Monday Meal Planning – Vegan Lasagna

by Laurel on February 11, 2013

Today I’m kicking off a weekly series called “Meal Planning Mondays”. Since the start of the new year, I’ve been planning big meals that I cook at the start of the week, and it’s saving me loads of time and energy! The idea is you spend the time to cook one big meal and then you have a refrigerator full of leftovers to turn to on those busy weeknights when you’re tired and out of time. With a focus on healthier ingredients and huge family size portions, the recipes in Meal Planning Mondays will save you time and will reduce your trips to the grocery store. I hope you enjoy this series! Let me know if you have a recipe request.

I know the recipe below has a lot of ingredients, but you’re making a ton of food! When it’s all done, you’ll be thrilled to have a big decadent but healthy pan of food that you can enjoy for days on days.

Vegan Lasagna

Vegan Lasagna

  • 1 package lasagna noodles
  • 1 package vegan cheese (such as Daiya mozzarella)
  • 1 package vegan ground “meat” (such as Lightlife Smart Ground Crumbles)
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced

Tofu Ricotta

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cashew Pesto

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cups fresh basil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Tomato Sauce

  • 4-5 lbs. tomatoes (I used plum tomatoes)
  • 1 red onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground fennel seed
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard seed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. honey

Directions:

  1. Make the Tomato Sauce – Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tomatoes in half length-wise and spread them out on a sheet pan, cut side up. Cut up the onion into large wedges and add them to the pan. Peel the garlic cloves and add them to the pan too. Drizzle the olive oil on top and sprinkle on the salt. Roast for 60 minutes until everything is caramelized on the edges. When you’re done roasting, take the pan out of the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Then scrape everything off the pan into a food processor or blender (don’t lose any of the yummy juices). Add the basil, ground fennel, paprika, ground mustard, black red pepper flakes, and honey, and then process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Make the Tofu Ricotta – Drain the tofu and press it with paper towels to remove excess liquid. Crumble the tofu into a mixing bowl with your hands. Add in the garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon half. Stir well with a spoon or fork. Cover and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to build the lasagna.
  3. Make the Cashew Pesto – Put the cashews, fresh basil, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blend. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon half. Process for 10 seconds or so until it becomes a crumbly paste. Do not over process (you don’t want it to turn to a liquid). Cover and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to build the lasagna.
  4. Cook the Noodles – Boil water and then cook the lasagna noodles according to directions on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water to carefully lay the noodles out flat so they won’t stick together.
  5. Build the Lasagna – In a large casserole pan, pour a small scoop of sauce on the bottom of the pan to coat it. Put down a layer of noodles, then top with follow with a thin layer of ground “meat”, a handful of tofu ricotta, a handful of cashew pesto, and a scoop of tomato sauce. Repeat with two more layers, but this time add in 1 cup sliced mushrooms and half of the zucchini slices for each layer (use your judgment). For the top of the lasagna, finish it with a layer of 3-4 noodles, and the rest of your tomato sauce spread over them. Then sprinkle the entire bag of vegan cheese on top. Optionally, you can add a sprinkle of oregano leaves here too.
  6. Bake it – Cover loosely with foil (you don’t want the cheese to stick to it) and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 20 minutes more.
  7. Enjoy – Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set for about 15-20 minutes before serving.
Tomatoes, Onions, and Garlic for Roasting

Tomatoes, red onion, and garlic cloves, ready to be roasted.

Tofu Ricotta

Tofu ricotta mixed and ready to be added to the lasagna

Fresh basil

Huge fresh basil leaves

Cashew Pesto

Cashew Pesto, mixed in the food processor

Vegan Lasagna
Vegan Lasagna
Vegan Lasagna
Vegan Lasagna
Vegan Lasagna


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{ 2 comments }

austin March 4, 2013 at 11:37 pm

I’m sure you hear this a lot, but if you aren’t going to use cheese, why try to duplicate it – just go without. Don’t get me wrong, this recipe looks great – thanks for sharing!

Laurel March 6, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Thanks Austin! You could certainly just leave out the cheese substitutes in this recipe, but I think they add a lot to the texture. I personally love the tofu ricotta I made up, and if you haven’t tried Daiya for the topping, it really is incredible. I couldn’t stand any cheese substitutes until I tried their products and now I enjoy it on pizza or anytime when I would really miss having the cheese. It tastes great and gets stretchy and melty. But, I totally understand and get it if people don’t want to try it. For me, I avoid cheese when I cook at home b/c I don’t like how it makes me feel, but that’s just me. Thanks for your comment! :)

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