Yesterday was my birthday. It wasn’t the extraordinary celebration we normally have because of the crisis, but my husband Brandon wanted to make it special for me. We live in Colorado and it snowed almost a foot over the past two days. In Colorado, we can always use moisture. The beautiful snow is marvelous for the trees and for snowshoeing! Even though the mountains are calling, we must NOT go. Traditionally we go all out on our birthdays and plan some kind of mountain adventure or an out of country get-away to Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, or wherever the wind takes us.
This year I couldn’t even see my parents and give them a big old squeeze and they live 3-minutes away from us. We played a game of virtual Yahtzee with my family yesterday and it was loads of laughs and very entertaining.
This isolation phase is difficult for all of us.
I’m grateful that Brandon offered to make me dinner. We both enjoy cooking and have come up with a cooking schedule where we cook for each other every other night. It works for us and takes the guess-work out of who’s making dinner and what. Earlier last week he asked me if I wanted Greek Chicken for my birthday, which was my lovely Grandmother’s specialty.
While that was sweet I told them that I thought it would be fun for us to get crafty in the kitchen and come up with the ultimate plant-based lasagna recipe.
For Christmas last year we made a plant-based lasagna recipe that I found on a blog, and it came out all wrong. The noodles were crispy, there wasn’t enough sauce, and the dairy-free cheese did not melt right. Total learning lesson! I’ve search long and hard for the perfect Plant-Based Lasagna and I could never seem to find one I was in love with…
I decided to take the matter into my own hands and craft the only lasagna recipe you’ll ever need.
It’s dairy-free and gluten-free, so if you have sensitivities like I do you’ll be in the clear. The cashew ricotta cheese is about the best thing that I’ve ever had. Previously, I made cashew ricotta cheese, but when you combine it with the tofu, it becomes even creamier and more savory.
We had intended to fill a 13×9 inch casserole dish, but there were enough ingredients to fill a small 9×9 inch casserole dish too. This is perfect to prepare for the week and nosh on it when the temptation arises. Because it’s time intensive I recommend making it fun and asking your family members to join in on the creative journey.
Have you tried cooking mindfully? It’s a blast! You can play some music, light some candles, and drink some tea.
During this time of isolation, it’s important to find things that make you happy and to honor your body by eating healthy.
This plant-based lasagna is all that and more. Enjoy my friends!
Recipe content of Vitalized Body, Jessica Lee Reader. All rights reserved.
- 2 cup Mushrooms diced
- 1 Yellow Onion diced
- 4 Garlic cloves diced
- 1 cup Black olives diced
- 2 Spaghetti sauce jars (I used Basil Garlic)
- 2 Tomato paste cans
- 1 Large can of fire-roasted tomatoes
Creamy Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Large block of tofu
- 2 cup Cashews (soaked in boiling water for an hour to soften)
- 1 Juice of lemon
- 1 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 4 Garlic cloves
- 1 cup Spinach
- 1/2 cup Fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Zucchini sliced into rounds
- 1 Yellow Squash sliced into rounds
- 1 Eggplant sliced julienne
- 1 Red bell pepper sliced julienne
- 4 cup Spinach
- 1 cup Sun dried tomatoes
- 10 floz Gluten-Free Lasagna Noodles
- 1 block of shredded cheese (I used Daiya mozzarella)
- 1 tbsp olive, avocado, or coconut oil
Prepare The Simmer Sauce
- • Bring a couple of cups of water to a boil and pour it over the cashews in a medium sized bowl. Set it aside so the cashews become tender for the Creamy Ricotta Cheese. • Add all Simmer Sauce ingredients to a large pan and let them to simmer for about an hour with the lid on.
Boil Water For The Noodles, Cut The Veggies, And Stir-Fry Them
- • Get your water boiling for the lasagna noodles in a large pot. • Cut all veggies (expect the spinach) and place in a large pan with olive, coconut, or avocado oil. • Stir-fry veggies on medium heat until they become slightly tender. This took about 5-minutes.
Prepare The Creamy Ricotta Cheese
- • Add the noodles to the pot once your water is boiling. • Place all Creamy Ricotta Cheese ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. This took about 5-minutes. You can taste test and see if you would like to add more of something. I love lemon and garlic so I usually add a little more. • Check your lasagna noodles, once they are tender strain them, and cool them with cold water.
Now You Can Get Your Layer And Bake On!
- This is my favorite part! All of your hard work is ready to pay off. I like to think of this like an art project. You have your noodles, sauce, cheese, and veggies, and you're set up to create a lasagna masterpiece. Yes, you'll have to do some dishes, but trust me it's all so incredibly worth it! • Start by pre-heating the oven to 375 degrees • Then, add a thin layer of the simmer sauce to the bottom of a 9x13 inch pyrex casserole dish • Add a layer of the noodles • Top the noodles with a layer of the ricotta cheese and fresh spinach • The next layer is the veggies • The sauce comes next again, then the noodles, ricotta cheese, and veggies • Top with a layer of shredded cheese of choice and s sprinkle sun-dried tomatoes • Cover with tin foil and place in oven for 45-minutes, check to make sure it's cooked to your liking
Cool And Enjoy!
- Cool for 15-minutes and Enjoy!! Please note: With this recipe we had a little extra of everything so we layered up what we had and make another mini lasagna casserole in a 9x9 inch pan!! Lasagna on-top of lasagna oh yay! It's Garfield's favorite dream (and mine too)!!