Feb 2, 2013

Vegan Spinach Lasagna (low-fat, vegan)

There are certain things you just can't help but miss when you change your eating habits from omnivore to herbivore. When you go vegan cheese is always your achilles heel and that means all of the yummy cheese filled meals you grew up looking forward to.

One such meal for me is LASAGNA! That ooey gooey scrumptiousness with a variety of cheeses that are just difficult to replicate. Well, believe it or not, this recipe does a damn good job! It's low calorie, a good source of protein and there isn't a shred of cheese (or meat) to be found. Even my non-vegan family members were impressed.

I made my own sauce, but if store bought is your thing then by all means!

Vegan Spinach Lasagna (low-fat)

Servings:9. Per Serving (3 X 4 inch piece): 201 Calories, 7g Fat, 29g Carbohydrates, 11g Protein, 6g Fiber, 4.50g Sugar.

Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

1/2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Medium Onion
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
3 8oz.Cans Tomato Sauce
1 6oz.Can Tomato Paste
1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Basil
1/2 Teaspoon Marjoram
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Creamy Spinach Sauce Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Blanched Slivered Almonds
1/2 Cup Soy or Rice Milk
2/3 14oz. Block Firm Tofu
1/2 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 Lemon, Juice
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
Dash Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Grated Onion, Well Drained
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Spinach, Cooked & Well Drained
8oz. Box Organic Whole Grain Lasagna Pasta, Cooked
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes (for topping)

Start by sweating the onions and garlic with the olive oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. Pour in tomato sauce and paste, oregano, basil, marjoram, sugar and salt. Let simmer on low-med heat for about 25 minutes. A word of warning, this sauce makes a bit more than you will need, so don't try and add all the sauce if you see that it's not going to take it all. Or else you'll wind up with soupy lasagna.

Now for the creamy spinach filling. Place almonds, soy milk, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, oil, onion powder and pepper into a blender and blend until smooth. Squeeze water from tofu and place into mixing bowl and crumble with a fork. The key is to make this look like ricotta cheese. Now place the almond mixture and spinach into the bowl and mix well.

In a large pan, boil lasagna noodles until almost tender or just before they become al dente. Preheat oven to 350°.

In a 9 X 13 glass casserole dish, sprayed with non-stick spray, start layering with the tomato sauce at the bottom to prevent sticking. Then a noodle layer, then a creamy spinach layer with tomato sauce on top of that. Repeat until you have enough noodles left to make one last top layer with just sauce on the top and finishing it off by sprinkling the yeast flakes on the top.

Bake uncovered until it becomes bubbly hot.

****Make this dish in advance, separate into perfect portions in freezer-microwave safe containers, without baking, and freeze. From freezer to the microwave, it's ready in 5 minutes flat. Makes a quick lunch.

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