Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Made Vegan Lasagna!

Hi, again! Continuing my month of home cooking, I made vegan lasagna! I got the recipe from a friend going to culinary school at the Natural Gourmet Institute, and it's pretty damn good. I've shared a batch with my carnivore parents and brother (I'm vegan, if you haven't noticed), and they didn't realize that the "ricotta" was actually tofu!
Sorry, too lazy to plate and take a proper picture this time!
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles
  • 9 x 13" pan
Prepare lasagna noodles as directed on the box. Once they're done, drain and lay them on aluminum foil or parchment paper so they won't stock together. Preheat oven to 375F.
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large can pureed tomato
  • spices to taste (basil, cayenne, etc.)
The tomato sauce part of the recipe is really up to you! The way I usually do sauces is very simple: just sautée finely chopped onions and minced garlic in olive oil, add pureed tomato, add some sugar to taste, add spices to taste (this time, I used cayenne (the noodles and "ricotta" balanced out a pretty spicy sauce), cumin, coriander, sage, basil). I let this simmer on a very low flame while I prepare the "ricotta."
  • 2 pounds firm tofu, pressed (squeezed)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp miso (you can replace with 1 tsp peanut butter and soy sauce, or with tahini and little soy sauce)
  • fresh rosemary finely chopped or whatever herbs you like (basil)
Put tofu, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic, miso, and herbs into a food processor and mix until tofu is smooth with a slight granular texture. The flavoring of the tofu "ricotta" is up to you as well. I had a mood for rosemary the last time I made this, so I was very generous with that herb.

Assemble the lasagna layers. In a 9 x 13" pan, place a layer of sauce, then noodles (I fit three noodles per layer), then thin layer of sauce (just enough to cover the noodles), then a layer of "ricotta", then noodles, then sauce, then "ricotta", and so on. The top layer should be noodles covered by sauce. I've been trying to eat more "naturally" lately (since it's not that great to eat Tofurky, Tofutti, and vegan substitutes all the time), so instead of having a layer of vegan cheese (like Daiya), I just had a generous layer of sauce. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes, until hot (check your baking frequently!).

The lasagna seems to taste better after being refrigerated overnight... The portions mentioned above are definitely A LOT and enough for a few days of lunches and dinners! This is a pretty simple recipe and very adjustable. I thought it was worth sharing because it is an example of an easily veganizable recipe. Bon appétit.


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