Many people are afraid of going vegan because they fear they have to “give up” so many foods. Well fear not! Veganism is not about taking things away from you, all the contrary, its about enhancing them.
Personally, I have always loved pasta. All the pasta, any pasta, everyday, anytime, all the time, no days off. But when I went vegan I thought I’d ever have lasagna again.
But then, I came across a recipe from Thug Kitchen and I added my own twist. I split this recipe up in three main parts to create :tofu ricotta cheese, basil pesto, and mushroom filling. You will need the following:
Tofu Ricotta Cheese:
- 3/4 c of unsalted cashews
- 2 (28 oz)blocks of extra firm tofu
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of lemon zest
- 1 lemon (juice)
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 a cup of nutritional yeast
- 1/2 c chopped almonds
- 1 1/2 cup of basil leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp of almond milk (or cashew milk, soy milk works too)
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- 1/2 tsp of lemon zest
- 1tsp of salt
- 3 cloves of garlic (chopped up)
- 16 oz of mushrooms
- 2 tsp of olive oil
- 6 c of spinach
- 1 tsp of salt
1 lb of cooked lasagna noodles (used ready to cook noodles)
48 oz of marinara sauce (I used 2 jars Barilla spicy marinara )
2 tomatoes (sliced)
oven safe (8×10) dish
Making the ricotta:
process the cashews in a food processor (I personally just used my blender for everything). Next drain the tofu blocks by squeezing the water out with your hands and then crumble it into the blender with your cashews. Blend it together until its nice and creamy.
In a large bowl, place the tofu mix and add olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, garlic, and nutritional yeast. Mix them together and refrigerate for later use.
Making the basil pesto:
Blend all of the ingredients together then refrigerate for later use.
preheat your oven to 375
Making the mushroom paste
Heat the olive oil in cooking pan at medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms for about 5 minutes or until the mushroom juice starts to soak up. Using a fork or a mashing tool, mash the mushrooms up to your liking. Add the salt and stir.
Add in the spinach and cook until the spinach shrinks (another 4 minutes or so), then turn heat off.
Now, the fun part; Layering!
Place 1 cup of marinara sauce on dish, followed by a layer of pasta. Layer on 1/3 of the tofu ricotta cheese mix followed small scoops of basil pesto. (I used a rubber scraper to level off the ingredients). Next, lay the 1/3 of the mushroom paste followed by another cup of marinara sauce.
Repeat this pattern 3 times. Your final layer should be pasta. Cover the pasta with the left over sauce and top it off with tomato slices.
Cover lasagna with foil (poke a good 5 holes in foil). Bake for 45 minutes. Let lasagna cool for about 10 min then serve.
Nutritional yeast is this cheesy-like powder…like the stuff that remains on your finger tips after eating Cheeto puffs (it tastes like it too!). It’s packed with protein and completely vegan! please, please PLEASE do NOT substitute with baking yeast…ITS NOT THE SAME THING!! Not even close!