It's a vegan lasagna! I'm sure Italians would kill me for putting vegan and lasagna in the same sentence. But so be it. This is delicious and it's very easy to make. It is. It looks like a lot but the only thing that needs to take any time is the baking of the lasagna, everything else is just some prep and you'll do it in 25 minutes. If you plan ahead you could make both sauces and the tofu ricotta ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until your ready to assemble and bake the lasagna for dinner.
tomato sauce ingredients:
1 - 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp light vegetable oil (sunflower or grapeseed oil)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp each of fresh chopped basil & parsley
1 tbsp fresh or dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
In a heavy sauce pan, sauté onion in oil for 1 to 2 minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook for another 2 mins. Add tomato paste and herbs and stir into the onions and garlic sautéing for another 2 mins. Then add the crushed tomatoes, sea salt, and ground pepper. Simmer on low heat for 30-45 minutes while you prep the rest of the components for the lasagna.
** NOTE: while we prefer you make your own tomato sauce you could also just buy a jar of your favourite pasta sauce and use that.
tofu ricotta ingredients:
1 block extra firm tofu, crumbled
1/4 C nutritional yeast
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 C fresh basil, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
Crumble the tofu into small pieces (resembling ricotta cheese) with your hands. Add in the remaining ingredients and combine with a fork. Keep in the fridge until you're ready to assemble the lasagna.
** NOTE: tofu ricotta is optional. Alternatively you could use only daiya mozzarella shreds in the layers, in which case you'll need to use 1 whole bag instead of 1 C as listed below.
bechamel (white sauce) ingredients:
1/2 C silken tofu
1/2 C unsweetened soy milk
1/2 C vegetable broth
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp sea salt
Put all these ingredients in a blender and combine until smooth.
1 pack of ready bake lasagna noodles (gluten free brown rice noodles also work well)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vegan parmesan (optional)
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 C carrot ribbons
4 C baby spinach
1 tsp light cooking oil (sunflower or grapeseed oil)
You can make nice carrot ribbons using a vegetable peeler or you can shred the carrot with a cheese grater. Partially cook the zucchini and carrot in a pan over low to medium heat with 1 tsp of sunflower or grapeseed oil. Set them aside on a dish and use the same pan to cook the spinach. Get it wilted and soft but don't over cook it. It should still be bright green. If you want to use frozen spinach just make sure you thaw and drain out the water.
Once all your ingredients are prepped and ready, use a deep 9 inch glass baking dish to assemble the lasagna in. Lightly coat the inside of the dish with 1 tbsp of olive oil you can spread around evenly with your hand.
The lasagna can be assembled however you want, but here's what I did:
1) Pour a quarter of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the dish and spread out an even layer with a spoon
2) Add one layer of noodles across. You might need to break them in half and you can overlap the noodles if they don't fit perfectly in the dish
3) Then take half the amount of tofu ricotta and spread it evenly over the noodles (if you're just using daiya then skip this)
4) Take 1/3 C of daiya mozzarella shreds and sprinkle over top (if you're only using daiya than you can use more to your liking here)
5) Use up all the spinach as the next layer
6) Pour half the white sauce evenly over the top being sure to get some of it down the sides of the dish
7) Add another quarter of the tomato sauce
8) Add another noodle layer, turning the noodles the opposite direction from the first layer.
9) Use the other half of the tofu ricotta as the next layer (if you're just using daiya skip this)
10) Take another 1/3 C of daiya mozzarella shreds and sprinkle over top of the tofu ricotta (if you're only using daiya than you can use more to your liking here)
11) Add the zucchini and carrots in an alternating fashion as one layer
12) Pour the remaining white sauce evenly over top
13) Add another quarter of the tomato sauce on top of the white sauce
14) Then add one more layer of noodles and the remaining tomato sauce on top
15) Add the last 1/3 C of daiya mozzarella shreds and vegan parmesan as the topping
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 F covered with foil for 40 minutes. Then remove the foil and turn the broiler to high and bake for 10 minutes. Allow the lasagna to sit for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.