So I have to say that I made the best (Vegan & Organic of course!) lasagna I ever had this past weekend and I have to share! It will fool even the most avid meat eater and will leave you feeling light and ready to continue the good fight!
Best of all – the ingredients are organic, enriched-flour-free and won’t leave you destitute.
1 Package Dry Organic Lasagna Noodles (I have found that is can be difficult (even at health food stores) to find lasagna noodles that use whole flour and not enriched flour. I did, however, find a whole wheat version at Fresh & Easy which worked great and had enough noodles for 2 lasagnas. Remember too that if you are buying wheat products there is a good chance they will be from genetically modified grain. Whenever possible buy Organic!)
Boil noodles as directed but short the total minimum time by 2 minutes. The noodles will finish cooking in the oven. Drain the noodles and flatten them out as best you can as this will keep them from sticking to one another.
“CHEESY” RICOTTA FILLING:
1 Package Firm Organic Tofu (check for any preservatives or firming agents! Derived from Seaweed is OK though I often fear that everything from the sea now comes irradiated)
1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast (I prefer BRAGG brand because BRAGG is the best! It also has added vitamins – B12 and Niacin (B3))
1/4 Cup Organic Rice Milk
1 Tbs Each Spices:
Dry Basil (fresh basil works wonders too , just chop it up finely)
Dry Rosemary (chop it up & you can also use fresh)
Combination Spice (I like the 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joes – it has a ton of flavor and is cheap)
Pinch of Pepper & Sea Salt if preferred (if you are going to use salt, USE SEA SALT. “Table Salt” is a carcinogen!)
Crush the tofu up until it resembles scrambled eggs. Add all dry seasonings + nutritional yeast & rice milk. Mix well & set aside.
OPTIONAL – “MEAT”:
1 Weenie Field Roast Sausage – chopped
I had some Field Roast brand Smoked Apple & Sage sausages so I cut one of them into tiny pieces and sauteed it with Olive Oil & chopped Onion & added them into my “Cheesy Ricotta Cheese”. Not necessary but delicious! You could also do the same with Organic Tempeh or Organic Tofu if you have either lying around.
1 Large Head Organic Broccoli – chopped
10 Organic Cherry Tomatoes – chopped
1 Large Organic Yellow Onion, Sweet – chopped
6 Organic Mushrooms – chopped
I prefer adding in the chopped veggies as separate layers in the lasagna but you can also mix them all together or even mix them in with your “Cheesy” filling from above.
1 Package Daiya Brand Mozarella Cheese (made from Tapioca)
1 Package Trader Joes Vegan Cheese (made from plant derived oils – not soy)
There is literally a vegan cheese for everyone in this world, all made from a multitude of different sources. I have tried many and I found that the above combination best mimics real cheese. Both melt marvelously and work together great – Side Note: you do NOT want giant globs of Daiya cheese; it will NOT taste good (reminds me of snot)! It is also important to note they do have some fat in them (which I do not mind at all) and they aren’t Organic which IS disappointing.
Mix cheeses together in a bowl and set aside.
1 Jar Organic Vegan Marinara Sauce
I used the Organic Basil Marinara Sauce from Trader Joes because it doesn’t have any sugar in it & they use sea salt. Be wary of ridiculous amounts of refined sugar and table salt in your pre-made marinara sauces. You can always add your own herbs and spices to the sauce to jazz it up a bit or simply make your own! I like making a quick and simple one by throwing two chopped tomatoes in a pot, boil them down until they are decomposed and the water is thick then add in tomato paste (if you have it, not necessary), spices & veggies to taste.
LAYER THAT BITCH:
OK now is the ridiculously easy part –
Take a glass baking pan (mine is 18 inch x 8 inches x 3 inches deep – you can pretty much use whatever size you have, your lasagna will just be shorter or thicker etc., accordingly) and put a 1/2 inch layer of your sauce on the bottom. You don’t have to cover the bottom completely as it will melt downwards once you start cooking – this sauce just prevents your pre-cooked noodles from sticking to the bottom glass.
Add noodles to cover bottom of pan (about 3 regular noodles and 1 cut in half to fill in gaps)
Add layer of “Cheesy Ricotta Filling”
Add layer of desired vegetable
Add layer of “cheese” mixture
REPEAT until all ingredients are used up (about 3 layers); don’t forget the sauce!
Make sure you keep enough “cheese” mixture to cover the top of your lasagna once all layers have been added. Sprinkle Nutritional Yeast onto top of lasagna.
Cover with foil (make sure foil isn’t touching top of lasagna!) & heat for 1 hour in an oven at 375 degrees F (ovens are all different so I would periodically check your lasagna to determine the right time for you).
Remove from oven, allow to rest for 5 – 10 minutes, cut and serve!
Makes about 12 pieces or 4 servings if you live with a skinny fat man!