Sunday, November 15, 2009

Vegan Tofu Spinach Lasagna

I found a new recipe for veggie lasagna. This one from is from  The Vegan Table (by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. © Fair Winds Press 2009). This lasagna turns out beautiful and it is very versatile. I change the recipe a little every time depending on what veggies I have in the fridge and in the garden that I want to use. I usually saute onions and mushrooms and add that in one of the layers. I also like to use roasted eggplant in another layer. In addition, I use 1 large bunch of fresh greens from the garden (kale, chard, or collards) instead of frozen. One other thing I do is add a hefty sprinkle of nutritional yeast to the tofu mix. The recipe says to put tofu in blender and process until smooth, but I don't like to dirty extra equipment so I just mash it up with a fork and it turns out fine.

I brought this to a potluck where we were the only non-meat eaters and it was a big hit. Everyone loved it (especially my kids who ask for it often) and a few people asked me, "What makes it taste so cheesy?" They didn't realize that the white stuff in the middle was tofu.  Don't be nervous about making this veggie dish--you are going to love it!

Vegan Tofu Spinach Lasagna

1/2 to 1 pound (225 to 455 g) lasagna noodles
2 packages (10 ounces, or 280 g, each) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 package (16 ounces, or 455 g) firm tofu (not silken)
1 tablespoon (13 g) granulated sugar (optional)
1/4 cup (60 ml) nondairy milk (such as rice, oat, soy, almond, or hazelnut), or as needed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 peeled garlic cloves
Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons [30 ml])
2 tablespoons (5 g) minced fresh basil (about 20 leaves)
1 teaspoon (6 g) salt (or to taste)
4 to 6 cups (980 to 1470 g) tomato or pasta sauce of your choice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; (180 degrees C, or gas mark 4).
Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions or use "no-boil" lasagna noodles. Drain and set aside.
Squeeze as much water from spinach as possible and set aside. (If using fresh spinach, blanch first.)
Place tofu, sugar (if using), milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. The tofu "ricotta" should be creamy but still have body.
Transfer to large-size bowl, and stir in spinach. Continue tasting until you get amount of salt just right.
Cover bottom of 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles (use about one-third of noodles). Follow with half the tofu filling. Continue in the same order, using half the remaining tomato sauce and noodles, and all remaining tofu filling. End with remaining noodles, covered by remaining tomato sauce. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until hot and bubbling.
Add meatless meat crumbles to your tomato sauce for more texture and body. For more cheesiness, add shredded nondairy mozzarella cheese to each layer.
This recipe is also great for making stuffed shells. To do so, stuff pasta shells with the tofu ricotta from this recipe, place them in a baking dish, pour on tomato sauce and bake in a 350 degrees F (180 degrees C, or gas mark 4) oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

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Anna Morrison said...

Wow. This looks awesome. I love the other Tofu Lasagne recipe you gave me years ago. This one looks just as good.
I love learning from you. :)
Missing you.

William Kruidenier said...

Looks great, Jen -- you're hubby and chillun are blessed to have you doing all this creative stuff in the kitchen for your family. The girls will have a great tradition to draw on with their own families one day.