veggie-lasagna

Recipe of the Week: Vegan Lasagna with Basil Pesto

Ingredients

For the lasagna:
  •  box whole wheat lasagna noodles (try brown rice or quinoa noodles to stay gluten-free)
  • 1/2 package Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds
  • 1/2 cup whole grain dried bread crumbs (optional)
For the pesto:
  •  cups whole basil leaves – loosely packed
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic – peeled
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water (more as needed)
For the vegetable sauce:
  •  large onion – peeled & chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – peeled & crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil (or water)
  • 8 – 10 large crimini mushrooms, washed & sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini – washed & sliced into 1/2 moons
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash – washed & sliced into 1/2 moons
  • 1 bunch spinach (or chard w/o stems), washed & chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can organic crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • dried basil, oregano, thyme, sea salt & pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. PREPARE SAUCE. Sauté the onion & garlic in olive oil (or water) until the onions become translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until mushrooms start to become soft. Add the zucchini and yellow squash and cook until slightly soft. Add in the spinach & cook until wilted. Add the tomatoes (with the juice). Stir in spices to taste. Add the tomato paste and stir until thoroughly blended in. Simmer about 10 minutes then set aside.
  2. PREPARE PESTO. If you have a high-powered blender, toss everything in (basil with stems and all other ingredients) and blend until whipped. Done. If not, you’ll need to remove the basil stems and chop or tear up the basil first. You’ll also need to chop or crush the garlic. Put the water, lemon juice, salt, and nuts in first and pulse until the nuts are chopped. Add the yeast and garlic next and pulse again. Add the basil last and blend until whipped. You may need to add additional water to keep the blender moving. Set aside.
  3. PREHEAT OVEN. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. ASSEMBLE LASAGNA. Place about 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 x 10 baking dish. Lay down the first layer of noodles. Add more sauce to cover (about 1/2 of what’s left). Lay down the next set of noodles. Spread all of the pesto on top of the noodles. Add a final noodle layer. Top noodles with the remaining sauce. Cover the sauce with Daiya cheese shreds to your liking. Add bread crumbs if desired.
  5. BAKE. Cover with foil and bake about 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until cheese is melted & lasagna is soft all the way through when tested with a fork. Remove from oven and let lasagna settle for 5 minutes, then serve.

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