Totally Cheesy Vegan Lasagna!
I know, it's usually impossible to say "wonderfully-rich-and-cheesy" and "Vegan" in the same breath, but this lasagna is pretty close. Oh man!
I have been tweaking this recipe for ages and finally think it's about right. Not watery. (which I hate-hate-hate). Not too saucy. Not any "fake-cheese-taste". Nothing to make omnis look skeptical... (and even though I usually add 'em, tonight, no veggies to make the kids look skeptical).
OK, if you gave up cheese yesterday and still insanely miss the ultra-gooey-stretchy-stringy-meltyness of "real" mozzarella, you might not be totally fooled. I'll give you that.
There's no gloppy-greasy-clog-your-arteries animal extracts here. But I promise, for almost any open-minded still-slightly-cheese-wistful vegan, this is pretty good (and VERY rich!!) schtuff!
Sorry about the picture, of course tonight we over-baked the lasagna something awful and even though it still tasted heavenly, I wasn't about to make a second batch just for a purty picture...
First, you'll need:
"Cheesy" Lasagna Filling
1 Cup of soy or rice milk, heated but not boiling!
1/2 Cup of raw cashews
1 block of firm tofu
1/2 carton Tofutti Cream Cheese
1/8 Teaspoon of salt
1 Teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 Cup of nutritional yeast flakes*
2 garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
2 Tb. cornstarch
1/4 cup fresh herb leaves (I use a mixture of basil, oregano, sage, parsley and rosemary)
In food processor or GOOD blender (like a Vitamix) place the very warm milk and cashews in first, blend until liquefied, (careful, hot liquids can splatter) then put in the rest of the ingredients and blend until thick and creamy.
To assemble lasagna, you will need the following ingredients:
8 cups of your favorite tomato or spaghetti sauce
Spinach leaves (if you want, I didn't use it 'cause I have a spinach-hater)
Sliced, sauteed portabellas (again with the vegetable-hating children, so I left this out tonight...sigh)
1 box lasagna noodles (I used the "no-boil" noodles)
Cheesy filling mixture (recipe above)
Deep 9 X 12 lasagna pan
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
To begin, pour a layer of tomato sauce mixed with 1 Tbsp. olive oil across the pan and spread it out with a spoon. (The olive oil keeps the bottom layer from sticking or scorching.)
Next, place a layer of noodles in the pan. I overlap them a bit even though it says not to on the package.
Spread 'cheesy' mixture fairly thickly across noodles.
Add spinach and/or mushrooms if you're using.
More sauce, another layer of noodles.
More cheese, spinach, mushrooms, etc... keep layering and end with sauce and top with cheese.
'Tent' tinfoil over the pan (so it completely covers the pan but doesn't touch the surface). Make sure that the foil is closed down on all sides so that the sauce won't dry out (as mine did). Next, place it in the oven for 60 - 70 minutes on 375 degrees.
Remove foil. If it's too juicy, or you want the top more brown, bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.
If you want a more "melted-mozzarella" type cheesy look on top, shred some 'Follow Your Heart' mozzarella on top the hot lasagna, put under the broiler for about 30 seconds or JUST until "cheese" melts (or liquefies).
Let set for 5 minutes to set up, and serve. Fight your kids off with a stick for the leftovers. Yum.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Totally Cheesy Vegan Lasagna!