Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Zucchini and Basil Lasagna

This dish is relatively simple, as lasagnas go, but don't take that to mean it's good for a quick night! There are still several layers of ingredients to need to come together, and I was perhaps a bit too busy to be ambitious enough for lasagna on this particular weeknight...

The first mistake I made was forgetting to make the vegan cottage cheese in advance. 'Cottage cheese' is a simple process of mashing 2 cups crumbled lite firm tofu with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, then letting it chill for about 5 hours. I only remembered to make my 'cottage cheese' about half an hour in advance, however, but figured it was all right since it was meant for the lasagna filling, not to be eaten by itself.

Combine the 'cottage cheese' in a blender with 1 cup chopped basil (I was little short, probably closer to 3/4 cups), and the equivalent of 1 egg using egg replacer (such as Ener-G). Process until smooth, then set aside.

Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add 4 cups chopped zucchini and 1/2 cup chopped onion; saute for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups bottled spicy tomato pasta sauce, then remove from heat. Note: There are many brands on the market, most of which were vegan when I glanced at ingredients, but watch out for sneaky things like anchovies. I used the Spicy Tuscan Tomato Sauce from Lucini: www.lucini.com

Grate 1 and 1/2 cups vegan mozzarella (such as Galaxy Foods); set aside.

Now it's time to assemble the lasagna! Spread 1/4 cup of the zucchini mixture on the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer 3 lasagna noodles over the mixture; since I prefer the organic lasagna from Whole Foods' house brand, which are not oven-ready, I cooked mine in boiling water for about half their cook time, so they would be slightly supple at this stage, and then finish cooking in the oven.

Cover the noodles with 1/3 of the 'cottage cheese' mixture, 1/3 of the zucchini mixture, and 1/3 of the 'mozzarella.' Repeat the layers: 3 more lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the cottage cheese, 1/3 of the zucchini, 1/3 of the 'mozzarella. Repeat a final time, ending with the mozzarella.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake a final 15 minutes.

Divide into 8 servings of 230 calories each.

lite firm tofu $2.00
zucchini $2.51
bottled spicy tomato pasta sauce $8.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html