Fresh Tomato Tofu Vegetable Lasagna

*fresh early fall lasagnaAgain, not a difficult dish to make at all, it’s all about the components- each one is full of flavor prior to joining forces in this early fall, late summer time fresh lasagna. I used brown rice lasagna noodles that are virtually un-dectectably different over wheat noodles so this lasagna is totally gluten free. I used only fresh tomatoes from the farmers’ market and a few of my own- some for the fresh sauce and others, sliced as a layer within the lasagna. What follows are the recipes for the components- how you layer it up is up to you! You can use different veggies; mushrooms, eggplant-  limitless possibilities. Mine was filled with tons of fresh basil, tomatoes, hot peppers, squash and spinach. I stayed away from using vegan cheese, was just not feeling it, so the tofu filling is an absolute stand out, delicious in flavor. I added a quickly sautéed garlic spinach into the filling to offer a fuller flavor (as opposed to just using it blanched or steamed), you can also simply use it as a layer. All of the vegetables were from my garden or from the Greenfield market.

Components:

  • 2 medium zucchinis- sliced and tossed in olive oil, salt & pepper
  • 6 cups spinach- quickly sautéed in garlic and olive, salt and pepper
  • fresh tomato sauce- recipe below
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles, cooked
  • Tofu “ricotta” filling- recipe below
  • 1-2 larger tomatos, thinly sliced, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper

Putting it together:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • ladle in about 1 cup of fresh sauce in the bottom of the baking dish
  • place down one layer of noodles
  • layer in the tofu filling
  • layer in noodles
  • layer in fresh zucchini
  • layer in noodles
  • layer in fresh tomato slices, olive oil and salt
  • layer in last layer of noodles
  • cover the top layer with fresh sauce
  • Cover with tin foil and bake for 60 minutes.

Fresh Tomato & Basil Sauce

2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

4c tomatoes, diced

1/4c fresh basil, lightly packed, chopped

1/4t black pepper

1/4c water

1/2-1 fresh cherry bomb, chili or other hot pepper, minced

1/3c extra virgin olive oil

1t salt or to taste

In a skillet, add the olive oil and sauté the garlic  until golden and soft. Add the tomatoes, parsley, salt, black and red pepper. Allow the tomatoes to break down and to come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the fresh basil.

At this point, the sauce is delicious as is or can be pureed to create a smoother sauce.

Tofu “Ricotta” Filling

Tofu Ricotta /Crème

1Pound tofu- blanched- divided in 1/2

1 clove garlic

1 heaping T mellow white miso

3T extra virgin olive oil

1t brown rice vinegar

1t ume vinegar

1 heaping T sesame tahini

2T water if needed while blending

*opt 6c fresh spinach or 5oz- steamed and pressed (all water out) or sautéed with garlic and 1t olive oil

*opt 3oz Vegan mozzarella or favorite cheese

1/2t black pepper

In a blender or vitamix, place the warm cooked tofu (1/2), the miso, tahini, olive oil, vinegars, garlic, and blend until smooth and creamy.

In a bowl, crumble or mash the remaining tofu with a fork or fingers. Add the tofu crème, and the vegan cheese and the chopped steamed / pressed spinach.

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