Lasagna rolls

I never thought an Asian inspired spring roll could taste so authentically Italian.  It seems weird, right?  But all it took was one bite and I knew I had made something particolarmente delizioso.  [fyi, that’s Italian for effing delish]

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Don’t judge these guys by their appearance.  I’m not exactly proficient in rolling spring wrappers.  As far as flavor goes though, these are dead on.  I promise. 

Lasagna rolls (v, gf)

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Ingredients:

  • rice wrappers (I double wrapped them, so make sure you have double the amount you want to make)
  • tomato sauce
  • spinach
  • tofu ricotta

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I used the Whole Foods recipe linked above with some alterations and it was SO good.  I was blown away at how unbelievable it was.  Even Kyle was shocked when I told him it was tofu.  If you make the tofu ricotta and abandon the rest of the recipe I don’t blame you.  My changes to the original recipe are noted below.

  • 1 (14-ounce) block extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 tsp garlic gold nuggets
  • 3 tablespoons 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mellow white miso (I used red miso)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley fresh basil (plus 1 tsp dried parsley)

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I drained the tofu, added the rest of the ingredients and then mashed away until the texture was crumbly like ricotta and everything was uniformly mixed.

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Naturally I did some sampling.  Wow.  So good. 

Once the “cheese” was ready, I pre-heated the oven to 350, and set up my spring roll station.

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You can get rice wrappers for cheap at any Asian market.  Generic grocery stores also carry them (check the cultural/international foods aisles).

To soften the wrapper, dip it into a big bowl of water or hold it under a faucet until it’s adequately dampened.  It will continue to soften up (and quickly), so there’s no need to get it drenched.  You can put two down at once, or roll one up and then double it up after.  Your call.  I tried both ways and found that I preferred starting with two rice rolls on the plate.  After I rolled up the first one, I secured it by encasing it in the second wrapper. 

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Like a lasagna, you just layer the tomato sauce, spinach, and cheese. 

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Then you’re ready to wrap and roll.

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The rice paper is a bit sticky, but it’s also pretty forgiving.  In other words, you can fix almost anything (including minor tears in the wrappers), especially if you are using a second one to secure the first.

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I made 9 rolls (at which point I ran out of tomato sauce), placing them on a foiled and greased* sheet.

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As you can probably see, I got better as I went along. 

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*Make sure you have greased the pan/foil before you put them down because if you don’t the rolls will stick (and removing them after they have baked could cause them to rip). 

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I baked them at 350 for 20 minutes, then let them cool (while I went on a run).

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I could hardly wait to dig in – they smelled so good and I already knew the tofu ricotta was perfection.

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I started with two rolls, and added some of the extra ricotta to a kale and avocado salad.

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Truthfully, these tasted Exactly. Like. Lasagna. 

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Kyle was equally thrilled, if not more, by how precisely these replicated his favorite Italian dish.  My taste buds’ flavor bar was just raised pretty damn high.

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38 thoughts on “Lasagna rolls

  1. Lou

    Love this! Awesome idea… a great meal to make someone who is dubious about vegan food, I’m sure it would go down a treat :)

  2. Brenda

    I am getting all of the ingredients for this recipe on Sunday. Mark my words!! It’s funny because I just used the same sprouted tofu for dinner tonight with veggies and brown rice pasta! Let me you, you don’t know me, but you’d be proud… I drank ALL of the Kombucha in class yesterday annnnnd… it wasn’t so bad! BUT it was the subject of discussion in my Language Arts for Elementary class.. I also apparently made one of my classmates almost throw up with my veggie burger the other night? I know you’ve had issues with people not understanding your eating lifestyle..and i am too, but MAN it’s frustrating being pick on for eating healthy… shouldn’t it be the other way around??=/

  3. Elise Post author

    hahaha. i was going to give you the benefit of the doubt after sitting through class and then being picked on for your food…

    did your class mate seriously almost throw up? like seriously, wtf happened?
    [and yes, it should be the other way around, but just keep true to yourself and eff the others]

  4. al

    thanks, these sound great! btw, not sure if you’re using pre-made sauce, but if so, homemade sauce is way tastier, cheaper and super simple (just olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, basil, rosemary, oregano, s+p, maybe some water)

  5. Emily

    This recipe is pure genius. I can’t wait to make them!
    And I’ve actually used the Whole Foods Tofu Ricotta recipe before and was sooo impressed. It is, by far, my favorite of the WF recipes that I’ve tried.

  6. Elaine

    these look really good! i’ve been on a tofu kick for the past month or longer and that mixture looks fantastic!

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  8. Brenda

    I was so offended by how she was acting!! she covered her face! The food wasn’t even that strange!? It was a veggie burger and an ezekiel wrap..I get picked on at work too (where the ratio is 6 overweight people to 1 me) so i’m the odd man out when i eat carrots and hummus =/ I wish you lived here so we could put them in their place haha.

  9. Elise Post author

    honestly, thats ridiculous. id say she has her own food issues though bc that is NOT a normal response. i would never EVER do that with another person’s food…even if it was some meat dish that totally repulsed me. i hate to say it, but there are times when the nurses lounge REAKS of some fish from whatever filipino dish my coworkers are eating…but i still never say a thing. thats just plain rude.

  10. Ethel

    E!!! This looks soooo good! In my future fa sheez!

    p.s. for lunch today, I brought leftovers = steak and kale/avo combo with a dash of garlic and tamari sauce. Like my cousin said, “Kale is the new black.”

  11. Coby

    I made these for my family and boyfriend, all meat-eaters but they were a complete and total hit! Probably one of my favorite recipes now, and I mixed some leftover tofu ricotta with a bit of marinara and served it as a dip with chips! Thanks so much for the recipe and I love your blog!

  12. Jim

    Made these last night. Forgot to double-wrap them, but I should have… Too much filling and not enough wrapper made them taste a bit odd.

    For the filling, I stuck with spinach, but made a batch of homemade marinara with fresh basil, oregano, and TVP. (Can’t get good sauce in a jar where I live).

    For the “ricotta” I used okara instead of tofu, and added a bit of wasabi (you can tell I live in Japan here…) and white wine to give it some kick. I used white miso, which I highly recommend. The white miso I got tastes very much like cheese, whereas red miso is very different.

    Otherwise, this was a successful experiment. (My measure of success is whether the wife likes it)…

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  13. Jim

    Okara, my hippie friend, is fantastic stuff! It’s a flavorless vegan canvas that you can paint with any flavors you wish.

    But no, really. Okara is the soybean residue you get after you make soy milk. It’s white, relatively flavorless, and has the consistency of cottage cheese. It can be used in cooking or baking (I made okara bread and cookies the other day), and in this case, made a lovely “ricotta” with it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okara_%28food%29

    In Japanese, “okara” roughly translates to: honorable residue. ;-)

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  17. Zae

    Stupid question: Did you eat the wrapper? Because the texture of it is so weird and gross to me that I couldnt eat it. The insides were good though :)

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