Vegan Lasagne – ridiculously good!

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Serve this to your omni friends and don’t tell them it’s vegan – I swear they won’t know the difference! I first saw this recipe over on Erin’s recipe blog, and finally got round to making it. It’s really time consuming to make, but it makes a huuuuge amount and honestly tastes so much like the real thing. I made a few little adjustments, including added a vegan bechamel, and I’m super happy with how it turned out. Thanks again, Erin!

RICOTTA

8 oz firm tofu, frozen and thawed
juice from half a lemon
4 cloves garlic, minced
generous pinch of oregano
generous pinch of basil
1/2 tsp umi plum vinegar
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
4 tbsp vegan cream cheese

Add all of the above to a food processor and blend till it reaches the consistency of  ‘real’ ricotta. Add a little water from the pasta water if it needs softening (it should be spreadable, not a sauce).

BECHAMEL

4 tsp oil
2 tbsp flour
1 cup of almond/oat/soy milk
pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper
2 cup of shredded non-dairy cheddar/mozzarella*

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and then whisk in the flour till smooth. SLOWLY whisk in the milk, adding a couple tablespoons at a time. Add the nutmeg, s&p and cheese. Stir till smooth-ish.

BOLOGNESE

1 loaf of Field Roast Meatloaf
1 yellow onion
1 sweet white onion
2 cups of shiitake mushrooms
oil
1 jar of vegan marinara sauce/pasta sauce
4 cloves of minced garlic
1.5 tbsp egg replacer**  dissolved in 5 tbsp water
1 package of pasta***, cooked

Crumble the field roast in the food processor. Slice up the onions and mushrooms – I chucked all mine through the slicer attachment on my food processor. Now, each component must browned separately: add a little oil to a fry pan and saute the meatloaf, remove, then do the onions, remove, and then lastly the mushrooms. They can all be kept aside in the same bowl. Keeping the pan on med-low, add a touch of oil and the garlic – saute for a couple of minutes, but don’t let the garlic burn. Add the marinara sauce and simmer for 10 mins, then add the onion/mushrooms/meatloaf and simmer for another 20 mins (keep an eye on it and stir every few minutes – I forgot about mine and ended up with a few burnt chunks!!). Add the egg replacer and stir well.

I used a large baking pan to bake my lasagne – I think it’s probably16″ x 10″ or so?? – and I sprayed it with a vegan oil first. Spread about a cup of the bolognese along the bottom: it doesn’t have to create a solid layer, it’s just to prevent the lasagne layer from sticking to the bottom. Taking each sheet of lasagne, spread it with ricotta and lay ricotta-side up. spoon over a layer of bolognese and then another layer of lasagne sheets spread with ricotta, but this time place the sheets ricotta-side down. Spread the remainder of the bolognese on top and then spread over the bechamel sauce.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 F for 30 mins; remove the foil and cook a further 30 mins. Rest for 20 mins and sauce over some baby spinach dressed with good quality balsamic vinegar.

*I used a mixture of Follow Your Heart cheeses

** I used Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer
***I used large pieces of lasagne, which I cooked in boiling water (salted) for 6 mins, but you could really use any kind of pasta. Just keep in mind how big your pan is because something like penne is bulky and will take up a lot of space. Also, the ricotta is thick so it’s hard to layer in without spreading on sheets of pasta; if you decide to use pasta shapes, maybe try mixing the pasta and ricotta together first, then spreading in the pan.

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