Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Simple Vegan Lasagna

We went to my Mom and Dad's for dinner last night and my fabulous Mamma served this lovely, and very simple vegan lasagna.

I love vegan lasagna in all it's many forms; complex recipes full of unique vegetables and exotic nut cheeses and homemade sauces; or just hearty, whole wheat noodles and sauce from a jar. It's all good. It's even better when someone else makes it for you!!

I like this particular recipe because it's quite simple - and bonus, it does not require boiling the noodles ahead, making the whole process even easier! The vegan 'cheese' is optional as well. It's perfectly good without, but if your family prefers a more cheesy style lasagna, definitely add it!

Easy Vegan Lasagna

2 jars (aprox 14 oz each) spaghetti sauce (or equal amount of your own, homemade)
3 cups finely crumbled, firm tofu
2 cups chopped, cooked, squeezed dry spinach (thawed from frozen works well here)
1 c. shredded carrot or zucchini (more if you want it more "vegetable-y" - or add other vegetables of your choice, my kids like it simple)
1 finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons dry oregano
2 teaspoons dry basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dry vegetable bouillon/broth powder
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups shredded vegan cheese, like Daiya or Trader Joe's (optional; it's very good without, too!)
12 or more whole wheat lasagna noodles
Aprox. 2 Tbsp. each:
 ~sliced green onions
~finely chopped red peppers
~sliced black olives

Soften carrots (or other veggies) and onion in a bit of boiling water for about two minutes. Drain VERY well.

Mix tofu, spinach and other vegetables, oregano, basil, garlic, salt, bouillon powder and nutritional yeast until well mixed. I like using my hands for this.

In a deep 8 X 11 (or other rectangular pan) spread 1 1/2 - 2 cups sauce in a thin layer.
Mix remaining sauce with 1 cup water in separate bowl.
Lay down 3 or 4 lasagna noodles to cover sauce in pan.

Crumble 1/2 of tofu mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup vegan cheese (if using).
Top with 1 cup, or so, of watered-down sauce.
Top with another layer of noodles.
Repeat with another layer of tofu, cheese, sauce and noodles.(You should have about 1 cup cheese remaining, set it aside)
Top with remaining sauce.

Cover pan tightly with foil and bake at 350° for one hour.
Remove foil. If lasagna seems particularly 'liquid-y', bake for another 20 min uncovered.
If it seems about right, top with remaining shredded vegan cheese (if you're using it) and bake until cheese gets melty. (10 min or so).
Remove from oven.
Sprinkle with garnish of sliced black olives, chopped green onions and red pepper; let sit about 10 minutes.