Anybody can swap out the cheese and sausage in a recipe for vegan cheese and vegan sausage. This lasagna is a little different. It calls for no processed “replacement” foods, and isn’t meant to seem “cheesy.” Instead, it relies on mushrooms and black olives to add dimension and flavor. Other than some whole wheat lasagna noodles and some tofu, you’ll just need some veggies and spices.
First, the sauce. Of course, you could always used a pre-made pasta sauce, but those tend to be loaded with salt and sugar and who knows what else, and they don’t taste very good anyway, so I like to make a quick batch.
- 1 large can (20 oz) of crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1 smallish onion, diced
- fresh, chopped garlic, at least 5 cloves
- Italian herbs and spices: oregano, thyme & rosemary, or a store-bought Italian seasonings blend.
- plenty of mushrooms, roughly chopped
- the juice from a 12 ounce can of black olives, plus half the olives, sliced or chopped.
In a pan, simmer onion in oil until it begins to soften. Add the garlic & other spices, followed by the mushrooms, olives, and olive juice. Cover and simmer. Once the mushrooms are cooked through, add the canned tomatoes and salt to taste. While this cooks, turn your oven to 350.
In a bowl, crumble the half block of tofu until it resembles ricotta cheese.
Armed with your sauce, a box of whole wheat lasagna noodles, mashed tofu, fresh spinach, and half a can of black olives, you can quickly assemble the lasagna! I’m a big fan of the no-boil method. Pre-cooking the pasta makes it slippery and harder to use, so I just lay the noodles out flat in the pan. You’ll want plenty of liquid for them to cook in. If they aren’t fully surrounded and submerged by the time you’re putting it in the oven, you can add some water to the pan. I like to use soy milk, which makes it a little creamier.
Put a little sauce in the bottom of a large glass dish.
Top with spinach leaves.