Vegan-ish Lasagna


About a week ago, I was rummaging around in our food cabinet and saw that we had a box of oven ready lasagna noodles buried in the back - a rare find! When I ordered my groceries for this week (grocery delivery is the life hack of the century), I included extra red sauce and a package of tofu so that I could make my version of vegan lasagna for dinner one of the weeknights. However, only after my groceries were delivered did I realize that the box of lasagna noodles had a measly two noodles in it. I had all the other ingredients, as well as a serious hankering, for lasagna - what a tease! Each day after work it was my intention to swing by the grocery store to buy a supplemental box of oven ready lasagna noodles. Each day came and passed, and guess what - the post-commute grocery store trip never happened.

Finally, Sunday came. We had exhausted all other dinner options by then, and gosh darn it I was determined to have lasagna. I walked eight blocks out of my way to the grocery store for the noodles, and while I was there also stopped in the produce section for some fresh basil for a garnish. As if the dinner gods were against me, there was no fresh basil to be found at this grocery store. And not to mention, before I left the house for the day, I had forgotten to defrost the frozen spinach so that I could add it to my tofu ricotta. Thankfully, hubby was still home and answered my texted plea to help right my wrongs!


Instructions
After all that, I returned home at the end of the day with oven ready lasagna noodles in hand, sadly no basil, and defrosted spinach waiting patiently for me on the kitchen counter. I was starving, as usual, and got cooking right away. First up, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees and drained and pressed the tofu with paper towel to remove most of the liquid. Hubby got the food processor down from the tippy top cabinet because he’s an angel, into which I promptly crumbled the tofu, added a healthy splash of both olive oil and italian seasoning, two cloves of garlic, a big shake of nutritional yeast, the defrosted spinach, and a generous grind of fresh salt and pepper.

Once the tofu “ricotta” mixture was fully blended and fluffy, I started to assemble the lasagna in a square pan starting with a bottom layer of tomato sauce, then noodles, sauce, ricotta; noodles, sauce, ricotta; noodles sauce ricotta; noodles and a final light topping of sauce and some shredded cheese. Here, my imperfections must be admitted: we had no vegan shredded cheese so I chose to use my hubby’s stash of dairy mozzarella cheese (albeit very sparingly). After covering the pan with foil, I baked it for 25min covered, and then for another 10min uncovered. It was perfect.



Ingredients
1 package extra firm tofu
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package frozen spinach, defrosted
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon italian seasoning (or dried oregano, basil, parsley)
½ to 1 jar of red pasta sauce (as needed)
1 box of oven ready lasagna noodles
Shredded mozzarella cheese (dairy or nondairy, whatever is on hand)

Makes 4 servings

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