For some reason, I’m not a huge fan of Italian food. Not sure why. In my opinion, there’s just something a bit boring about pasta that prevents me from craving it very often. Growing up I always groaned when my mom made spaghetti (nevermind that it was one of my sister’s favorites).
Nowadays, not much has changed with my taste buds. Kyle, on the other hand, adores pasta, especially lasagna. So once a month or so, I make a huge batch of it and freeze individual portions for him. I’ve shown them on the blog a few times, but since they are mega cheese-laden affairs, I have merely glossed over them. Well not this time.
I decided to make a dairy-free version of lasagna so I could give Italian food another shot.
Depending on how much you want to do from scratch, lasagna can be pretty easy to make. I’m not one to make my own sauce or roll out my own fresh pasta, and since I have less Italian heritage than those Jersey shore posers, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it.
- 2 boxes of lasagna noodles (I used whole wheat)
- 2 jars tomato sauce
- vegan mozzarella cheese
- tofutti plain cream cheese (in place of non-vegan ricotta)
First boil the water and add in pasta.
Cook it until the noodles are al dente because you are going to cook them again once the lasagna is assembled.
Start layering…first up tomato sauce.
Then tofutti cheese.
Then mozzarella cheese.
For the record, my favorite brand of vegan cheese is Veganrella, but I haven’t been able to find it in months, so I decided to give (the above) brand by Galaxy Nutritional Foods a try. Big mistake.
Initially, I tried it in a grilled cheese on a sandwich flat…which turned into…
Cheese-less toasted bread. :P I picked out all the cheese because (a) it didn’t come remotely close to melting, (b) it tasted totally bitter, and (c) it didn’t resemble the consistency of cheese in any way, shape, or form.
So (given that glowing review) you’re probably wondering why the f%$! I decided to use it in the lasagna. Well, I didn’t intend to, but the hippie in me really doesn’t like throwing away such pricey things, so after nearly gagging when I ate it by itself, I decided the only way to eat it would be masking it in tomato sauce, cheese, and lots of Italian seasonings.
And so the layering continued…
Once you’ve hit the top of the pan (or all the ingredients have run out), sprinkle the top layer of sauce/cheese with Italian seasonings as desired (oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic, whathaveyou).
Then pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for ~30 minutes.
**Variations to this recipe are simple, and all you have to do is alternate them in with the other layers (ie: tofu, steamed and chopped spinach or kale, etc.)
Not too shabby, huh?
To make it last, just tupperware it up and freeze in individual portions. You’ll be so pleased to have a supply of home cooked meals that you don’t have to think about.
Oh, and if you were wondering, the previously rejected vegan mozzarella cheese ended up working perfectly in the lasagna. Sometimes ingredients aren’t meant to be the starring role, and this was definitely a background cheese.
Hope you enjoy!