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At a close friend's wedding last week, I didn't have high hopes for the food, as, having told the waitress that I was a vegetarian, I was first brought a chicken dish to start, and when I politely refused, re-stating that I was a vegetarian, was then brought a chicken Caesar salad! As most vegetarians will know, this is an all-too common experience for the vegetarian diner.

However both myself & my vegetarian friend were both surprised by the deliciousness of the main course, a Carrot and Leek lasagne. So impressed, that I have spent the week trying to figure out the recipe. I think I finally cracked it today though! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

It's a cinch to make, and with not a sight of a tomato-based sauce for miles, is unusual enough to impress even your most tired vegetarian friends with this variation on a classic.

Ingredients:

Alfredo Sauce:

  • 1 cup cream Cheese
  • 2 cups milk
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley/chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

TO SERVE:

METHOD:

  1. Peel the carrots & slice thinly. Boil carrots in lots of boiling, salted water until tender (approx 15 minutes).
  2. Wash leek & slice thinly.
  3. Melt butter in a large pot, add leeks & cover, cooking until tender (approx 10 mins)
  4. For the Alfredo Sauce:
    (This version of Alfredo sauce is really quick & simple to make, and is significantly lower in calories than the traditional butter & cream version.)

    Blend together the cream cheese, milk, garlic, salt, pepper & Parmesan in a blender until smooth. Then place the mixture into a milk/sauce pan & heat, stirring continuously for between 5 - 10 minutes, until the sauce comes to the boil, then remove from heat.
  5. Drain the carrots and add to the leeks, toss the carrots & leeks together.
  6. Place a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a greased lasagne dish. Cover the sauce with a layer of lasagne, breaking to fit where needed. Spoon a layer of the leek/carrot mixture on top of this.
  7. Repeat layering sauce, lasagne, carrot/leek mixture until all the carrot/leek mixture has been used. Finish with a layer of lasagne topped with plenty of Alfredo sauce, and top with the grated cheddar/mozzarella cheese.

This recipe would also work well as a comforting winter gratin by substituting sliced boiled potatoes for the lasagne sheets, and layering the vegetable mix with the potatoes, finishing by pouring over the Alfredo sauce & topping with grated cheese, before popping it in the oven.

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