Thursday, July 29, 2010

'Turkey' Lasagna

A cautionary tale before I begin tonight's recipe: don't forget to take your time, while cooking, even on busy nights! After a day spent in jury duty, all I wanted was a hearty dinner, relatively fast. I reached into the pantry for a 26-ounce jar of Amy's tomato-basil pasta sauce (purchased earlier in the week), and it slipped from my fingers and shattered all over the kitchen floor. Let me tell you: it is not easy to clean up a pile of tomato sauce and glass! Luckily, there's an organic grocer across from my apartment, so a replacement was easy to come by, even at 9 pm. Although not certified vegan like Amy's pasta sauce, most tomato-basil varieties will be vegan by default; just read ingredient labels in the off-chance they contain cheese.

Now on to the recipe - which otherwise would have been quite simple!

Ahead of time, you need to make some vegan cottage cheese - simply combine 1 (14-ounce) package firm tofu with 1 tablespoon lemon juice; mash with a fork until the mixture resembles cottage cheese curds. Cover and chill, ideally for about 5 hours so the flavors can blend, but I find that a couple hours works just fine.

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 and 1/4 cups chopped onion, 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper, 8 ounces pre-sliced mushrooms, and 1 minced garlic clove; saute for 5 minutes.

Chop 10 ounces (about 16 slices) of vegan deli turkey slices - I like either Yves Veggie or Light Life. Add the 'turkey' to the skillet, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add 1 (26-ounce) jar of tomato-basil pasta sauce (without breaking it!) and 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning; reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook 8 lasagna noodles according to package directions (about 10 minutes in boiling water); drain and set aside.

To the 'cottage cheese' that you made earlier, add 1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese in place of Parmesan (such as the vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods), 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and the equivalent of 2 eggs using egg replacer (such as Ener-G). I omitted the 1/4 tsp. salt in the original recipe, but add it if you like.

To assemble the lasagna, spread 1 cup of the 'turkey' mixture on the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 4 lasagna noodles, half of the 'cottage cheese' mixture, and 2 cups of the 'turkey' mixture. Repeat the layers - 4 more noodles, the rest of the 'cottage cheese' mixture, and the rest of the 'turkey' mixture.

Sprinkle the top with an additional cup of shredded vegan mozzarella, then bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting into 9 pieces of 290 calories each.

onion $1.04
green bell pepper $0.59
presliced mushrooms $2.49
vegan deli turkey $5.58
tomato-basil pasta sauce $3.97
firm tofu $2.39

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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