Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tofu Lasagna

Last week I was thinking about making TOFU LASAGNA, and I wondered why you are supposed to boil the long wide noodles first, before baking them in the lasagna. This seemed redundant to me, and it was always annoying when the noodles stuck together after I drained them, as I was trying to make my layers. So I decided to experiment with using dry noodles. I also decided to use some of my vegetable soup vegetables in my tomato sauce, as we didn't seem to be eating it up fast enough, and it had started out as a giant pot of soup.

First I started out with some tomato sauce, the recipe for which you can find in an earlier post. I added scooped out vegetables from the previous posted vegetable soup recipe. This added bulk to the sauce, which was good, because I make lasagna in a very large pot I found at a yard sale. It is a big long oval stainless steel pot with a lid that is supposed to be used to roast...other things. (It comes with an insert holed tray that fits inside the bottom which I don't use.) Maybe you have one around or can find one. I actually have found two of them over the years. Or perhaps you have some other deep dish casserole you could use. It needs to be pretty deep to contain all the sauce and layers, and this new method works best if you can cover the pot during most of the cooking.

As the sauce was cooking, I mashed up three tofu cubes with about a quarter cup of nutritional yeast and half a teaspoon of oregano and a sprinkle of tamari. I used a potato masher to mash them.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees.

I chopped up one bunch of collards into thin strips. You could use kale or spinach if you prefer. Normally I would have precooked the greens, too, but this was not to be a normal lasagna. I wanted everything to be simpler.
When the sauce was ready, and for my huge pot there was probably about a gallon of it, I was ready to begin layering. You could really do all this in a smaller sized way if you wanted to, adjusting the amounts to fit whatever baking dish you have. Now that you can use dry lasagna noodles, you can leave the ones you don't use in the box for the next batch. You could probably make this recipe with one jar of pasta sauce, one tub of tofu, a few greens and a few lasagna noodles. It's just a casserole, after all.

I poured some of the steaming tomato sauce (and you might have to adjust your baking time if your sauce doesn't start out hot) in the bottom of my long, tall, narrow pot, spreading it all around.

I lay down dry lasagna noodles over the sauce, breaking them to fit next to each other, trying to cover as much of the sauce as I could without overlapping. I used Bionature organic lasagna noodles, if you can find them at your local natural food grocery.

I covered the noodles with half of the tofu mash.

I covered the tofu with half of the greens.

I covered all this with more of my tomato sauce, and then repeated the layers one more time.

I ended with the rest of my tomato sauce, being sure all the noodles were covered.

At this point you could grate some pretend cheese over the top, but I didn't, because I didn't think it was necessary. Or you could wait and add some pretend cheese at the end of the cooking, leaving the lid off and letting it get all melted. You could also make some melty pretend cheese, if you wanted to. I will give a recipe for that, later.

I covered the pot and baked it in the preheated oven for one hour and twenty minutes, at which point I tested the dry noodles, half expecting them to still be hard, but they were perfectly soft. You could probably only bake it for an hour if you are making a smaller amount and have started with steaming hot sauce.

Because of the addition to my sauce of all the additional vegetables, this turned out to be a healthful dish, and now it is an easy one, too—again, using only one baking dish and one bowl to mash the tofu in. No more colander or big pot for boiling the noodles! 

If you do end up making a big pot of this lasagna, I think you will find it improves by the second day, and it is always great to have leftovers.

2 comments:

  1. my favorite food ever is your lasagna....

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will make it each time you come home!

    ReplyDelete