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Dinner/ Vegan

Red Lentil Lasagna (Vegan)

Red Lentil Lasagna (Vegan)

I found this recipe at another food blog called Eat this while searching for a gluten free vegan recipe to make ahead for visiting family (followed the recipe except for substituting a tofu mixture for the ricotta). I recently made it again using whole grain lasagna noodles and a tiny bit of mozzarella and parmesan cheese just for the top of the lasagna. The sauce would also make a good sauce for spaghetti or wheel shaped pasta for kids–lots of vegetables. I doubled the sauce part and froze half for future uses (or if I had planned ahead I would have made extra noodles, assembled two lasagnas, cooked one, and frozen the other. Next time I might try putting spinach in it as well (or mixing spinach in the ricotta layer).

The ricotta substitute is just pureed tofu with a few other ingredients (see below). I don’t think it is really noticeable that it isn’t ricotta. Plus I think it adds more protein and less calories than ricotta would. Also, after watching Food, Inc. a couple weeks ago, I have tried to cut back on the amount of meat and dairy we consume.

Red Lentil Vegan Lasagna

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves minced
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
2 zucchinis
1 red pepper
2/3 cup red lentils
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons oregano
salt and pepper
12-14 lasagna noodles
2 cups ricotta substitute* or ricotta mixture**
basil, sliced

optional:
cheese for top

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onions are tender (5-6 minutes). Stir in celery, carrot, zucchini, and red pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Add red lentils, crushed tomato, water, sugar, and oregano. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt, then noodles and cook for about 1/2 the time as the directions say. Drain and rinse noodles.

Make the ricotta substitute (see below) or ricotta mixture.

Place a small amount of sauce in a greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Layer 1/3 of pasta in the bottom of the pan. Then spread 1/2 of ricotta substitute on the noodles, followed by 1/3 of basil and 1/3 of sauce. Add another layer of noodles, 1/2 ricotta, 1/3 basil, 1/3 sauce. Add the last layer of noodles and top with remaining sauce, basil, and cheese if desired.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes covered with foil. Remove foil and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, or until edges start to brown.

*Ricotta Substitute

1 1 lb container of firm tofu
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon italian seasoning

Put all ingredients in food processor and puree.

**Ricotta Mixture
2 cups ricotta
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs

Red Lentil Lasagna

Red Lentil Lasagna

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