Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spinach, Mushroom, and Veggie Crumble Lasagna

I have  been wanting to make a vegan version of lasagna for a while.  It didn't appear to be a difficult thing, but I knew I would have to make my own vegan ricotta out of tofu.  The last time I made lasagna, I made a vegetarian version with zucchini and eggplant.  I did not enjoy that.  This time, I wanted to use spinach and mushrooms.  Because I had to go to the store to get some firm tofu (I only had silken thawed in the fridge), I also got some veggie crumbles to add.
I started by sauteing yellow bell pepper and onions.  Then I added a half a package of sliced steak mushrooms.  (Next time, I'll chop the mushrooms versus leaving them sliced.)  After the mushrooms were cooked, I added some veggie crumbles and let that mixture cook for a few minutes.
My next task was to make the tofu ricotta.  I used a combination of recipes, one recipe was out of Veganomicon.  The other recipe was on VegWeb.com.  I thought I had fresh basil, but I didn't and of course, I forgot to pick it up at the store.  So, I used some dried herbs and added the Tofutti Cream Cheese at the end.
I used no-cook lasagna noodles.  They actually turned out very good.  I layered sauce, noodles, tofu ricotta, mushroom/veggie crumble mix, and frozen spinach, thawed.  Then I repeated the layers until the baking dish was full.
I baked this at 350º for about 50-55 minutes.  It came out hot and delicious.
Here's a loose recipe for what I did.

Spinach, Mushroom, & Veggie Crumble Lasagna

Preheat oven to 350º

Noodles
1 package no-boil lasagna noodles

Sauce
1 24 oz. jar of your favorite sauce

Ricotta
1 14 oz. package extra firm tofu
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced (I used Penzey's dried ... I was being lazy)
½ teaspoon oregano (I used a Penzey's Pasta Mix)
½ teaspoon dried basil (or 10 leaves fresh)
¼ teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 to 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast  (I used a little over 3)
6 to 8 ounces Tofutti cream cheese (I used 5 or 6 oz.)

Squeeze water out of tofu chunks and crumble into bowl.  Add lemon juice through pepper.  Squeeze tofu until it resembles the consistency of ricotta cheese.  Add olive oil and stir with a fork.  Add nutritional yeast and stir in with a fork.  Microwave the cream cheese for about 20 seconds, so it's softer and easier to incorporate into the "ricotta."  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Fillings
½ yellow onion, chopped
¼ cup diced bell pepper (color of your choice)
5 oz. sliced mushrooms, chopped
½ cup of veggie crumbles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed


Heat olive oil in a pan.  Add onion and bell pepper.  Saute until soft.  Add mushrooms.  Saute until mushrooms lose all of their water.  Add veggie crumbles and saute for 4 to 5 more minutes.  Turn off heat and set aside.  Put spinach in a colander and press all excess water out of it.

Prepare 8" x 8" square baking dish.  Put one cup of sauce in the bottom.  Add a layer of lasagna noodles.  Top with 1/3 of the tofu ricotta mixture, 1/2 of the mushroom/veggie crumble mix, 1/2 of the spinach, and another cup of the sauce. Repeat layer.  Add a layer of lasagna noodles, rest of the ricotta mixture, and rest of the sauce.  Cover with foil.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and cook another 10 minutes.  Let set for 5 minutes before serving.

I'll leave you with a shot of Jordan.  Jordan is a completely submissive dog when she comes in from outside.  In the spring, her paws are always FULL of mud.  Tonight was no exception.  I had already cleaned her paws, but she was still laying in the middle of the kitchen floor waiting on who knows what.
 And here are Jordan and Kobe waiting around for something tasty to drop.





2 comments:

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this second version of vegan lasagna that you tried - it's something I love but haven't made in quite a while (too busy trying out bunches of new recipes!) I've never tried no-cook lasagna noodles, it's nice to hear they turned out well!

    I got my vegan ricotta recipe from a vegan friend ages ago, and it's fairly similar to the one you found at food.com. I don't add oil to mine (I don't add oil to anything!), and it doesn't have nutritional yeast in it, either. But it does have maple syrup, along with the other ingredients. It's uncannily like ricotta! I took to processing the thawed spinach right into the ricotta mixture. You've definitely got me craving lasagna now! :-)

    I figured Jordan was lolling about at your feet (after having the mud cleaned from her own) in hopes you'd drop a morsel, so I laughed when I saw your caption for the next photo! :-)

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  2. That was the first time I've made homemade ricotta. Next time, I will leave the oil out. I don't think it did much. I had also thought about adding the spinach to the ricotta mixture. I'd do that next time. I thought it turned out good. I bet your ricotta made with maple syrup is wonderful. It sounds good. If you make your lasagna, please post pictures! :::smile::: I don't make this much, but I do like lasagna. I'll be freezing several portions to thaw and eat when I need some "fast food." LOL

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