Friday, April 16, 2010

Mushroom Lasagna

I love lasagna, because the various combinations of sauce and vegetable fillings to choose from seem almost endless. I made a zucchini lasagna earlier in the month, and will probably do a few more some time in the near future. Tonight, mushrooms take center stage!

(Ahead of time, you'll want to make 1 cup vegan cottage cheese, since it has to chill for 5 hours: mash 7 ounces lite firm tofu with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, with the back of a fork, until the mixture resembles the curds of cottage cheese. Cover and chill for 5 hours.)

So there are three layers to this particular lasagna - the filling, the sauce, and the noodles.

For the filling: Thinly slice 1 and 1/2 cups leek, then wash the slices in a colander to make sure you get the dirt from between all the layers. Thinly slice 2 (8-ounce) packages of button mushrooms. Melt 2 teaspoons vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leek and mushrooms, and saute for 7 minutes.

Drain the mixture of any liquid that the mushrooms have yielded during cooking, then return the vegetables to the pan. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, and 2 minced garlic cloves; set aside.

For the sauce: place 1/4 cup all-purpose flour in a saucepan. Gradually stir in 3 cups plain soy milk (such as Silk), stirring with a whisk until well-blended. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese in place of Parmesan (such as the vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods), the previously-made vegan cottage cheese, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, and 1 (10-ounce) package of spinach - previously thawed, drained, and then squeezed dry.

For the noodles: cook 9 uncooked lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.

And now it's time to assemble!

Spread about 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over the sauce. Top with about 1 and 1/2 cups of the mushrooms mixture. Repeat the layers - 1 cup more sauce, 3 more noodles, 1 and 1/2 cups more mushroom mixture, then 3 more noodles.

Spread your final 1/2 cup of sauce over the top - I actually had closer to a full cup leftover, which probably means I didn't let it thicken enough, so I just poured in all that I had remaining. (Note: I also had about 1/2 cup more mushroom mixture than expected, so I added that with the last layer of mushrooms).

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Next, the original recipe called to uncover the dish and sprinkle with a mixture of Parmesan and fontina - 1 cup of cheese total. Instead, I used entirely the vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods, but combine any variation of vegan cheeses you like to equal 1 cup.

Bake, uncovered, for a final 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing into 9 servings. Each serving is 270 calories.

lasagna noodles $2.99
plain soy milk $2.49
vegan cheese $4.99
lite firm tofu $2.69
frozen spinach $2.99
leek $1.91
button mushrooms $2.98

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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