Sunday, March 4, 2012

veggie lasagna

you wouldn't even know ... tofu hides in here.
Lately we've been trying to eat vegetarian during the week, for both health and environmental reasons.  I had a sudden craving for lasagna - preggo cravings maybe? :) - and I thought tofu would be perfect as a meat substitute... it doesn't have much flavour so it soaks up whatever seasonings you put on it.  And it mixes well with cheese so for those who don't like the texture of tofu wouldn't even know it.  Ryan and I had it for two lunches and two dinners...was very satisfying and tasty.

what you need:
  • 1 package oven ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 small eggplant
  • spinach (a few large handfuls)
  • 1 large can san marzano tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cup old white cheddar, shredded
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 pint cremini mushrooms
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning (mix of oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme...)
  • 300 g firm tofu
  • olive oil for cooking
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • *freshly grated Parmesan for plating
what to do:
  1. Prepare all vegetables:  thinly slice eggplant into discs, rinse spinach, finely dice mushrooms, onions, jalapenos, and garlic.  Set everything separately aside.
  2. Rinse tofu and crumble into small bits.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  4. In a large skillet, heat up 1 tbsp olive oil on medium.  Saute onions and jalapeno until softened and onions are golden brown (but not burnt), then add garlic.  Add seasoning, salt and pepper, and stir, adding a little bit more olive oil if it appears too dry. 
  5. Add the canned tomatoes and tomato paste to skillet.  Stir and gently break up tomatoes (if they are packed whole).  Add about 1/2 cup water and crumbled tofu, then cover and allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. In a large baking dish, spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce mixture to cover the bottom.  Add one layer of lasagna noodles, then layer with eggplant discs, more tomato sauce, then top with a mix of the cheeses, making sure to save some for the top.  Place another lasagna noodle layer, then add the diced mushrooms, spinach, then more tomato sauce.  Place the last layer of lasagna noodles and top with remaining sauce (since these are oven-ready noodles you have to make sure there is liquid on them to cook) - sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  7. Cover with foil (tent it a bit to avoid cheese sticking to foil) - and bake for about 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool slightly then slice and enjoy!  Serve with freshly grated Parmesan if desired.

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