Eggplant “Parm” Lasagna

Makes 1 medium-sized casserole

What you’ll need

For the filling:

  • Cooking oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 Bell pepper
  • 1/2 box of lasagna noodles
  • About 48 oz prepared marinara sauce
  • 1 recipe prepared tofu herb ricotta filling
  • Some of your favorite vegan mozzarella, shredded

For the tofu herb ricotta:

  • 1/2 package firm tofu
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Pinch of basil
  • Pinch of oregano
  • Pinch of thyme
  • 1/4 cup of cashews
  • A few drops of lemon juice
    • Alternatively, you can use apple cider vinegar
  • Salt
  • Nutritional yeast

For the breaded eggplant:

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • Garlic powder
  • Non-dairy milk, as needed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Thyme, to taste

Cashew Parmesan:

  • 1/2 cup of raw or roasted cashews
  • Salt, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • 2-3 drops of lemon juice
  • Optional: Crushed red pepper flakes

Here’s the how-to:

Let’s start with the tofu ricotta!

  1. Boil the cashews for 15 minutes, until tender. Drain and blend them up with the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and a bit of water. You’re going for a saucy texture that will form the runny part of the ricotta “cheese”.
  2. Crumble up 1/2 of the tofu with a fork (you may need to use more depending on the size of your casserole and the consistency you’d prefer.) I like to set aside the rest and use it in a scramble or as a salad topping. Mix with the cashew sauce to form your ricotta.
  3. Fold in the dried basil, oregano, and thyme, and add more nutritional yeast and garlic powder to taste. Your tofu ricotta is ready to go!

Next, for the breaded eggplant:

  1. Cut the eggplant into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Use just enough to cover the top of your casserole, and save the rest.
  2. Whisk together the flour, garlic powder, and salt. Add non-dairy milk until you get a consistency similar to that of pancake batter.
  3. Mix a small amount of thyme in with the breadcrumbs.
  4. Batter the eggplant slices and dip into the breadcrumbs.
  5. Fry lightly until the breadcrumbs are crispy. There’s no need to worry about cooking the eggplant all the way through, since it’ll be in the oven for a while.
  6. Drain on paper towels.

Finally, the filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook your lasagna noodles according to the instructions.
  3. Chop up the zucchini, peppers, onions, and mushrooms, and mince the garlic. Sprinkle with salt and saute until the onions are translucent and the veggies are tender.
  4. Layer the marinara sauce, noodles, veggies, shredded non-dairy cheese, and tofu ricotta in a greased casserole dish. Top with breaded eggplant  and shredded “cheese.”
  5. Bake the lasagna for at least 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.
  6. While the lasagna is in the oven, I like to make the cashew parmesan. Here’s how:
    1. Combine cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and lemon juice in a blender and pulse until gritty and thoroughly combined. If a few chunks start to form, it’s perfect! Fold in crushed red pepper flakes if desired.

Let the lasagna cool off for a few minutes, top with cashew parmesan, and serve.

 

 

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