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It’s about to be a crazy couple of weeks at work, and I don’t want to have to mess around with making dinner at 8 pm or whenever I manage to drag myself home. So I needed a big batch of something to reheat =].
This vegan lasagna has been a best kept secret of mine (although with many variations around the web, I can’t exactly call it a wild new invention). There’s the fact that my partner, J, thought there was actual ricotta cheese in it the first time I made it (many moons ago). There’s the fact that it’s packed with vegetables and made with whole wheat noodles, making it a pretty alright late-night dinner choice.
The real reason, though, that I finally decided to share it is because I (in my typical late-to-the-party fashion) finally discovered the quintessential faux mozzarella recipe that’s been circulating, from the lovely Vedged Out blog. And it was perfect the very first time I made it. And topping my vegan lasagna with it sent this dish into pantheon territory.
Okay, maybe I’m freaking out a little too much over noodles, tofu, red sauce, vegetables, and stinkin’ perfect vegan mozzarella. But when it comes to comfort and heartiness, this cannot be beat. And with our weather finally chilling out and allowing for oven usage, it’s the perfect way to kick off autumn.
My kale & caramelized onion filling was based on what we had on hand and this lasagna is equally good (tried and true!) with any variety of sauteed vegetables, or even just plain red sauce. I followed the faux mozzarella recipe to an absolute T, so you can just check out the original recipe if you want to include it. However, it’s good with only the one (tofu) cheese too.
Kale & Caramelized Onion 2-Cheese Vegan Lasagna
Serves at least 5. You could just as easily use whatever sauteed vegetable filling you prefer – we were using up what’s in this week’s CSA.
1 package tofu, crumbled and drained
1 tb plain, unsweetened nondairy milk
1 tb mellow white miso, whisked into the above before adding
2 tb nutritional yeast
1 tb dried oregano
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tb red wine vinegar
salt, to taste
Kale, caramelized onion, jalapeno & herb filling
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup caramelized onions (see notes)
3 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 bunch kale, washed well and dried, stems removed, sliced into thin strips
1/3 cup total of fresh basil, oregano, and parsley, finely chopped
3 tb red wine
A cup or two of your chosen tomato sauce (we used homemade! tomato season rules)
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles (about 2/3 of a regular box), cooked according to package directions
Vegan moxarella, see this phenomenal recipe by Vedged Out (it’s cashew-based, no weird ingredients)
Make the ricotta. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, using a fork to mash up the tofu and integrate other ingredients. Check for seasoning and add more to taste. Set aside.
Make the vegetable filling. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil. When shimmering, add caramelized onions, jalapenos, and kale. Cook until jalapeno is opaque, about 5 minutes. Add fresh herbs, tomato sauce, and red wine. Turn up the heat and cook until bubbling, then reduce to low and cook for just a few more minutes until the jalapenos and kale are fully cooked and softened.
Assemble and bake the lasagna. Preheat the oven to 350. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce or oil on the bottom of a glass baking dish. Add a layer of noodles, a thin layer of tofu ricotta, another layer of noodles, a layer of vegetables and sauce mixture, another layer of noodles, the rest of the tofu ricotta, a final layer of noodles, and the rest of the vegetables/sauce. Top with vegan mozzarella if using. Bake for about 30 minutes, until hot all the way through. If using mozzarella, broil for another 3 minutes to brown it slightly. Let cool for a few minutes before eating.
This lasagna keeps great in the refrigerator for a week and could last at least a month in the freezer minus the moxarella. The best way to reheat it is to put a slice in the toaster oven, but microwave works too.
Here’s a tutorial on caramelizing onions. I did a batch of about 8 red and white onions, with much less oil than those instructions suggest, plus salt and a drizzle of balsamic added right at the beginning. Cooked on low heat, stirring occasionally, for about an hour. These fresh summer onions are so sweet, it didn’t cross my mind to add sweetener, but in the off season I *sometimes* drizzle a little in there.