Anyone else have a major case of the Mondays? As I'm writing this Sunday night, I can already feel a serious attack brewing. Scott and I spent the weekend with eight of our dearest Columbia friends on Fripp Island, a pretty little coastal island in the South Carolina lowcountry. Y'all, it is so pretty out there. I have a soft spot for little rural towns, especially ones that have adorable little roadside produce stands and scenic marsh views.
We ate lots of yummy seafood (including this shrimp burger from the famous Shrimp Shack), stayed up way too late, and listened to Hungry Eyes at least 17 times...don't ask.
But now it's back to reality! Spent Sunday afternoon doing some cooking and shopping for the week. On the menu - this vegan Mexican lasagna! It uses tortillas in lieu of lasagna noodles, enchilada sauce for tomato sauce, and tempeh stands in for meat.
If you’ve never cooked with tempeh before, it’s made with soy beans, just like tofu, but has a meat-like texture when you crumble it up. I love it in this dish with creamy sweet potatoes, which provide a “cheesy” texture.
Vegan Mexican Lasagna with Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes
5 cups peeled sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 red onion, finely chopped, divided
8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
2 14-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
9 corn tortillas, cut in half
Chopped fresh cilantro, avocado, and hot sauce, for serving
Place a steamer basket over a small pot of boiling water. Add sweet potatoes, cover and steam 10-12 minutes until fork tender.
Meanwhile, make tempeh "meat" sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot on medium-high heat. Add 1/2 the chopped red onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add crumbled tempeh, cumin and oregano and saute 2 minutes. Set aside 1 cup of tomato sauce then pour the rest into the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes until flavors are melded. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
After potatoes have steamed, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add remaining red onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off heat and carefully add sweet potatoes to the skillet. Using a potato masher, mash together the sweet potatoes and sauteed vegetables to make a thick puree. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1/2 cup plain tomato sauce at the bottom of a large casserole dish. Layer 3 of the halved tortillas over the bottom to mostly cover. Top with 1/2 the sweet potato mash and 1/2 the tempeh sauce. Top with another layer of 3 halved tortillas. Top with remaining sweet potato mash and tempeh sauce. Top with another 3 halved tortillas. Spread remaining 1/2 cup plain tomato sauce over the top.
Place casserole in the oven and bake 30 minutes until lightly golden and bubbly. Serve garnished with sliced avocado, cilantro and hot sauce.
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