Vegetarian Mushroom Lasagna
This Level 6: Soft & Bite-Sized Vegetarian Mushroom Lasagna is full of vegetables and cheese – everything we could want in a lasagna. Please take the time to make this recipe, it’s worth it!
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Worth the time
WARNING: This recipe is NOT a quick week-night meal. I took my time making this vegetarian mushroom lasagna over the weekend when there was no pressure to finish it on any time limit. That being said, it truly isn’t too difficult to make. It’s just a bit time consuming. However, you might make it quicker than I do since I always make fresh pasta. If you use boxed pasta, you’ll save yourself a ton of time. I just choose to be extra.
Let’s talk about the bechamel. It might look like a scary word, but a bechamel really is quite simple to make. You start with a roux, which is just equal parts of flour and butter. You cook that over a medium-low heat for several minutes, or until the mixture becomes slightly browned like you can see in the picture. I purposely left the photos unedited so you could see the true color.
Once that’s ready, you slowly add in the milk and whisk until the mixture becomes thickened. You want it to be the consistency of a nacho cheese sauce. Season it with salt and pepper, and grate a little fresh nutmeg in. If you don’t have fresh nutmeg, then powdered will be fine.
Honestly, don’t ask me why you add nutmeg to a bechamel. It’s just what you do! Once of the most common mistakes with a bechamel is not seasoning it. If not done well, it can be bland, so add the dang nutmeg!
I cut the mushrooms into very small pieces before cooking them. I did this to make sure they came out to fit into the soft and bite-sized diet. If you don’t want to do this, you could likely cook the mushrooms and then pulse them down in a food processor. Personally, I’d rather chop them finely than wash the extra dishes.
Level 6: Soft & Bite-Sized
Level 6: Soft & Bite-Sized is appropriate for individuals who have good tongue control and force and can manage chewing. At this level, the size of each bite is predetermined, and can be appropriate for individuals with some pain or difficulty chewing, or those who may not choose appropriate bite sizes without help.
Food pieces can be no larger than 15mm square for adults or 8mm square for children. Foods must have no separate thin liquid, but should be soft and moist. The pressure from a fork or spoon must be able to mash the pieces easily; this is called the Fork Pressure or Spoon Pressure Test. In these tests, the utensil must be able to easily cut through or break apart the food using only the side of the utensil. When mashing the sample to test, only use as much pressure as causes your thumbnail or fingernail to blanche white. After mashing, the food must not return to its original shape. We recommend watching IDDSI’s Youtube video of the Fork Pressure and Spoon Pressure Test before you cook as well as during the testing of your final modified portion.
Always test your food before serving to ensure that it meets all the IDDSI testing guidelines.
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Level 6: Soft & Bite-Sized Vegetarian Mushroom Lasagna
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons AP flour
- 2 cup milk
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3 cups minced mushrooms
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1 large shallot minced
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade
- 2 cups grated fresh mozzarella
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- 15 lasagna noodles I used homemade pasta, no-boil noodles work too
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
- Mince mushrooms into small pieces. Place in the pan with fresh thyme and basil and cook until all liquid evaporates. Season with salt and pepper.
- To the same pan, add more olive oil. Add in minced shallot and garlic, cook until slightly fragrant. Add in chopped spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and mix together with mushroom mixture.
- In another pot, melt butter over medium heat for bechamel. Add in flour and whisk until the color darkens and the mixture looks foamy. Slowly add in milk and whisk until the mixture thickens. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Grate fresh mozzarella and parmesan. Cook lasagna noodles if necessary.
- In a 9x9 pan, begin layering lasagna. Start by spreading a layer of bechamel in the bottom of the pan. Then add noodles, more bechamel, and then vegetables. Then add more noodles, bechamel, and then cheese. Repeat the process and finish with a layer of bechamel on top.
- Cover lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional ~15 minutes. If noodles become too crispy on top for your diet modifications, leave the lasagna covered the entire time it bakes.