Friday, January 13, 2012

Pesto Lasagna




Lots of work went into this one.  I'm ever so grateful for my friend, Amanda, for helping me!!

Pesto Lasagna
Source: The Accidental Vegan by Devra Gartenstein

Takes about an hour and a half total.

  • 12 to 15 lasagna noodles
  • 2lbs soft tofu
  • 2 cups pesto (see appendix a, below)
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup faux cheese (see appendix b, below)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over medium-high heat, and add the lasagna noodles.  Cook until noodles for about 8-10 minutes (or until noodles are soft).  Drain and set aside.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, crumble the tofu into a bowl with the pesto.
  3. Then layer the ingredients in a 9 x 11 pan as followed:
    • 1/3 of the tomato sauce
    • 1/3 of the noodles
    • 1/2 of the tofu/pesto mixture
    • another 1/3 of the noodles
    • another 1/3 of the tomato sauce
    • the rest of the tofu/pesto mixture
    • the 1 cup of faux cheese
  4. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the "cheese" starts to brown.  Let cool for a little while, and serve hot.

Appendix A: Pesto

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 2tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes, until softened.
  2. Put the garlic in a food processor and pulse several times until chopped finely.  Drain the sun-dried tomatoes and add to the garlic, along with the basil, walnuts, olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Process until smooth.  Note: If you mix this with pasta or veggies that have just been cooked, don't reheat the mixture further, as you may risk burning it.  You can also serve pesto cold, as a spread on bread or crackers.

Appendix B: Faux Cheese

  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or any flour will do)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, preferably large flake
  • 3 cups water
  • 1tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard
  1. Gently heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Then whisk in the flour and nutritional yeast.  Turn the heat down to low and cook, whisking constantly for a minute or two, or until the mixture is reasonably homogenous, with few lumps. 
  2. Add the water and raise the heat to medium.  Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking until it is relatively smooth.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens to the consistency of pea soup.  
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the salt and mustard.  Be sure to use immediately, as this mixture forms a layer on top.

When Amanda and I finished our dinner, we finished up some vegan sugar cookies Amanda started earlier in the day.  Sorry I don't have the recipe for this one, but I wanted to share the pretty pictures:



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