Are you feeling as well rested as I am today? I could seriously bounce off the walls right now and there isn’t a lick of caffeine in my body. Man, the extra hour is the best…aside from that whole getting dark earlier thing. That really put a wrinkle in my lasagna dinner photography plans last night!
Want to know a secret?
I’ve never made lasagna before! Not even before I became a vegan. Back then, the best thing I cooked was popcorn in my popcorn maker and frozen dinners.
Anyways, I always loved eating lasagna, but assumed it was super difficult to make. Well, it turns out that it’s not as bad as I imagined…like everything in life. (Thank you anxiety.) This lasagna was quite easy even for an experienced popcorn maker like myself. And if you’re a multi-tasker in the kitchen like I am things move along even quicker.
How do you make a vegan lasagna taste as good as its non-vegan counterpart?
Above all, it must have a creamy and cheese-like flavour. Most vegan lasagna recipes use a tofu-based “ricotta” cheese, but I wanted to try something different for my recipe. As a cheese replacer, I made a Lemon Basil Cashew Cheeze which I adapted from my Stuffed Portabella Pizza recipe. I absolutely loved it in this lasagna and it gave it a really luxurious creamy and cheesy flavour.
The first thing you do is make this cheeze spread in your food processor. I did this ahead of time and just kept it in a sealed container in the fridge until I was ready to make my lasagna.
I also saved time by using bottled pasta sauce (1.5 bottles), but you can make homemade marinara sauce if you prefer!
The next thing I did was sauté the vegetables. I chopped 1 sweet onion, 1 large red pepper, 2 small zucchini, 1 cup of cremini mushrooms, and minced 3 garlic cloves.
(I love the sunset light beaming into my kitchen at this time!)
While the vegetables are sautéing, you can boil your noodles. The best lasagna making tip that I can give you is to slightly undercook your lasagna noodles. I cooked mine for about 8 minutes and then quickly rinsed them with cold water. No one wants mushy noodles in a lasagna! I used Kamut noodles and they were very tasty.
Once that is done, it’s time to start layering your lasagna. I took step-by-step pictures to help guide you along the process. So yea…if you’re not taking a bazillion photos it should move along even quicker!
- I used about 1 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Use half of your basil cheeze for the 1st layer and the rest for the second layer. Ditto for the vegetables!
- You can add as much or as little cheese on top as you prefer. I think I used about 1 cup?
At this point you can wrap it up and put it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it, or you can bake it right away like I did.
After layering, bake in the oven, covered with tin foil, for 40-45 minutes at 400F and then remove the tinfoil and broil it over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, watching closely.
That wasn’t so bad, right?
We also have a ton of leftovers to enjoy for lunches all week long!
Would I change anything next time?
The only thing I would add next time is to crumble a couple of my favourite Amy’s California burgers (pre-cooked?) onto a layer of the lasagna. I think that would give it a great “ground-beef” like texture. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing!
We both gobbled up two big pieces and Eric packed some for his lunch today. I’d say it was a success!
Now, my mind is swirling with a seasonal lasagna recipe like pumpkin or squash lasagna. I think that would be really good!
Don’t forget, today is the last day to enter my giveaway!