Saturday, March 29, 2014

creamy-dreamy vegan butternut lasagna

Press samples [Bobby Flay bakeware, Daiya, Beyond Meat]

vegan butternut lasagna – creamy, dreamy comfort food
I love-love-love lasagna. But since putting it together can be a time-sucker, I haven't made it in literally years. When I recently received a snazzy stoneware Bobby Flay lasagna pan to review [in red, my favorite color], plus care packages from Daiya and Beyond Meat, I felt doubly .... no, triply inspired to make – and eat lasagna. [That and I felt compelled to load to use up the last CSA share butternut squash that had been collecting dust on my counter since November.]

My Lasagna Philosophy

The Bobby Flay pan made for a pretty presentation
First, the philosophy behind my vegan lasagna recipe. [I'll post the pan review in another day or so.] If you are the kind of person who likes to make every blessed thing you consume from nuts, whole grains and fresh vegetables, you may want to skip this post. Following my 80-20 rule, 80% of what I consume is made from 100% whole foods. But I have a life including a stressful job. I get up at the crack of dawn to train for my running races. And I have a boyfriend, friends and kitties whom I want to spend time with. [And I do like to watch "Rehab Addict" in between all that.]

For this reason, my new lasagna recipe falls into the 20% category. It's still totally healthy – and cholesterol-free. But it's made using some store-bought, albeit relatively healthy time savers. If you are disappointed that my lasagna recipe does not include home-made, gluten-free pasta, artisan, scratch-made vegan cheese and garden-to-pot tomato sauce, I'm sorry. I'd rather spend those 16 hours with my loved ones.

This lasagna was gone in 3 days.
Being lazy pressed for time, I prefer using no-boil noodles but you're welcome to boil yours if you prefer. I also used Daiya Mozzarella Shreds, my favorite brand, and a packet of Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles. I love their pea-protein based No Chicken Strips so I was beyond excited [yuk-yuk] when they sent me the ground beef crumbles to try. The texture turned out to be perfect for lasagna.

Lasagna just before going into the oven
I'm so pleased with the way this lasagna turned out; I made it during another ubiquitous cold snap and it was just what the doctor ordered. The sweet butternut squash compliments the crumbles and tomato sauce, and the tofu ricotta and Daiya cheese topping add that necessary creamy comfort. It's one of those "fool the omnivore" recipes. Even though I used store-bought shortcuts, this recipe still takes time. But trust me, it's worth the effort. Lasagna is now officially back on my weekend cooking rotation. I suggest roasting the squash and making the ricotta cheese a day or two before hand to make this easier to manage. Or making a double batch and freezing the extra

Lasagna after baking – creamy, decadent and warming

Vegan Butternut Lasagna

Tofu-Butternut Ricotta
  • 1 medium butternut squash, sliced in half and deseeded
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 14 - 16 oz extra-firm, organic, non-GMO tofu [Squeeze out extra water gently with your hands]
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 1 1/2 T dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt [Consider using less if your tomato sauce, below, contains a lot of sodium]
  • Black pepper to taste

Quickie Tomato Sauce
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 5-7 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • Up to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes [optional]
  • 28 oz can tomato puree or sauce
  • 5 baby carrots or 1 whole carrot, cut into a few pieces
  • 2 T dried Italian seasonings of your choice [eg, basil, oregano, parsley, thyme]
  • 3/4 to 1 cup vegetable broth, divided [I recommend Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base
Other Ingredients
  • 1 box lasagna noodles, preferably no-boil 
  • 1 to 2 cups Daiya Mozzarella Shreds, or your favorite vegan mozzarella
  • 12-ounce bag of Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles, or your favorite alternative
Serves 8 hungry people or 10 bird-like eaters


Yes, it's plant-based


Make tofu-butternut ricotta: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking oil, Lay 2 halves of squash on sheet orange side down and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until soft, Let cool, then use a spoon to scoop out the squash into a large glass bowl. Add remaining ingredients, then using a heavy fork, crumble everything together. Set aside. 

Lower oven to 375 degrees.

Make quickie tomato sauce: Heat oil in a large sauce pan. Add onion, garlic and pepper flakes, if using, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, Add remaining ingredients and about 1/2 of the broth. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Add remaining broth as needed. Test thickness and flavor; adjust seasonings. Cook up to another 30 minutes, covered until sauce is relatively smooth. [Eat the carrots: they're the cook's reward.]

Assemble lasagna: Spray a 9 x 13 lasagna pan with oil. Ladle some sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place a layer of noodles on top, followed by a sprinkling of crumbles. Spread some of the tofu-butternut ricotta atop this, then seal it with another layer of noodles: sauce/noodles/crumbles/tofu ricotta. Repeat this process until all ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of noodles, and leaving enough sauce to cover the top. Sprinkle with vegan mozzarella, cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Buon appetito!

59 comments:

Joey said...

I very much understand your position on lasagne - I love it too, but so rarely make it because I don't have the time. If that means using a few shortcuts to get it on the plate, I'm all for it!

