Last weekend, one of our friends asked me an interesting question.
“Now that you’re vegan, will you finally part with your secret lasagna recipe?” Gasp! Never!!
But, his question did prompt me to realize that I wouldn’t be eating my coveted lasagna ever again and that did sadden me a bit, simply because I was proud of all the rave reviews I received. I was thinking I’d never hear that praise again.
So, on to a new mission. To perfect a vegan lasagna recipe that will garner such praise from vegans and omni’s alike! I kind of have an idea of what I want to include in the lasagna to give it rich flavor and texture. This recipe will most definitely include garlic (sorry Levi) when I write it, but I will do my best to omit it when I make it at home for both of us.
This is on my to-test list tomorrow night, so I’ll post the results and pictures then.
Rockin’ Vegan Lasagna
- olive oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced (I prefer using a mix of white and cremini mushrooms)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small eggplant, peeled and diced into small cubes
- 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (optional)
- 1 x 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 x 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 x 14 oz can whole black olives, drained (optional)
- italian seasoning
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 lb firm tofu, drained but not pressed
- 1 x 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/8 tsp dried red chili flakes
- vegan mozzarella style cheese
- gluten-free brown rice lasagna noodles (uncooked)
In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute mushrooms, onions, and garlic for about 3 minutes. Add in the eggplant and artichokes and continue to saute a few minutes longer. Add the crushed tomatoes and canned diced tomatoes. Stir to combine. Season with the italian herbs and salt and pepper. Taste as you season, and adjust seasonings as needed. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Taste again and add a pinch of sugar to balance out the acidity in the tomatoes. You can add the olives whole, or chopped to the sauce. Or you can sprinkle them on top of the lasagna before baking.
Meanwhile, in a food processor combine spinach and tofu. Process briefly. Add remaining filling ingredients and process until tofu resembles cottage cheese or ricotta cheese.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Lightly spray olive oil in a 9×13 baking dish. Spoon some of the sauce in the bottom of the pan just to coat. Layer lasagna noodles in the pan, covering the bottom. Spoon 1/3 of the tomato sauce. Cover with another layer of lasagna noodles. Spread 1/2 of the tofu-spinach mixture over the noodles. Cover with another layer of lasagna noodles. Spoon another 1/3 of the tomato sauce. Cover with noodles. Spread remaining tofu-spinach mixture. Cover with noodles. Spoon with remaining tomato sauce.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover foil, layer vegan mozza cheese slices on top and return to oven and bake for another 20-30 minutes until noodles are tender and cheese has melted nicely. Take out of oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes to let it set up a bit.