Well, as of June 6th, it has officially been a full year since Sarah and I last ate meat! This last year has been a whirlwind of new foods and experimentation, and I can't even believe I was able to piece together 3 meals a day without meat (and most of those meals without dairy either!) Looking back on the food we ate over the last 12 months, this dish definitely sticks out in my mind.
It's great to have parents that are willing to cook special meals for us when we visit our respective hometowns. A few months back, when visiting my parents for Easter, my mom made this awesome vegan lasagna for us that we just loved (and had to steal)!
Here's what you need! (Recipe adapted from Food Network)
For the filling:
- 16 oz. firm or extra firm tofu (drained and pressed)
- 10 oz. package frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
- 8 oz. vegan cream cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 clove garlic, whole
For the sauce:
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves thinly sliced garlic
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lb. sliced white mushrooms
- 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 cup water
- Vegan shredded mozzarella
- No-boil lasagna noodles
Here's what you do:
To prepare the filling:
- Thaw, drain, and squeeze out the liquid from the spinach.
- Drain and press the tofu (we usually use paper towels).
- Add all filling ingredients to your food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
To prepare the sauce:
- Add olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add sliced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant (a minute or less).
- Add the mushrooms, cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 more minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, water, and Kosher salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 or 15 minutes, until much of the water is evaporated.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish and add a thin layer of the red sauce to the bottom.
- Layer no-boil noodles, spinach filling, red sauce, and sprinkle a bit of mozzarella cheese. (It's okay if your noodles overlap a little bit. I broke some of mine to get into all the corners of the dish too.) Repeat with 2-3 additional layers until your ingredients are used up.
- On the top layer, finish with noodles and sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese, and bake an additional 15 minutes.
The recipe and ingredient list may seem a bit lengthy, but this lasagna is just fantastic and completely worth it. The spinach filling mixed with the mozzarella and red sauce makes it so creamy and satisfying. I've never been a mushroom person, but this dish is single handedly opening my eyes to the possibilities. I love the flavors we get with the tomatoes and mushrooms in the sauce!
If you give this recipe a try, be sure to let us know!
Sarah & Nick