Recipe by Kozmic Blues
I am taking a "Healthy" Cooking class, sponsored by the university where I work. One assignment was to make-over a recipe to be more health conscious. Because I am a vegan, and unfortunately can't eat many of the dishes prepared in the class each week, I decided to make over the recipe VEGAN. The original recipe was a lasagna with a meat and cheese layer. I have substituted the full fat ricotta cheese layer with my Tofu Basil Ricotta and the "meat" layer with a vegan version of my grandmother's homemade ravioli filling (traditionally a mixture of ground beef, pork sautéed with onions, garlic, spinach and spices) This was also the first time I used the "no-bake" lasagna noodles! : >
- 1 (9 ounce) box no-boil lasagna noodles
- 5 cups marinara sauce, homemade (or your favorite)
For the ricotta layer
- 1 lb firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
- fresh black pepper, to taste
for the meat
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1⁄2 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons italian seasoning (to taste)
- crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
- 1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
- 1 cup hot vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons tamari or 2 tablespoons Braggs liquid aminos
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- For the Tofu Ricotta (see also my recipe #279343):.
- In a large bowl, mush the tofu up with your hands, till it's crumbly.
- Add lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and basil.
- Mush with hands again, this time you want it to get very mushy so squeeze through your fingers and mush until it reaches the consistency of ricotta cheese. May take 2-5 minutes.
- Add olive oil, stir with fork (olive oil is sticky).
- Add nutritional yeast and combine all ingredients well.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- For the "meat" layer:.
- In a large pan over medium heat, sauté the chopped onions in the olive oil until slightly tender.
- Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Add the dried Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper, if using, and stir to coat onions/garlic evenly.
- Next add the dried textured vegetable protein (TVP). It will begin to absorb ALL the liquid in the pan.
- Add a splash or two of the vegetable stock and stir to coat all the TVP with the garlic/onions.
- Next add the tamari, which will give the TVP it's darker color.
- Stir to coat, add the nutritional yeast then slowly add the vegetable broth, and slowly stir as the liquid absorbs.
- Lower the heat and let simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the chopped spinach and stir to incorporate evenly.
- Keep mixture on low until ready to assemble.
- Layer you lasagna as you wish.
- If using the "no bake" noodles, be sure to use plenty of sauce on each layer to soak into the dry sheets.
- 1-2 cups sauce on the bottom of pan, layer of dry noodles, layer of 1/2 "meat" spinach mixture, layer of sauce.
- Then layer of noodles, layer of vegan ricotta, layer of sauce.
- Layer of noodles, layer of second 1/2 of "meat" spinach mixture, layer of sauce, then top with noodles and sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake in oven for 1 hour.
- Remove and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.
- Can be topped with vegan "parmesan cheese".