Lasagna is one of those delicious gooey cheesy dishes you crave when your feeling the need for some comfort food. Right now, with all the unrest in the world stemming from the global pandemic and the fight against police brutality and for equality among races, many people are just struggling to keep their spirits uplifted and try to keep a positive outlook.
For those who are just beginning their journey to recovery from substance abuse, this is a particularly difficult time and the urge to self-medicate the stress, fear and worry may feel almost unbearable. It’s during difficult and challenging times like this when I just bake up a large casserole of vegan lasagna and dig in.
Yes, sometimes you just need some comfort food to self-soothe, and with this recipe you can enjoy it guilt-free. Traditionally, lasagna is loaded with lots of unhealthy saturated fat from the ground meat to the multiple types of ricotta cheese used to make it. However, I promise you this vegan lasagna version is not only a lot healthier, it’s also just as delicious as the traditional recipes.
It takes some time to make up all the parts and put it all together and bake it, so just think of the process as being therapeutic or even meditative. It will keep your mind busy and focused on something positive and at the end you’ll get to sit down and indulge in the delicious, nutritious and seemingly decadent comfort food you are craving.
Why Our Vegan Lasagna Is Healthier Than Classic Lasagna
1. Our Vegan Ricotta Cheeze Recipe is made with tofu and our Vegan Mozzarella Recipe is made from cashews, which are both loaded with protein and thankfully lack the unhealthy saturated fat, lactose, casein and excess sodium present in the real cheeses which have been shown can have a negative impact on health.
Tofu is not only a source of complete protein but also provides folate, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, iron and fiber. Replacing meat and cheese with tofu has been proven to have a measurable impact on improving health by lowering cholesterol and reducing saturated fat which in turn lowers risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease.
Although cashews do contain some saturated fat, recent research shows that eating nuts like cashews can lower your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. One study of cashews showed that it reduced blood pressure and harmful LDL cholesterol levels and increased levels of good HDL cholesterol.
Also, just FYI, cheese has been scientifically proven to be as addictive as crack cocaine, heroin and morphine. Dairy protein has opiate molecules that attach to the same brain receptors that narcotics attach to, therefore people can become physically and psychologically addicted to eating dairy products. Stay clean by trying our plant-based versions!
2. We use Nutritional Yeast to flavor the cheezes which contains protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which provide potential health benefits such as boosting immunity, lowering cholesterol and protecting against oxidative damage to body tissues.
3. In place of the ground meat usually found in lasagna, we use a healthier organic vegan product called Field Roast Italian Sausage which is made with vegetables and wheat and contains no unhealthy food additives such as the pesticides, antibiotics, nitrates, sulfites and phosphates as well as the preservatives BHA, BHT and sodium benzoate found in traditional sausages.
4. We use whole wheat lasagna noodles which are considered healthier due to the fact they contain more fiber, protein, magnesium, iron, and zinc and are a good source of complex carbs. Complex carbs have more fiber which can help lower cholesterol. White pasta is a highly processed refined wheat flour product which has been stripped of many of the nutrients and fiber during processing. White pasta has more calories and less fiber and protein than whole wheat pasta.
Simple carbs, which have had fiber removed, can spike your blood sugar quickly and cause a decrease in alertness and increase in fatigue within 30 minutes of consumption. This is what’s known as a “sugar crash” which can ultimately cause fluctuations in mood and can trigger relapse in those in recovery from alcoholism or substance abuse.
NOTE: Option to eliminate pasta completely by using 1/8 inch thick strips of Japanese Eggplant or Zucchini instead.
5. We add organic Fresh Spinach to our recipe for added nutritional benefits such as vitamins, minerals and carotenoids. Cooked Spinach adds more fiber plus vitamins A, E, Thiamin, Calcium, Iron, Zinc as well as Beta-Carotene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin. Sneaking it into the lasagna is a great way to boost health benefits of the dish. If you struggle with eating your greens, you will not even notice it here as it blends in deliciously.
Healthy, Decadent Vegan Lasagna Recipe
- Vegan Ricotta Cheeze (see recipe below)
- Plant-Powered Bolognaise Sauce (see recipe below)
- 10 whole wheat lasagne noodles (or 1/8 inch eggplant strips)
- 3 cups organic spinach leaves
- Gooey Vegan Mozzarella (see recipe below)
- Begin by preparing the Vegan Ricotta Cheeze, then set aside while you prepare the Plant-Powered Bolognaise Sauce and cook 10 of the Lasagna Noodles as directed on the package.
