All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016
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This lasagna is delicious & 100% vegan. I made three kinds of vegan “cheese” for this. You can make the cheeses yourself (they are all very easy) or buy vegan pre-made varieties. I used three kinds of sauce, a cup of leftover homemade, the remnants of a jar of Rao’s marinara & a little more than a cup of Rao’s Arrabbiata – my favorite jarred sauce. You can use all homemade or all from a jar – or mix it up – as I did.
I used red chard, kale & spinach. You can use any combination of greens that you prefer. I used cheddar cauliflower, because I had it, but regular cauliflower is just as good (it just has less vitamin A). I used the sort of lasagna that needs to be cooked in advance – mainly because I noticed the no-cook kind had egg in them. You can use your favorite vegan lasagna noodles.
I am going to post the three cheeses first. You can choose to make any or all of them.
Vegan Herbed Tofu “Ricotta”
1 lb extra firm tofu
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1-3 TBS mixed chopped fresh herbs (I used thyme & sage)
1 tsp each salt & pepper
1 TBS dry parsley
Crumble the tofu & mix in the other ingredients. Set aside.
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used panko)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepita) – I used roasted & salted because I could not find raw – but raw will work, too
2 TBS nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry thyme
I think it would be ideal to grind these ingredients together in a spice mill – but I don’t have one. You might get a finer result. I used my food processor & ran it a few minutes. The pumpkin seeds were not totally ground – but I went with it anyway.
Vegan Three “Cheese” & Alfredo Lasagna with Power Greens (Kale, Chard & Spinach)
Makes a standard lasagna
1 lb lasagna noodles – cooked as directed
3 cups pasta sauce of your choice
2+ cups vegan mozzarella – grated
for the power greens
1 head kale – ribs removed & chopped
1 head chard – ribs removed & chopped
2 cups spinach
1 cup fresh basil
4 garlic cloves – minced
1/4 onion – diced
1/4 cup vegan Parmesan
for the alfredo
1 head cauliflower – cut into florets
1 cup vegetable stock or water
2 TBS vegan butter
5 garlic cloves – minced
3/4 cup vegan Parmesan
GARNISH – chopped basil or arugula leaves or parsley
Cook the pasta & drain.
for the alfredo
Boil the cauliflower (maybe even boil it in vegetable stock) until very soft. Drain (I reserved 1 cup of the water I boiled the cauliflower in).
Melt the butter & saute the garlic for one minute.
In a blender or food processor – blend the cauliflower, stock (or water) butter & garlic, vegan Parmesan & a bit of S&P until very smooth. Set aside.
for the power greens
Heat a TBS or 2 in a large saute pan & heat the onion until soft. Add the garlic & kale, chard & spinach & heat just until the greens wilt.
In a food processor (not a necessary step – but it prevents large & hard to bite pieces of greens in your lasagna that can flop, hot, out of a bite you are taking & burn you – or just make a mess) – pulse the hot greens, the basil, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Set aside.
for the lasagna
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large lasagna pan, put about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom & then layer noodles. The rest of the layering can be random & at your discretion – but here is the order I used. I topped the noodles with half the “ricotta,” half the “alfredo,” then noodles, then all the greens, noodles, remaining “ricotta,” cup or more of sauce, noodles, remaining “alfredo,” noodles, remaining sauce & mozzarella.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until well heated. I would say “or until cheese melts,” but many vegan cheeses do not truly melt. So – just eyeball it until you think it seems done.
I stacked two pieces on top of each other for photos & you could do this, too, for an impressive presentation. Or not. Your call. Garnish with basil or arugula or parsley. Devour!