Gens Vegan Veggie Lasagna
TOMATO SAUCE: you can either improvise or skip this step and use pre-made yummy tomato sauce of your liking- you might want to dilute it with water in as much as a 1:1 ratio:
4 garlic cloves, pressed and minced (or 3 garlic strands, chopped)
1 small-medium onion, finely chopped
1-2 tbsps oil (olive, safflower, or sunflower)
2 tbsps dried oregano
1 can tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 good handfuls of fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried basil)
12 lasagne noodles (about 12 ounce), cooked- unless you prefer using Express/oven-ready noodles, which also work and you don't need to cook ahead of time
FOR THE FILLING:
1 small onion, chopped
4-6 leaves of kale, remove hard part of the stem and cut in 1/4 in ribbons (or swiss chard)
2 kohlrabi, bulbs peeled and diced & leaves cut in 1/4 in ribbons (optional)
1 (350 grams) firm organic tofu, diced in small cubes (to make it easier for the blender)
1- 1 ½ lemon (to taste…I usually use just a little more than 1 lemon)
1 tbsp sugar (or honey)
About 2/3 cup oil (olive or the oil, safflower or sunflower- you can also cut on the oil and add the rest as water if you want)
1 tsp sea salt
1 garlic clove, chopped (or 1 garlic strand, chopped)
1 good handful of fresh basil (or ½ tbsp dried basil or oregano)
1/2 block of firm organic tofu (approx. 175 grams) (optional)
A few fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
1.Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Lower the heat. Stir. Then add the sauce and paste and stir until smooth. Bring to a slow boil and then simmer, covered for at least 30 min-60 min. Add basil near the last five minutes of cooking. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings.
2. While the sauce is simmering, cook the lasagne noodles in plenty of boiling salted water (omit this step if using oven-ready noodles) until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain. Let the noodles sit in cold water until you are ready to use them. This will keep them from sticking.
3. In another frying pan, heat oil and add the onion. When translucent, add the kohlrabi. Sauté for 2 min. Add kale, sauté everything until kohlrabi is soft and kale is wilted. Put aside.
4. Blend the tofu, lemon juice, sugar (or honey), and oil in a food processor (it may be better to do half the filling recipe at a time= easier for the blender) until smooth. Add the salt, garlic or garlic strand, and mix. Add this mix and the basil to the kale mix. Adjust seasonings. Depending on how firm your tofu is, this filling should have the consistency of ricotta cheese (for smoother texture, add more oil or water).
5. Cover the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch shallow baking dish with some sauce. Layer the noodles and the tomato sauce- just enough to cover the noodles. Add another noodle layer and spread a bit of tomato sauce and top with half of your filling. Add another noodle layer and spread with a bit of tomato sauce and top with the remainder of your filling. Add another layer of noodles and tomato sauce. Add the final layer of noodles and make sure to cover with enough tomato sauce to cover all the noodles. With your hands, crumble the remaining tofu on top of the lasagne (optional). Sprinkle a few more chopped fresh basil leaves and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
6. Bake covered (with aluminum foil), for approximately 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Pairs Well With
FEATURING: Kale or swiss chard, kohlrabi (optional), garlic or garlic scapes, onions, and basil.
Much different from Mom’s meat lasagna, this recipe is delicious nonetheless! And don’t be fooled by the filling (by the way, to make it creamier just add more oil); it might remind you of ricotta cheese, but it’s completely vegan (and does not taste like tofu at all)! And don’t be shy to add in any other vegetables you have at hand (e.g. zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, etc.). Begin this recipe with the sauce, as the longer it cooks, the more flavorful it will be. If you feel fancy, serve with salad and garlic bread……