- While the sauce and noodles are cooking wash and remove the stems of the spinach leaves and turn the oven on to 375 degrees.
- Once the sauce and noodles are ready you can begin to assemble the lasagna in a 9 X 13-inch casserole dish or glass pan. Begin by adding 1 cup of the bolognaise sauce to the bottom of the pan and spread evenly. Then place 5 of the lasagna noodles evenly across the bottom of the dish. Now spread half of the Vegan Ricotta Cheeze evenly over the lasagna noodles.
- Next top the Ricotta with half of the spinach leaves, spreading them evenly across the layer of ricotta. Now spread another cup of the Bologainse Sauce over the spinach and then top that with another layer of noodles. Now spread the remaining Ricotta on to the Lasagna Noodles. Then add the rest of the spinach evenly over the Ricotta, and remaining Bolognaise Sauce over the spinach.
- Now that your casserole is assembled you can prepare your Gooey Vegan Mozzarella. As soon as it is ready pour it evenly over the top of the casserole and carefully spread it out towards the sides of the dish with the bowl scraper spatula.
- Now put your Lasagna in the oven and bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes. Cut into squares as desired and serve!
Vegan Ricotta Cheeze Recipe
- 1 package organic firm or extra-firm tofu (drained and pressed to remove excess liquid)
- Lemon juice (2 lemons worth)
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons white miso paste
- ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
- ¼ cup fresh basil (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Using a mini-prep food processor or a blender, break up or cut tofu into chunks and place in the processor with all of the other ingredients. Blend using the pulse feature just until basil and parsley are small bits and all ingredients are distributed evenly through the mixture, don’t over blend. It should be grainy and lumpy, not pasty. If it gets too thick add a tablespoon of water and stir in by hand.
- Taste and adjust seasonings adding more salt if needed for flavor. Set aside until all other vegan recipes are complete.
Plant-Powered Bolognaise Sauce Recipe
- 1 package Field Roast Italian Sausage
- 1 large white or brown onion (diced)
- 6 cloves garlic (finely chopped or pressed)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
- 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
- 2 cups organic vegetable broth (I use Pacific Foods Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth)
- 1 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (for less spicy results, omit or reduce amount)
- 2 teaspoons celtic sea salt (to taste)
- 1-2 teaspoons black pepper (to taste)
- Take the package Field Roast Italian Sausage – remove casings, break into chunks, and place in food processor. Pulse until desired ground meat consistency is reached.
- Sautee the chopped onion in the oil on medium heat until it begins to turn translucent. Now add garlic, oregano, thyme and rosemary and cook another minute or two. Then add the ground sausage and cook for a couple more minutes, adding some of the broth if pan gets dry.
- Pour the cans of tomatoes and tomato sauce paste into a blender and blend until smooth, then add to the pan with the onion and sausage. Now add the rest of the vegetable broth, coconut sugar, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Cover and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and cook on medium low heat for 8-10 minutes to let flavors blend. Reduce heat to low until ready to use. (If sauce looks too thick, add some more vegetable broth to thin it out – you don’t want your lasagna to end up dry.)
Gooey Vegan Mozzarella Recipe
NOTE: Do this last, after lasagna is layered in casserole.
- ½ cup raw organic unsalted cashews
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
- 3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons tapioca starch
- Boil Cashews in water for 15 minutes, then drain and add to a high-speed blender. Add the remaining ingredients to the blender with the cashews. Blend all ingredients starting slowly until combined and then turn all the way to highest speed and completely liquify the ingredients.
- Pour liquid into a small frying pan and turn heat to medium. Using a heat resistant bowl scraper spatula, continuously scrap the bottom of the pan as mixture begins to thicken. Keep on stirring and scraping continuously until mixture is completely combined.
- Once all the liquid is formed into a solid stir vigorously with the spatula for one more minute, then remove from heat. Now the cheese is ready to use. (This cheeze recipe is great for grilled cheese sandwiches too!)
All-Organic Shopping List
TIP: Make sure you buy everything organic.
- 1 package Field Roast Italian Sausage
- 1 package organic firm tofu
- ½ cup raw unsalted cashews
- Nutritional yeast
- Dried oregano
- Dried thyme
- Dried rosemary
- Dried red pepper flakes
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Tapioca starch
- 1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
- 1 small can tomato paste (6 oz)
- 1 large brown or white onion
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
- 1 bunch (package) fresh basil
- 6 cloves fresh garlic
- Celtic sea salt
- 2 lemons
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- 1 package whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 1 carton low sodium vegetable broth
- Coconut sugar
- Apple cider vinegar