Vegan Lasagna

This is a recipe I am very excited to share with all of you 🙂

Recently a few of Chris’s guy friends all moved into a house together close to where we live. Ahh, the life of four bachelors starting out in the career world, living it up college style 😉 Since moving close to us, they have been wanting to a have a “family” dinner with Chris and I. So, naturally, when thinking of a home cooked, family style dinner, I thought of lasagna. Something hearty and comforting 🙂 However, knowing that I am vegan they knew to expect something a little different than they were used to. I didn’t want to get too crazy on them with the vegan food so I figured I would replicate a familiar food (lasagna) and make it vegan. They wouldn’t even know the difference….or so I hoped.

I have to admit, I was making quite a few changes to an ordinary lasagna dish so I hoped that it would turn out the way I saw it in my head. Unfortunately, not all of my wonderful recipe ideas I have in my head turn out tasting great on a plate. So I hoped and prayed that this one would. Yes, I know, risky move to try out a new dish on a group of hungry boys, but I was up to the challenge. Actually one of the guys has been toying with the idea of becoming vegan so I was excited to show him how great vegan food can taste!

Well, I know the suspense is killing you so I will let you know that the vegan lasagna was a hit! Everyone loved it and could not believe that it was vegan. One of the guys said, “I swear I taste cheese”. Nope. No cheese here. Well, not in the sense they were used to anyway. I was so happy with the recipe, and because it went over so well, I didn’t even get a chance to get a picture. Honestly, the picture probably wouldn’t have done it justice (my camera is horrible). I challenge meat eaters to not like this meal 😉

Vegan Lasagna (trehops original recipe)

Ingredients:
6 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked
1 block firm tofu
1/2 cup raw cashews
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp miso paste
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1 jar pasta sauce of choice
1 large zucchini
2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 cups baby spinach
1 block Follow Your Heart Vegan Mozzarella (optional)

Directions:
Preparation:
1. Place cashews in a bowl, cover with water and place in fridge to soak overnight. The next day, drain and rinse. Place cashews into a blender and pour in water just until they are barely covered. Blend until smooth and creamy.
2. Sauté mushrooms in 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp garlic, salt and pepper. When mushrooms are almost cooked add the spinach to the pan and continue to sauté until spinach is wilted. Turn off heat and set aside.
3. To make the “ricotta” filling, place the cashew cream, tofu, nutritional yeast, miso paste, lemon juice, pinch of salt and pepper into a food processor or blender. Process mixture until it looks like ricotta cheese. It should not be completely smooth. Adjust salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast to your liking.
4. Slice the zucchini length wise in thin strips. You will be using the strips as a noodle layer in the lasagna.
5. Grate vegan mozzarella cheese.

Layering:
1. Pour a thin layer in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
2. Layer 3 cooked noodles in the bottom.
3. Spread half of the tofu mixture on top the noodles.
4. Layer half of the mushroom mixture on top of the tofu mixture.
5. Spread a layer of sauce.
6. Place the zucchini slices as the next “noodle” layer.
7. Spread the rest of the tofu mixture on top of the zucchini.
8. Layer with the rest of the mushroom mixture.
9. Cover with sauce.
10. Layer another 3 noodles.
11. Cover with sauce and sprinkle vegan mozzarella cheese over the entire top of lasagna.
12. Cook in a 375 degree oven for 45-55 minutes, until the cheese is lightly browned and the dish is heated through.
13. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

This dish was awesome! I served it with garlic bread and salad and the guys loved every part of it. I love hearing, “I can’t believe this is vegan, it’s delicious”, when I cook a meal. It’s good to knock down people’s misconceptions about vegan food 😀

On a completely different note……GO BUCKEYES!!!

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