Vegan Knock-Your-Socks-Off Green Lasagna
Category: Main Dishes - Pasta
This recipe is suitable for a: vegetarian/vegan diet.
16 uncooked lasagna noodles (regular, spinach, whole-wheat, or wheat-free)
about 2 pounds fresh spinach, chopped fine, OR 2 10 oz. bag chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and excess water squeezed out
1 recipe tofu ricotta (recipe below)
1 cup pesto, prepared OR homemade (recipe below)
4 large cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (divided) soy parmesan OR homemade faux parmesan (recipe below)
⅓ cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted
2.5 packages Vegan Gourmet mozzarella cheese, shredded, OR 2 recipes worth of homemade béchamel (recipe below)
Prepare tofu ricotta and, if using, homemade pesto, faux parmesan, and béchamel. Set aside.
Boil your lasagna noodles until they are a little firmer than al dente. You MUST boil the noodlesthere is not enough liquid in this recipe to leave them uncooked. Drain and lay flat on a counter, table or tray.
While the noodles are boiling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9x13 inch casserole dish or lasagna pan.
Mix the spinach, tofu ricotta, pesto, minced garlic, salt, ½ cup of the parmesan, and the walnuts in a large bowl.
Reserve ¾ cup of the béchamel for the topping.
Place 4 noodles in the bottom of the pan. Spoon ⅓ of the filling onto the noodles, pressing and spreading carefully. Cover with ⅓ of the shredded mozzarella or béchamel. Repeat with another layer of noodles, ⅓ of the filling, and ⅓ of the mozzarella. Repeat one more time and finish with a layer of noodles.
Thin the reserved béchamel with a little water. Pour over the top layer of noodles and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup parmesan over the béchamel.
Cover with a layer of foil, place in oven, and let cook 30 minutes. Then remove foil and let bake for an additional 15 minutes to brown (you can also place it under the broiler for a few minutes at the end if you like it really brown.)
2 pound firm water-packed tofu, drained and rinsed, and patted dry
the juice of 1 large lemon or 2 small ones
2 teaspoons maple syrup
¾ teaspoons salt (I always just put in as much as I like, so maybe start with ½ and salt it till you like it)
1-1.5 tablespoons of your favorite vegan mayonnaise (low-fat is fine)
Mash the tofu with a potato masher or fork until its in little curds. Add the maple syrup, lemon juice, and salt. Mix well.
With an immersion blender, blend the tofu until semi-creamyyou still want grainy, tiny tiny curds. If you do not have an immersion blender, pulse in small batches in a regular blender until it reaches the semi-creamy, still-grainy stage.
Mix in the mayonnaise. Use measure for measure in any recipe calling for ricotta.
3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic, crushed
⅓ cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
⅓ extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup soy parmesan or homemade vegan parmesan (recipe below)
Salt to taste
Process basil and garlic in a food processor or blender until well mixed. Add nuts and process until nuts are finely ground. Drizzle in oil and process to a smooth paste.
Stir in parmesan and add salt to taste. Use immediately or cover the top with a thin layer of olive oil and store in tightly covered container.
⅔ cup cashews, blanched almonds, or sesame seeds
⅓ cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon light soy or chickpea miso
Add ingredients to a blender or food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground and the ingredients are well mixed.
2 T. good dairy-free margarine (or extra-virgin olive oil)
3 T. unbleached flour
1 c. soy milk
1/2 c. extra-firm SILKEN tofu or medium-firm tofu, crumbled
1/2 c. water
1 "chicken-style" vegetarian broth cube (or 1/2 of one meant for 2 c. liquid), crumbled
1/2 tsp. salt
a large pinch EACH of freshly-grated nutmeg and white pepper
Place all of the Blended Mixture ingredients, EXCEPT the nutmeg and pepper, in the blender and blend until VERY smooth. Set aside.
Melt the margarine in a medium, heavy saucepan and whisk in the flour. Whisk it over medium-high heat for a few minutes, but remove from heat before it starts to change color (you want a white "roux"). Scrape this into the Blended Mixture and blend for a few seconds, then pour the mixture back into the pot. Stir over medium-high heat until it thickens and boils; turn down and simmer on low for a few minutes until very thick. Whisk in the nutmeg and pepper.
MICROWAVE OPTION: Melt the margarine in a large microwave-safe bowl or 1 qt. Pyrex measuring beaker on Hi for 45 seconds. Whisk in the flour and microwave on HI 2 minutes. Scrape this into the Blended Mixture and blend briefly, then pour it back into the bowl or beaker, or pour in the Blended mixture and mix with a hand immersion blender until smooth. Microwave on HI for 2 minutes. Whisk. Microwave for 2 more minutes. Whisk. Microwave for 2 minutes more. Whisk in the nutmeg and pepper.
This recipe is a showstopper. Simply incredible. Make this for company. It takes some time and effort, but it's totally worth it and you'll wow your guests.
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