March 13, 2014 • Whitney
Clean Cleanse: Week 2 Recap + Vegetable Lasagna
Yes. You read that correctly. I made a CLEAN lasagna with the help of the clean cleanse blog. Of course I found a way to work pasta into the cleanse, you didn’t think I’d converted completely, did you? But fear not, I didn’t break the cleanse with this lasagna as you will see in the recipe below.
Recapping week 2 – this will be much shorter than last week’s as the week continued on much like week 1. This week the temptation for me was more alcohol than food. I had a pretty hard week and I really wanted a glass of wine at the end of the [every] day. However, I resisted. Mostly for fear of shaming myself to everyone at work and all my friends if I broke the cleanse, but still. I also had the strong urge to just pig out on something. You know when you eat way too much pizza, chinese food, ice cream, anything and you feel horrendous afterward but you just couldn’t stop yourself from pigging out? I missed that this week! Sick and twisted but I did. I’m not much to dive into emotions with anyone, let alone the general public, but I realize that drinking and feasting on bad foods would have just been covering up dealing with my real feelings. I know that but most of the time I don’t care. I don’t want to have self control, I just want the instant gratification. I don’t think the cleanse will change that for me…but just an observation.
I still feel great. Energy level is up and I just feel much lighter. I thought I’d be in a horrible mood for the entirety of the cleanse because of the lack of coffee + booze, but I’ve been in a fine mood! Probably more chipper than usual, in fact. Hopefully that will stay in week 3 as I finish off the cleanse. I have to admit, I am very much looking forward to a huge iced coffee as soon as I am done.
On to the recipe: Clean Vegetable Lasagna. I was pretty skeptical of this “cashew cream” cheese substitute, but since this was the only clean approved pasta dish, I knew I had to give it a try. Thank God I did because this dish was amazing I made extra cashew cheese and I have been dipping carrots in it like it’s hummus. It’s ADDICTING. I would make this dish while not on the cleanse in an instant. I was also skeptical of these brown rice lasagna noodles as I’ve tried whole wheat pasta and been less than impressed. The noodles were surprisingly good and the texture wasn’t too far from real pasta. Just make sure you cook them as the package directs. They’re more sensitive than normal pasta. The flavor of this lasagna is so perfect – you will just have to trust me and try it out. Feel free to sub in any vegetables you have on hand as I did. The dish is versatile so you could even add in meat if you’re so inclined. The only hard part is not devouring the entire pan in one sitting. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t strongly consider that option.
- ¼ cup or more coconut oil (split between mushrooms and spinach/onion pans) – I used olive oil
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms (white, crimini, shiitake, chicken of the woods) – I don’t love mushrooms, so I used roasted root veggies I already had cooked
- 1 large portobello mushroom – same as above
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- ½ pound spinach
- 1 box gluten free lasagna noodles (we like Tinkyada brown rice noodles)
- enough water to cook noodles
- pinch of sea salt
- For the Cashew Sauce:
- 1 ½ cups cashews
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 large garlic clove
- water as needed
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Bring enough water to cover the noodles with several inches over the top) to a boil with a pinch of sea salt. Cook the noodles according to direction on the package. When tender but slightly al dente, drain and set aside. If you do this well in advance of the rest of the steps, be sure to toss the noodles with a little olive oil to prevent them from sticking to each other while they sit.
- Clean and slice the mushrooms thin. Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. Add some coconut oil, and in batches, sauté the mushrooms until tender and lightly browned. Continue until all the mushrooms are cooked. Set aside.
- Heat another pan with coconut oil and sauté the onions until soft, then add the spinach and cook until just wilted. Set aside.
- Prepare the cashew sauce by blending the ingredients until a smooth, creamy consistency is reached, using water to help thin in out to desired consistency. Remember, it has to be spreadable so if it’s too thick, it’ll rip the noodles and won’t spread.
- Assemble the lasagna in a square baking dish. I used a 9″x9″.
- Begin by spreading a little cashew sauce on the bottom of the dish, then add a layer of noodles.
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped thyme. sea salt, and black pepper.
- Spread a thin layer of cream sauce over the noodles then top with the cooked mushrooms and onion and spinach mixture.
- Repeat this pattern of steps until you run out of ingredients. To make it easier when slicing, alternate the direction of the lasagna noodles as you build the lasagna.
- Place in the middle of the oven and cook until warmed through, about 20 minutes.
- Serve warm, but it’s also delicious as cold next-day leftovers!
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