Purple food either scares people away or entices them.
Don’t let the colour scare you in the case of this yam. Its fierce colour belies its gentle flavour – it’s like a more mellow version of a sweet potato.
The purple yam (also called purple sweet potato in North America) comes from the tropical parts of Asia. And traditionally, it’s used in desserts like ice creams and cakes to give them a pretty lavender colour. In the Phillipines, it’s known as ube and eaten in the iced dessert halo halo.
A bundle of purple yams caught my eye at Chinatown, and I thought the purple would look so pretty in a lasagne with some mashed sweet potato I had in my freezer.
This super-simple vegetable lasagna is vegan friendly and very easy to make.
- 1 purple yam
- 1 sweet potato
- Whole-wheat lasagne sheets. You can really use any you like, but I try to go with whole-wheat. Or if you’re feeling adventurous or have loads of time, you can make your own.
- Daiya shredded mozzarella cheese (if you’re veggie or a meat-eater, normal shredded mozzarella is fine).
- 1 cup of almond milk (if you’re a veggie or a meat-eater, normal milk works well).
- ½ tbsp of nutmeg
- Spinach (any type you like or have handy).
- Cake tin to bake lasagne in.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/ 190 degrees Celsius.
- Cut your yam and potato into equal sized chunks for cooking. If you don’t cut them evenly, they won’t cook at the same rate.
- Bring two pots of water to the boil on your stove. If you use the same pot for both the vegetables, you may find yourself with some purple stained sweet potato chunks. The water after you boil the yam is very purple!
- You can also roast your veggies, if you want to use the roasted leftovers in meals. I have done this previously and the roasted veggies were nice in salads and easy to mash for this recipe. I preheated the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and roasted them for 40 minutes.
- If you are boiling your veggies, put your veggie chunks in the pots and return them to medium heat. You need to cook these like you would potatoes for mashing. So cook for about 20 minutes to ½ an hour, testing with a fork. You want them soft, but not so soft they fall apart when you pierce them.
- When the veggies are cooked, drain the water out, paper towel the pots dry, and return the veggie chunks to the pots on a low heat on the stove.
- Mash your veggies with a potato masher until they’ve reached your desired consistency. If they look too dry, you can use a dash of almond milk to make them creamier. If you really like your veggies to be pureed you can do them in your blender instead.
- At this stage, I put my mashed veggies into Tupperware containers so I can spoon out as much as I need and freeze the rest to use later in things like ravioli.
- Pour 1 cup of almond milk into a third pot and simmer over low-heat (it’s an easy recipe with not many ingredients, but it’s utensil intensive!).
- Rinse your spinach in a colander. If it’s baby spinach, it’s good to go once you’ve patted it dry with paper towels. If it’s normal spinach, you’ll want to roughly chop it.
- Once the almond milk is simmering, throw in 2-3 handfuls of Daiya cheese and stir through until it’s melted. Sprinkle in your nutmeg and stir through, then take off the heat.
- Using a cake tin, layer your lasagne: sheet, purple yam mash topped with almond milk and daiya cheese mixture spooned over the top, sheet, sweet potato mash topped with almond milk and Daiya cheese mixture spooned over the top, lasagne with milk and cheese mixture spooned over the top, and repeat until you’ve filled your cake tin completely.
- Cook for ½ hr to 45 minutes, depending on your oven. I check mine with a fork at the 30 minute mark – you want to make sure your lasagne sheets are nice and soft.
Servings: One small lasagne – about 4 good sized slices for dinner for a family. If you eat this on your own like me, it can freeze well for later meals.
Prep time: 1.5 hours.
You can connect with South Nomad, Jessica, over at Google+.