Friday, March 5, 2010

Butternut Squash Lasagna

As promised, I'm using last night's Smoky Marinara in a more complicated pasta dish tonight. You'll need 3 cups of Smoky Marinara for this lasagna, which is half the yield of the recipe. So set aside the marinara sauce, and then begin the rest of this dish!

Coat a Dutch oven with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Add 1 and 1/2 cups chopped onion; saute for 4 minutes. Add 5 cups fresh spinach and saute for 1 and 1/2 minutes, until the spinach wilts. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine 6 tablespoons shredded vegan cheese in place of provolone (I used the vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods both here, and in place of Parmesan later in the recipe), 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, the equivalent of 1 egg using egg replacer (such as Ener-G), and 1 (14-ounce) package of extra-firm tofu, crumbled, in place of ricotta. Set aside.

Dice 1 and 1/2 cups of peeled butternut squash. Place in a microwave save bowl, cover, and microwave for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Now it's time to assemble the lasagna! The original recipe called for 6 no-boil, oven-ready lasagna noodles, but since I don't know of a non-enriched version on the market, I bought Whole Foods' 365 brand lasagna, which does need to be pre-cooked. Since I knew the noodles would be in the oven for a long time, however, I opted to only cook them in boiling water for about 5 minutes (half the cooking time). This hunch seems to have been correct, since the final texture of the noodles came out right. If you do buy oven-ready noodles, skip that step! If you do cook your noodles, drain them in a sieve, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Coat an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray on the sides and bottom. Spread 1/2 cup of the Smoky Marinara over the bottom. Arrange 2 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Spread half of your 'ricotta' mixture over the noodles (a little more than 1 cup), then arrange the butternut squash over the 'ricotta'. Top that with another 3/4 cup Smoky Marinara.

Arrange 2 more noodles over the sauce; top with the remaining half of the 'ricotta', then with the onion/spinach mixture, then with 3/4 cup Smoky Marinara.

Arrange the final 2 noodles over that, and top with the remaining cup of Smoky Marinara. Sprinkle 1/2 cup more vegan cheese (this time in place of Parmesan) on the top.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.

Divide the lasagna into 6 equal servings, each of which is about 260 calories.

Note: this recipe doubles beautifully! In that case, assemble two lasagnas, each in its own 8-inch pan. Cook one now, and freeze the other for another night, so you don't have to do double-duty in the kitchen! It will store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just cover the surface of the lasagna with plastic wrap, pressing out as much of the air as possible, then wrap with aluminum foil. When you're ready to prepare the frozen lasagna, let it thaw a full 24 hours in the fridge first. Discard the foil and plastic wrap, and top with a new sheet of aluminum foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour, then uncover and bake a final 30 minutes. Voila! A new dinner without any new dishes to wash.

onion $0.41
spinach $2.50
vegan cheese $3.39
flat-leaf parsley $1.69
extra-firm tofu $2.39
butternut squash $2.66
lasagna noodles $2.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance