Quick and Easy Oil-Free Vegan Spinach Tofu Lasagna
This lasagna is the ultimate guilt-free, plant-based, easy comfort food to make when you want to feel full, not fat. My other lasagna recipe ( http://table-karma.com/oil-free-vegan-spinach-lasagna-tofu-ricotta/) is more time-consuming because it has a made-from-scratch sauce sweetened with carrots and dates, and with a tofu layer and a vegetable layer. This recipe is streamlined with all the vegetables and tofu, which serves as the “ricotta”, cooked together in one pan, and used in the same layer, and with the sauce coming straight from the jar! I think it may be even more delicious than the more work-intensive version.
This is a soul-satisfying, filling dish that is packed with G-BOMB nutrition (see my post on nutritional density here http://table-karma.com/eat-lose-weight-caloric-density/)–greens, beans (from the tofu), onions, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, and whole grains. It is true that pasta is calorically dense, but at least in this recipe you are getting whole wheat pasta. You could substitute a brown rice noodle for a gluten free lasagna. If you want to eliminate the grains altogether, you could substitute thinly sliced zucchini or eggplant for the lasagna noodles.
For the sauce, I found a fat-free marinara from Whole Foods that is really flavorful. Most pre-made marinara sauces do have added oil, so be sure to check ingredients! I used fresh basil and cremini mushrooms, but either or both could be deleted if you want an even easier and faster lasagna. To make this preparation really easy, I used frozen chopped spinach (right out of the bag) and peeled garlic. If you want to make it even easier, you could use pre-chopped onion and garlic. (Note: If you are in a hurry and want to make a really streamlined version, skip the mushrooms, basil, fresh onion and garlic, preheat the oven and go straight to the layering instructions below. Spoon some sauce into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan, add some noodles, thaw the spinach in the bag or rinse it under hot water and squeeze dry and add half to the pan, add half of the package of tofu, drained and crumbled, season with salt and pepper and italian seasoning and garlic and onion powder, then repeat layers as directed–no chopping, no pre-cooking, no saute pan, knife or cutting board to clean!!)
Here is the easy version of Lasagna that I made:
I gathered up my ingredients and pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees.
I diced one very large onion and about 6 cloves of garlic and got them cooking in a large sauce pan with just enough water to stop them from sticking.
While the onions and garlic were cooking, I chopped the basket of cremini mushroom and about a cup of basil.
When the onions were softened, (in the time needed to chop the mushrooms and basil) I added the mushrooms to the pan and seasoned them with salt, pepper, italian seasoning (get it here: http://amzn.to/2hOz1qi) and a salt-free seasoning blend I love from Costco (also sold on Amazon–get it here: http://amzn.to/2yxVUYr ), and let them saute for a couple of minutes.
I added the frozen chopped spinach, straight from the 16 oz.bag, and the basil, and then the package of tofu which I drained and then crumbled into the pan.
I cooked this mixture until the spinach was hot and most of the liquid was evaporated. Then I tasted and corrected the seasoning–added some salt and some more Italian seasoning .
Al that was left to do was to open the jars of sauce (I used two), layer and bake. I spread some sauce in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish and then added the whole wheat dry–yes dry–no pre-cooking needed– lasagna noodles, half of the tofu vegetable mixture, more sauce, more noodles, the rest of the vegetables, more sauce, more noodles and topped it with the remaining sauce.
Once all the layers were done, i covered the pan (you can use foil, but I used an upside down cookie sheet) and baked the lasagna at 350 degrees for one hour. My family and I dove right into the finished lasagna as soon as it came from the oven, so I don’t have a picture of the finished pan. I also cut up individual servings, some to refrigerate and some to freeze for later. This lasagna is fantastic reheated–maybe even better. I added a little more sauce when reheating. Here is a delicious slice.