasagna.
Enjoy!
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