It is that time of the year again, Christmas is around the corner and with it brings preparations for a big feast. What shall we serve this time for our Christmas dinner or lunch? Of course there are the traditional recipes, but why not give something new and different a try, especially when it is a delicious and healthy choice as well!
In a previous post I explained the health benefits of a whole food plant-based diet in helping to prevent and cure our most common chronic diseases. This knowledge is based on solid research conducted on people and is not based on theories only. In short, the more plant-based we eat and the less animal products we consume, the better our health will be. An added bonus is being able to control weight in a much easier, healthy and sustainable way, without calorie-restriction and portion-control.
So why not try this recipe from The Engine 2 Diet, by Rip Esselstyn:
Sweet Potato & Vegetable Lasagna
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 8 ounces (230 gram) mushrooms, sliced
- 1 head broccoli, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 red capsicums, seeded and chopped
- 1 (15 ounce = 425 gram) can corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 (12 ounce = 340 gram) package firm tofu
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (be careful, can get spicy)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 2 (25 ounce = 710 gram) jars vegan pasta sauce (I used more)
- 2 (14 ounce = 400 gram) boxes whole grain lasagna noodles (I used
- spelt lasagna)
- 16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained (I used more)
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
- 6 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
- 1 cup raw cashews, ground (I used less)
- Pre-heat oven to 200° C.
- Sauté the onion and garlic on high heat for 3 minutes in a wok or nonstick pan in a little water [no oil!]. Add the mushrooms and cook until the onions are limp and the mushrooms give up their liquid. Transfer to a large bowl with a slotted spoon to reserve the mushroom liquid in the pan.
- Sauté the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes in same pan. Transfer to the bowl with mushrooms.
- In the same pan, sauté the capsicums and corn until just beginning to soften. Add them to the vegetable bowl.
- Drain the tofu by wrapping in paper towels. Crumble it directly in the towel and mix into the vegetable bowl. Add spices to the vegetable bowl and combine.
- To Assemble: Cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch (= 23×33 cm) casserole with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles with sauce. This way the noodles cook in the oven, saving time and energy. Spread the vegetable mixture over the sauced noodles. Cover with a layer of noodles and another dressing of sauce. Add the spinach to the second layer of sauced noodles. Cover the spinach with the mashed sweet potatoes. Add another layer of sauce, the final layer of noodles, and a last topping of sauce. Cover the lasagna with thinly sliced roma tomatoes.
- Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil, sprinkle with the cashews, and return to the oven for 15 minutes.
- Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Sweet potatoes are packed with cancer-fighting beta-carotene and contain more than 100 percent of your recommended intake of vitamin A, which is important for bone growth and vision! It is a good source of potassium and dietary fiber. Garlic and onions are from the Allium family with very high cancer fighting properties; the same applies to broccoli, a member of the Cruciferous family. This dish provides many proteins, vitamins and health promoting phytonutrients without the overload of calories, fats and artery damaging ingredients.
A special thanks to Heleen Roex-Haitjema, MD, for this recipe. Heleen is a Food for Life Instructor, through PCRM in Washington DC, based in Adelaide. For more information or personal guidance in the transition to a plant-based lifestyle you can contact Heleem via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org