Andrea said...

This sounds great, if not exactly "quick." Lasagna, in my experience, is never quick enough for me, but every so often it's worth the trouble for the enjoyment factor. After reading your post, I'm now forced to go get something to eat, and to save the recipe for later.

JL Fields said...

Oh, Dynise, this has my stomach rumbling with hunger! I wish I could eat it right now.

Cheryl said...

Stomach going into overtime growling here! That looks amazing.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

This looks dreamy, Dynise!

Anna said...

Just made this tonight - delicious. And it fooled my carnivorous family. Thanks for sharing!

urban vegan said...

Anna, comments like yours make me so happy and truly are what keep me going! Glad everyone liked it.

Omen shara said...

Articles are really nice to read and most of the people like this
ammsymposium




vaishno devi said...

Not only to read the post, need to spreed every one
Jpsrjl

Ricky Pointing said...

Most of the post and comments are related my blog
quarter6quarter7

arun kumar said...

Thanks for giving the good informative tutorial
babyminding




Victoria Lily said...

All the words are simple and every one should understand easily
TheUnixRonin

Brooklyn Amelia said...

Need to implement all the information's in my blog
mvmrcon

John said...

Thank you for this guidance.its really informative for all
FantAziafuggony




Benjamin Joshua said...

Technically its very well above you said
koshinaomi

bigshow said...

Its really nice informative tutorial,so thanks for this tutorial
YuanLukiTo




Addison Grace said...

Its very useful and every one should follow this
trackademicks

praveen said...

All the information's are more innovative
CarAccidentAttorneySearch




Sebastian Corey said...

Keep posting this articles and useful for every one
cheapdvdreplication

Isaiah Elijah said...

Peoples are giving the wonderful thoughts for all comments
lcxlwfgg

saran rajkumar said...

I am really excited for read all the post
factoryswimwear




Madison Mia said...

So many peoples are given the wonderful comments for this articles
LatinoNet

Richard Marshal said...

Articles are really nice to read and most of the people like this
CambodiaThaiGateway

Daniel Grace said...

Thanks for giving the good informative tutorial
mrcatandthejackal

nakchtra devi said...

Nice Post and all information's are used to everybody
lohasasiaforum




Harish Dev said...

Thank you for this guidance.its really informative for all
natcheztracegolf

prithiv said...

Nice Post and all information's are used to everybody
mercenary-market




Charlie Ila said...

Its really nice informative tutorial,so thanks for this tutorial
odbmh

Vishali Riyo said...

Beautiful post given by so many peoples. roulezbolidesauve

Irfan Shamira said...

The information's are really good and peoples are given wonderful comments for all the post
worldbuddhistradio

Riyash Dev said...

Really good one,every should like this. sakuraguide

Kazris said...

All the information's are more innovative
dimadt

Zeenath Rae said...

Simply super comments are posted here.. utdtridelta

Zelina Rae said...

I am really excited for read all the post
makaha-studio

Alvin said...

For my view is Really nice,because all peoples are giving the wonderful comments
plixnet




Jesira see said...

Really nice,everybody like All the Post
starroadrecords




harish agarwal said...

Nice Post and all information's are used to everybody
muglamilas

Omen shara said...

All the post are very useful to implement in our life
babebikepics




arun kumar said...

Nice comments are posted and very useful
RobertoCesco




John said...

The words are so simple and easy to understand
betasail




bigshow said...

Nice to read all post and more innovative
firyo




praveen said...

The information's are useful for all the people
morgan-park




Vijay said...

Must be appreciated for the article. tommasolippiello

Rajini said...

Very useful to implement in Life. donnatodd

Ricky Pointing said...

All the post are good and the peoples are giving nice comment for all post
typetching

Victoria Lily said...

Really nice,every one should like all the comments
uuotero

Brooklyn Amelia said...

Really Must be appreciated for this article
vteractive

Benjamin Joshua said...

Very useful comments are posted and everybody like this comments
vychodna

Addison Grace said...

Not only to read the post, need to spreed every one
weihnachtsfeier-ideen

Sebastian Corey said...

Most of the post and comments are related my blog
weishaosheng

Isaiah Elijah said...

All the words are simple and every one should understand easily
xenosmk

Madison Mia said...

Need to implement all the information's in my blog
ynpressphoto

Richard Marshal said...

Technically its very well above you said
yt6688758

Daniel Grace said...

Its very useful and every one should follow this
zombiebeat

vaishno devi said...

Keep posting this articles and useful for every one
zona-x

Harish Dev said...

Peoples are giving the wonderful thoughts for all comments
compasscanoe

Charlie Ila said...

So many peoples are given the wonderful comments for this articles
istorselfstoragemississauga

Irfan Shamira said...

Articles are really nice to read and most of the people like this
satellitemeetings

Kazris said...

Thanks for giving the good informative tutorial
sourcewaterweb