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Vegan Lasagna, fill your soul
Italian vegan lasagna
When I first became a vegetarian I found it hard to give up those good old Italian dishes I loved to make and loved to eat. Since then, I have created a collection of no- meat Italian dishes that are healthy and less expensive than meat dishes. Here is one of my old time favorites. It is a spicy lasagna dish that will fill the soul and your kitchen with satisfying Italian aromas.
2 green peppers
1 spanish onion
1 yellow summer squash
1 box of italian tofu sausage
4 fresh basil leaves
2 cups of tufu cheese or 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 eggplant cut lengthwise
1/2 cup of romano cheese or cheese substitute
1/2 parmesan or cheese substitute
1 bay leaf
First wash all the tomatoes and drop them in a pot of boiling water. After one minute scoop them out with a large spoon and remove the skin. Drop them in a food processer and blend for 1 minute. Add oregano and garlic, salt and pepper, to the tomatoes. Now oil a large baking dish and set the sause to the side. Cook a box of organic whole wheat lasagna noodles to directions. Now you can begin to layer the ingredients.
Coat the whole bottom of the baking dish with olive or grape seed oil. Now sprinkle the pan with a dusting of flour. Lay the first layer of cooked noodles in the pan. Top this layer with eggplant. I cut off the ends before I cut them and wash them well. Now I slice them thinly root to tip. Place the eggplant slices in a pan with some olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes on each side. Now, take them out of the pan and place them in the baking dish. Top with some sause and a layer of dairy free parmesan. Add another layer of noodles.
Next layer, add 1/3 of the tomatoes, some onions and green peppers and top with noodles.The next layer add 1/3 of the shredded cheese or cheese substitute. Then add another layer of tomatoes, onion, peppers and this time add the zucchini. Cover with noodles Empty the rest of the sause and add the chopped basil. Fry slices of the yellow squash in a pan and the tofu sausage with oil, salt and pepper for 2 minutes. Add both to the top of the dish along with any remaining sause, garlic, or vegetables. Cover with remaining noodles. If you were using meat any cook would add the meat to the bottom. Not with tofu meat. These products should be next to the top.You will want them to cook up firm not soggy.
I use the rest of the cheese to top the dish. Then I sprinkle the dish with the remaining cheese, romano cheese or cheese substitute and parmesan. Top with a thin layer of bread crumbs. Sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg. Add 1 bay leaf. Top with basil. Cover and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. When you take the dish out of the oven, use thick pot holders and let this dish cool for a few moments before serving. Never cool any glass dish on the stove top. They can break. Remove the bay leaf.
Serve with a tossed salad, fresh Italian bread or breadsticks and red wine.
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By Joanne Kathleen Farrell, author of Liberty for the Lion Shield