Recipe: Pastelón - Puerto Rican vegan banana lasagna

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In Puerto Rico people have found a very special use for bananas: They cook lasagna with them. The dish is called Pastelón. In our version it is vegan and gluten-free. Recipe by Sarah-Vanessa Schneider, Velvet & Vinegar

Pastelón

How to make vegan banana lasagna

The traditional pastelón is anything but vegan. Sarah from Velvet & Vinegar cooks this delicious Puerto Rican banana lasagna with green lentils instead of minced meat. The egg used to bind the lasagne she replaces with a mixture of chickpea flour and water. The cheese with her delicious homemade vegan cheese sauce.

To make the vegan banana lasagna a hit, Sarah has put together a few tips for you.

  1. Boil down the lentils with the tomato sauce really well. It should not be too liquid, otherwise, the lasagne will not hold together and will be too liquid.
  2. Briefly fry the green banana slices on both sides in a pan with oil or bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. This way you make sure that they are completely baked through at the end. Make sure to grease the baking tray well, otherwise, the banana slices will stick to the tray.
  3. You can use very green bananas for the dish, but you can also use lighter ones. The original is made with sweet (already yellow) plantains. These also have a rather sweet flavor. Don`t use completely ripe yellow bananas!
  4. Attention: green bananas have to be peeled the same way as plantains. Simply cut off the two ends, carve the sides with a knife and lift the skin off. It`s a little easier to peel the bananas if you soak them in water after carving them. Wash your hands regularly, because the bananas release a sticky brown juice.

Ingredients

banana layer

  • 6 green bananas
  • canola oil organic
  • salt organic

filling

  • 2 tbsp olive oil organic
  • 1 onion organic
  • 3 cloves garlic organic
  • 200 g brown mushrooms organic
  • 1/2 eggplant organic
  • 1 red bell pepper organic
  • 1 green bell pepper organic
  • 1/2-1* bunch cilantro organic
  • 200 g green lentils organic
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • salt & pepper organic
  • 250 g water or vegetable broth
  • 350 ml tomato sauce organic

chickpea-water-mix

  • 90 g chickpea flour organic
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 tsp Kala Namak
  • salt & pepper organic

vegan cheese sauce

  • 200 g oat cream or oat milk organic
  • 200 ml water
  • 2 tsp potato starch app.10g
  • 2 tbsp fine yeast flakes app. 10g, organic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt organic
  • 1 pinch of paprika powder
  • 1 pinch of turmeric organic

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200° Celsius. Peel*, halve and cut the bananas into 5 slices. Grease baking tray with oil, spread banana slices on top and brush with a little oil on both sides.
  2. Bake the bananas for 15 minutes in the middle of the oven*. Turn slices after half time. Remove the tray and let the bananas cool down. Repeat this step until all slices are baked.
  3. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Remove the stalk and seeds of the peppers. Cut the bell peppers, eggplant and mushrooms into small pieces. Finely chop the coriander.
  4. Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add all ingredients up to and including paprika powder and sautée for approx. 8 minutes at medium heat. Deglaze with stock and tomato sauce. Reduce heat and simmer again for about 10 minutes until the filling is not too liquid*. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Grease the baking dish. Put a thin layer of filling on the bottom. Then lay banana slices lengthwise on the filling. Place another layer of filling on top, followed by a layer of bananas. Continue until the casserole dish is full. Finish with a layer of bananas.
  6. Place the chickpea flour, water and Kala Namak in a bowl. Mix well with a whisk so that no lumps form. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour over the lasagne. If necessary, tap the casserole dish gently several times on a flat surface so that the mixture is evenly distributed.
  7. Bring oat milk and water to the boil. Add the remaining ingredients and reduce over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the cheese sauce has the desired consistency. Spoon over the lasagne *.
  8. Bake lasagna in the middle of the preheated oven at 180° Celsius for 30 minutes.

Recipe Notes

* depending on how intense the cilantro taste is desired, take 1/2 – 1 bunch. Sarah took about 1/2 bunch.

* In the text you’ll find instructions on how to peel the bananas easily. Preparation time of the recipe is without soaking the bananas.

* If you want it faster, you can also fry the bananas in a frying pan with oil. This version is faster, but a bit unhealthier because you need more oil.

*If the filling gets too dry, you can add water. In the end, the filling should not have any visible liquid left.

*For the lasagna, half of the cheese sauce is enough. The cheese sauce is a recipe that Sarah has been using for a long time and it was not developed especially for this lasagna. So in the recipe, you’ll simply find the basic recipe. However, you will not need all the cheese sauce. Use the rest for a delicious Mac and Cheese.

Pastelón

This recipe was provided to us by Sarah-Vanessa Schneider from Velvet & Vinegar.