“This is delicious!”

15 Apr

Those are the exact words out of my 8-year-old's mouth as he ate his vegan lasagna last night for dinner. My kids are big-time lasagna lovers (that's the Italian in them!). Actually, they like anything made with pasta.

So a few nights ago at dinner, Madison asked, "Mom, do you think it's possible to make vegan lasagna? I'd like to try that." I said, "I'm sure I can come up with something!" And I did. It passed the taste test by my hubby, kids and my mom, who's in town this week!
The trickiest part of veganizing lasagna is the cheese. I have yet to find a vegan cheese that I like, although I haven't tried the packaged little slices that look like Kraft American cheese slices. They might be good. I don't know. I found a recipe in a cookbook for a vegan version of ricotta cheese. Then I decided to just make the vegan Alfredo sauce from Vegan Dad's blog (see my March 1 blog entry). I made it thicker than usual so it could replace the mozzarella cheese in the lasagna. Also, I made the ricotta and the Alfredo sauce the day before, to allow the flavors to meld.
The result was delicious — just like Brady said!
serves 8
Alfredo Sauce (make a day in advance and refrigerate):
see my March 1 blog post
Ricotta (make a day in advance and refrigerate):
14 oz block of extra firm tofu, drained and cut into large cubes
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 zucchini
olive oil
9 lasagna noodles, cooked to package directions
4 cups spaghetti sauce
To make ricotta: 
Place tofu chunks in a small saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes, drain well and refrigerate until cooled slightly (about 15 minutes). Place tofu and remaining ingredients in food processor and puree. Store in refrigerator up to 5 days.
To make lasagna: 
Preheat oven to 400. Slice the zucchini in 1/4" slices and place on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Drizzle tops with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender and lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Spread 1/3 cup of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the 9×13 baking dish. Place 3 lasagna noodles across the bottom to cover completely. Spread one-third of the ricotta on top of the noodles, covering completely. Lay one-third of the zucchini slices on top of the ricotta. Spread about 1 cup of spaghetti sauce over the zucchini, then drizzle on a layer of Alfredo sauce. Repeat noodles, ricotta, zucchini, spaghetti sauce, Alfredo two more times. Cover the final layer with more sauce. 
Cover and bake 45 to 60 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired. Enjoy!

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2 Responses to ““This is delicious!””

  1. Iniysa April 17, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    It sounds wonderful! I plan to try and make this soon. If I am currently between places to live and therefore do not have a blender or food processor what can I do instead?Lauren

  2. Tamie Spears April 18, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Hmmm…I know for the ricotta, you can just mash it really well with a fork or potato masher then stir it with a spoon until almost smooth, and still get good results. For the Alfredo sauce, you could just use a store-bought soy cheese instead. I would choose the mozzarella or provolone flavored one.

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