I am also studying and exploring the world of vegan cooking! What an adventure it has been! My first pledge week wasn't too difficult since I had frozen soups and dishes on hand from January's cleanse. I also used one of my quinoa soups to make quinoa and black bean burgers. So yummy!!
This week I decided to branch out a little, so I took on tofu! I made a tofu scramble over the weekend, which was tasty, although I overdid it a little with the flaxseed and nutritional yeast mix. But, tonight I outdid myself with a vegan lasagna. I got the idea from the PAN organizer. I tasted her vegan lasagna at our last meeting and I was hooked. I haven't had lasagna in over a year, since most of the ingredients are filled with gluten and dairy...neither of which I can eat. So it shocked me when I learned that her lasagna was both gluten free and vegan. I decided to attempt a similar dish with added veggies.
I started with a store bought sauce and added a homemade sauce last minute. Both were tasty and the blend of the two added a unique flavor to the dish. I also purchased brown rice pasta, extra-firm tofu, nutritional yeast, and non-dairy cheese to substitute for the pasta, ricotta cheese and mozzarella. This is a must try recipe for the Italian lover...and even a tasty option for the traditional meat lover. Even my wife enjoyed the dish and she is an Italian food snob of sorts.
Please share with me your additions and subtractions and ideas for future lasagnas.
1 jar Homemade Sauce + 1 jar store bought (if desired)
1 large can fire roasted diced tomatoes (24 oz)
1-2 tsp garlic powder or 4-6 fresh cloves minced
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 small onion
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp natural sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
pepper & salt to taste
Blend all together in blender. You can caramelize the onions first, but I just threw them into the Vitamix raw.
You can also mix this sauce with the store bought sauce, make a double batch of this, or use 2 store bought sauces. I added the home-made sauce after I ran out of the store-bought sauce.
Tofu Cheese Mix
1 pack extra firm tofu (press out water using paper towels...I did this three times)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp oregano and/or basil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
Mash all together in bowl to get ricotta texture and put in fridge to chill
1 box of gluten free brown rice lasagna pasta (you could also use other pasta or regular whole wheat pasta)
1 24 oz jar premade sauce, or just double the sauce recipe above. I liked the blend. Got Bertolli's garlic sauce
2-3 small shredded zucchinis
4 small shredded carrots
1 small shredded onion
1 small container bella mushrooms, sliced ~ 2 cups
4-6 cups spinach
1 bag Daiya Dairy free Mozarella (or regular pack of moz if you are not vegan). I used about 3/4 of the bag
First, mix the zucchini, carrots, and onions together and squeeze excess moisture out with towel
In crock pot, layer the following in this order:
1/2-1 cup sauce
3 sheets pastsa, or layer of pasta depending on which kind you use
1/3-1/2 cup "ricotta" mix
single layer of sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup zucchini carrot onion mix
1/4 cup mozarella
1 cup sauce.....continue layers.....
Top layer should be pasta, spinach, sauce and mozarella for a finishing look.
Put in crock pot on Warm for 3 1/2-4 hours, or high for 2 1/2-3 hours. I did high, although left it in a little too long and the pasta got a little overcooked. This is why it's very important to soak up excess fluid from the tofu and zucchini mix before putting in crock pot. Still, the result was amazing!!!
I am definitely making this a staple vegan dish in our house. My meat-eating wife gave it an 8 out of 10, which more than pleases me.
Because of the dish's success, we have decided to make Tuesdays "Tofu Tuesdays". Yes, I know it's actually Wednesday, but we got a bit tied up yesterday, so we pushed it off for a day.
HOLY TOFU BATMAN!!! :-)