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Mexican Vegetarian Lasagne with Silver Beet & Sweet Potato Layers

Brought to you by Tanya Edwards

This recipe was first created as I stood in my kitchen and wondered what on earth I could make that was tasty and healthy with the ingredients I had left over from my last shop.  I scratched my head as I considered a possible recipe that included silver beet, sweet potato, and ingredients for a chili bean dish.

As someone that experiments a great deal with different ingredients, there are often times when best intentions do not creatively come together where taste is concerned and then there are times when a tasty new recipe is born.  This was one of those times and I am happy to say that it is a wonderful option for those seeking plant-based meal choices that are tasty and nutritious for the health-conscious individual.

It is also very easy to make with minimal chopping and preparation required and with most of my clients being time poor, this is crucial.

As a naturopath, I love silver beet for its rich nutrient content.  Like many leafy green vegetables, silver beet is dense in minerals and vitamins including magnesium, non-heme iron, calcium, Vitamin K, zinc, potassium, Vitamin A, C & E.  It is packed full of fibre and important antioxidants such as alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and choline.

I often support clients who wish to make the transition to a vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian diet.  I am always delighted when people seek experienced advice for this dietary change as it can be easy to forget the important of protein and other important nutrients when reducing animal food sources.  I have several educational blogs that provide support on this subject.  Click here for advice on nutrients you might be missing on a vegan or vegetarian diet and here for guidance on plant based proteins to add to your meals.

Legumes are a wonderful plant based protein choice and kidney beans are one of my favourites.  Proteins are the building blocks for your muscles, bones, organs, skin, enzymes and much more.  In addition, protein is important for managing energy throughout the day and keeping blood sugar levels balanced.

Kidney beans are not only a good source of protein but are high in fibre, minerals such as calcium, zinc and selenium, and vitamins, particularly B vitamins.

I use orange sweet potato in place of pasta sheets in this recipe as sweet potato is a real food, not a processed food and this increases the nutritional value and overall health benefits of this dish.

Making lasagne is always tricky when it comes to perfecting the correct amount of ingredients as many of us have different sized lasagne dishes that we use.  I tend to use a dish that is deeper and shorter for this recipe however you will soon get an understanding of what you need after you give this recipe a try and any left over ingredients can be used to make a yummy bowl for another meal.

My dish is 22 cm wide, 30 cm long and 8 cm deep.  Any leftover chili, we eat separately on toast or with a dollop of mashed avocado on top or with some brown rice.  Chili beans is such a versatile dish!

I use lactose free cheese for all of my cheese recipes due to a personal food intolerance, however you may decide on your own cheese choice for this recipe or even go without diary entirely.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of cold pressed olive oil
  • 2 brown onions, finely diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 medium orange sweet potato, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 bunch silver beet, stems removed
  • 225 grams of shredded lactose free cheddar cheese
  • 3 large tablespoons of Tomato paste
  • 2 x 400-gram cans of organic diced tomatoes
  • 2 x 420-gram cans red kidney beans, strained and washed thoroughly
  • 1 ½ cups of organic vegetable stock
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • A few handfuls of grated cheese

Method

Preheat your oven to 180° C Conventional heat or 160° Fan forced.

Place your thinly sliced sweet potato on baking paper lightly sprayed with olive oil spray and bake for 20 minutes or so.  This makes them a little softer.

Put Silver beet in a steamer and steam for 5-10 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and cook until translucent.  Then add all herbs and stir for a few minutes until fragrant.

Now add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes and kidney beans.

Add vegetable stock let simmer for 1 ½ hours adding little bits of water if mixture becomes too dry.

Spread a layer of chili bean mixture (one third) over the base of your lasagne dish.

Sprinkle half the cheese and then add a layer of finely sliced sweet potato.  I only have one layer of sweet potato in this recipe.  You can play around with layers you like once you get the hang of it.

Spread half of the steamed silver beet over the sweet potato and then another layer of chili bean mixture (one third).

Spread the other half of the silver beet on top and then add the final third of your chili bean mixture.

Cover with alfoil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove alfoil from dish, sprinkling another small handful of the grated cheese on top of the bean mixture and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Sit for 10 minutes.

Serve on its own or with mashed avocado, lemon juice and coriander on the side and enjoy!

About the Author

Tanya Edwards FOUNDER | NATUROPATH AdvDip (Naturopathy) + BHSc (Naturopathy)

Tanya is Founder of Performance in Health Wellbeing Clinic, which was awarded the Clinic of the Year for the national ATMS Natural Medicine Awards in 2021. Her commitment to a holistic health model has been instrumental in the success of her clinic which offers not only naturopathic support to the community but mental health practitioner support also.  This way both mind and body are always the focus.

Tanya is known for her thorough approach to her treatment plans and for providing large corporate clients and their employees with education around health & wellbeing.  In addition to her career as a naturopath, Tanya has lived the life of many of her clients. First, as a busy financial services professional, then as a founding owner of a boutique professional services firm in Sydney CBD.  It was in this capacity that Tanya worked closely with business leaders and was instrumental in supporting industry changes related to female executives who wanted to secure senior part-time positions whilst also having valuable time for family. Her passion for helping others balance career, family and health further developed from here.

She has also experienced life with chronic health concerns and knows what it feels like to not feel 100%, yet still push herself to deliver in all aspects of her life. And it’s something she knows is not sustainable. It’s this lived experience, combined with her specialist Naturopathic training, which propels her forward to improve the lives of her clients.