Valentine’s Day is dedicated to affairs of the heart, but it’s not all about romance. It’s also about good heart health. A vegan recipe is on the menu tonight. It’s time to grab a Bite with Belkys.

The Chef: Kris Wessel
The Restaurant: Oolite Restaurant & Bar on Miami Beach
The Dish: Vegetable Lasagnetta


2 cups calabaza squash
1 cup roasted boniato mash
8 oz. braised kale
6 oz. sliced asparagus
8 oz. fresh spinach (chiffonade)
16 oz. Tomato broth
8 Roti sheets (or whole wheat lasagna)
Calabaza Mash
1/2 Calabaza squash
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup almond milk
Boniato Mash
3 large boniato potatoes
3 tsp. oil
2 tsp. salt
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 fresh allspice leaf
Tomato Broth
2 peedled and seeded vine ripe tomatoes (or 8 plum tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic
1 stem fresh thyme
4 cups water
1 tbs. kosher salt
1/2 carrot
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. black peppercorns
Roti Bread
3 cups rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tbs. salt
2 tbs. xantham gum
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups warm water

Method of Preparation:
– Put roasted calabaza squash into a pot and add, almond milk, kosher salt, and nutmeg. Heat it up, and then put it into a food mill- and purée. ((You can put it into a vita-mix or a food processor as well.)) When it’s smooth set it aside.

– Make another purée with boniato sweet potatoes. Add coconut millk, salt and canola oil. Heat it up, and when the boniato is soft, purée and set that aside as well.

– Next- put seeded tomatoes in a hot pan. Add garlic, bay leaf, black peppercorns, salt and water. Cook that on a medium high flame for about ten to fifteen minutes.

– You can make Roti bread, which is a gluten-free flatbread- OR use whole wheat lasagna instead. To make Roti bread: Place dry ingredients in bowl and blend with a whisk. Add oil and chop it in with the whisk, breaking up clumps that form. Add warm water slowly and incorporate with a rubber spatula. Once pliable, knead with hands for 2 minutes. Form into a ball and place in a bowl with a damp towel over the top. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Portion out the dough into 4 oz. balls and let rest 3 minutes. Roll the dough into disks or squares 1/4 inch thick. Cook squares in a hot skillet with a few drops of oil- two minutes on each side. Move it around and don’t let it stick! Salt to taste and set aside.

– To assemble, start with a square of roti (or whole wheat lasagna). Put it on the plate and top with the boniato purée. Layer with braised kale, red onion, fresh spinach, another layer of roti bread and top that with the calabaza purée. Now, add more spinach and roti bread, pressing it down a bit each time. Add more calabaza purée, kale and a final sheet of roti bread. Put it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 4 minutes to warm.

To Plate:

When it comes out of the oven, pour strained tomato broth on top and garnish with steamed asparagus, heirloom tomatoes, a dash of salt and fresh thyme.

Serving suggestion: Pinot Noir

Serves: 6

Oolite Restaurant & Bar
1661 Pennsylvania Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Print the recipe and bring it to Oolite for a glass of wine on the house with your meal. The offer is good through March 12.

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