A friend of mine challenged me to make a vegan lasagna. I was nervous about it, because the cheeses in lasagna really make the dish decadent and memorable…in short, delicious. After asking her about it, she suggested I make a cashew ricotta. As for the other cheeses, well, I’m not brave enough to try going 100% dairy-free with a new recipe when I have omnivorous guests coming over for dinner.
I found this recipe for vegan ricotta, and adjusted it like so:
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 14 oz. firm tofu, drained and crumbled
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 leaves chopped fresh basil
Directions: Combine cashews, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil in food processor, until pureed to a thick paste. Add tofu and blend until smooth. Blend in salt and basil.
- 1 can marinara sauce (Trader Joe’s)
- 1 box lasagna noodles (Trader Joe’s No Boil)
- Ricotta (see cashew ricotta recipe above)
- Quattro Formaggio blend cheese (Trader Joe’s)
- Chopped sun dried tomatoes (if stored in pouch, soak for 20 min.)
Directions: Using a 9″ x 9″ baking dish, create layers, starting with marinara sauce to sun dried tomatoes. Repeat until all ricotta and marinara is used up. Let sit for 30 min. to allow for noodles to soak up fluids. Bake in preheated 375° oven for 40 min.
The verdict? Everyone loved it! Because there wasn’t any dairy in the ricotta, none of us went into food coma, and were actually able to eat more! I will look into vegan mozzarella in the future…