Lasagna

This recipe uses one box of lasagna noodles and makes a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with enough lasagna to serve 6 people. You can also easily make two 9×13 dishes and have leftovers by doubling the ingredients. This dish can be also used to make manicotti by simply replacing the lasagna noodles with manicotti pasta and stuffing the cooked tubes.
I normally make this with the simple spinach tofu ricotta.  But to make a fancier version, also make the basil tofu ricotta and bechamel (which doubles the recipe, so use twice the noodles, twice the sauce, etc), but try the simpler version.  This dish lends itself to being easily customized to your tastes and what you have on hand.  This version is what I like to make, but it is easily customized based on your likes and what you have on hand.  This dish reads a lot longer than it takes to make.  Prep is about 10 minutes.  5 minutes to blend.  5 minutes for skillet stuff.  5 minutes to assemble.
Ingredients
  • 1 and 1/2 Jars or 2 jars of Marinara Sauce (or make your own.  Amount depends on saucy you want the lasagna to be.
  • 1/ box of Lasagna pasta (15 strips)
  • Store bought vegan mozzarella shreds or slices, I like using Follow Your Heart because it is many stores, but try others.
Spinach Tofu Ricotta Ingredients
  • 3/4-1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 30 minutes (soaking not needed for Vitamix/Blendtec)
  • 1 firm Tofu package
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbls Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 Tbls Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • Box of Frozen Spinach (approx 9 oz) or you can use cooked fresh. If using fresh, you want a full bag.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Additional optional items

  • Beef replacement (TVP or textured vegetable protein) crumbles (optional).  You can buy crumbles, but simple TVP works great. Or chop some vegan Italian sausage.  Or use any vegan ground.
  • 1/2 larger onion finely diced (optional)
  • 1 basket of mushrooms, diced (optional)
  • Other Veggies such as zucchini, green bell peppers, carrot slivers, spinach leaves, basil leaves
  • Vegan parmesan
  • Violife Feta (because it is so good)

Instructions

  1. Soak Cashews in hot water minimum one hour ahead of time, or soak in cold water for 8 hours.  If you run out of time, use the microwave and boil the water and let the nuts sit for 10 minutes.  If you have a high speed blender, you can skip the soaking.
  2. Prepare pasta per package instructions, set aside.  Don’t overcook as it will cook some more in the oven. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.  If you want to be frugal, use 9 strips so you can get two dishes out of a box. I normally use 15 strips (3 strips per layer, 5 layers).
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  4. Drain cashews and add to blender along with a few cloves of garlic and olive oil and about 1/4 cup of water.
  5. Process until well blended. Add in enough water to allow the blender to blend. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides as needed.
  6. Drain Tofu (no need to press) and add to blender along with nutritional yeast, lemon juice, vinegar, and seasonings (everything but the spinach) and process until you have a smooth mixture.
  7. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times to ensure it’s well blended.  You will need to add some water to get it to blend.  In the end you do not want it runny. It should be thick, so do not add too much water, just enough so it blends.  Taste to see if you need more salt.  It should be awesome tasting.
  8. Add the mix to a large bowl and fold in spinach. (If using frozen spinach, defrost in microwave for a few minutes first to soften, and drain out (squeeze) excess water.  If using fresh spinach, I like to wilt in a pan with a little water, drain off the water well, and then chop the wilted spinach.  You do not want large pieces.  You can also just add the spinach to the blender and stir it in to save the cleaning of the bowl.IMG_20160225_155325273
  9. In a skillet, saute the diced onions in a bit of olive oil until they start to soften.  Add a dash of salt and pepper.  Add in a 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of TVP.  Stir until the TVP soaks up the water.  You can also add diced mushrooms here.   If I use mushrooms, I will skip the TVP.

Assembly!

  1. Layer 1 cup of Marinara in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
  2. Layer 3 noodles lengthwise.
  3. Layer half the ricotta cheese mixture on the noodles.
  4. Layer 3 more noodles in each pan.
  5. Layer in a bit more sauce to coat the noodles.
  6. Layer all the onion/TVP mix evenly.
  7. Layer 3 more noodles
  8. Layer the remaining ricotta mixture and spread evenly.
  9. Layer 3 more noodles in each pan.
  10. Layer a bit more sauce to coat the noodles
  11. Layer in either slices or shredded vegan moz cheese.  If you are using Violife feta, add some chunks here.
  12. Layer in the last 3 noodles
  13. Cover with remaining sauce, you want to fully cover the top and any exposed noodles.  If using fresh basil, place chopped or ripped up bits on the top.  Push down into the sauce.
  14. Sprinkle vegan parmesan cheese on top (optional).
  15. Bake at 400 degree oven for 40 minutes covered.  Bake another 10-15 minutes uncovered.

Serve with some crusty bread, salad.

Optional sauce topping

  • 3/4 cup soaked cashews
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup water (as needed to blend)
  • 2 TBLS lemon juice
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBLS corn starch
  • Alternate Basil Tofu Ricotta Ingredients
    • 1 firm Tofu package
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    • 1 Tbs olive oil
    • 1 Tbs lemon juice
    • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup of fresh chopped basil
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper

Blend

Optional Bechamel 

  • 1/2 cup soft tofu
  • 1/2 cup plant milk
  • 1/2 cup veggie stock
  • 2 Tbs tahini
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt