Vegetable Lasagna! Ricotta Nut Cheese. Marinated Tofu.

Hooray, I'm finally posting my recipe for Greenmarket Vegetable Lasagna with Ricotta Nut Cheese and Marinated Tofu. This family-favorite vegan entree features a rich cascade of layers that will wow you with each bite. Flavors like: creamy chive ricotta nut cheese, zesty garlic-marinated greens, tender tofu, savory mushrooms, sweet tomatoes and more.

So you thought dairy-free living meant swearing off ricotta-cheese lasagna?? Think again. As promised, here is the follow-up to my vegan Ricotta "Cheese" post - get ready to swoon lasagna lovers! Get my recipe ..including step-by-step photos of my layering process!...

Vegan Ricotta "Cheese" - About a week ago I posted my recipe for the Chive Ricotta nut cheese. The feedback from you guys was amazing! A few of you have already tried it in your recipes with rave reviews. Vegan Version blogger even posted her lasagna success using my recipe here.

"Lasagna it is!" ....I thought, as I rolled out of bed...

Oddly, I was not groggy. Even at such an early Saturday morning hour. I had a nice long nap the day before. Strolling and shopping at the bustling Union Square Greenmarket can be quite tiring. That day, I tweeted:

"Woke up early, prepped a Vegan Lasagna w/ my Greenmarket produce & Homemade Vegan Chive Ricotta. Thanking my Sat. nap for all my AM energy.."

My point: homemade lasagna is easy if you have time, energy and some inspiration sprinkled on top. You'll have to settle the energy/time issues yourself, but hopefully I can help inspire you.

Easy Lasagna. I wanted to get my lasagna 100% prepped for that evening's dinner - however since it was morning, I really wasn't feeling the stove. I decided to prep my lasagna without pre-cooking any of the ingredients. Instead of my usual sauteing of ingredients for the layers - I did cold marinating. I love no-cook methods. The only cooking part of the process would happen that evening when I popped my lasagna in the oven to bake for 45-60 minutes...

I tried to use as much organic, Greenmarket produce as I could..

Here is my recipe with tons ofstep-by-step photos from my lasagna layering process. From start to finish. See the step-by-step lasagna slideshow here.

Make-Ahead Note: For an easier process - make your ricotta nut cheese a day ahead and let it sit in your fridge until ready to use. You can also marinate your ingredients overnight, the day before layering, for optimum flavor.

However, you can easily do it all same-day in a relatively quick amount of time. From start to finish this lasagna prep took me about 45 minutes. That included making my nut cheese same-day.

Ingredients in Marinade:

here's my recipe - be sure to check my notes at the end...

Garden Vegetable Lasagna w/ Ricotta Nut Cheese and Marinated tofu
vegan, makes one 9-11" lasagna

1 large ripe tomato, sliced into thin rounds
2 cups marinara sauce (or homemade recipe)
16 oz. extra firm tofu, sliced into thin strips
1 cup mushrooms, sliced thin, any variety
1/4- 1/2 cup non-dairy cheese, I used Daiya
2 cups fresh leafy greens
*I used mustard greens. Kale, spinach, etc work too.
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
*you can choose the boil method if you'd like
optional: 1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped - chopped basil

1 1/2 cups Chive Nut Cheese Ricotta
(see my recipe here)

Zesty Garlic Marinade
1 Tbsp garlic powder OR 5 chopped garlic cloves
3-4 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 cup red wine, apple cider or balsamic vinegar (I used balsamic/red wine)
*see vinegar note below
2-3 Tbsp dried Italian herb seasoning blend
1 tsp black pepper
optional: 1/4 cup fresh basil - chiffonade
optional: a pinch of sea salt rubbed on tofu before placing in marinade

*vinegar note: if using apple cider or red wine vinegar you may want to add a splash of agave/maple syrup to sweeten your marinade up a bit. The balsamic vinegar should have enough sweetness on its own.


*see my step-by-step photo directions here*

1. Gather your ingredients.

2. Make your marinade by combining all ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Prep your veggies. Slice you ingredients very thin so that the marinade absorbs quickly.

4. Place your sliced ingredients (tofu, mushrooms, tomatoes, greens) into your marinade bowl. Toss gently. Add more EVOO/vinegar if needed to cover ingredients. Allow to marinate at least 20 minutes. Otherwise you can prep this part for overnight marination.

5. If you haven't made your Chive Ricotta Lasagna in advance - do it now. Set aside.

6. Begin building your lasagna. See the step-by-step pics for the best "building" details. But basically, sauce, noodles, sauce, greens, tofu, sauce, noodles, sauce, mushrooms, noodles, ricotta, noodles, sauce, cheese, fresh tomatoes, chives, black pepper. And done! You can really build a lasagna however you'd like though. There are very few rules.

Before Baking:

IMPORTANT TIP: Be sure to put a sauce layer on at least one side of each noodle layer - since you are using the no-boil noodles you want your lasagna to be extra extra moist before baking.

And I actually poured a bit of my extra marinade over top to use as an extra moisture adder for my lasagna. Worked beautifully.

7. Cover your lasagna and store in fridge until ready to bake that day. Or bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45-60 minutes. Note: if baking lasagna from a chilled fridge, your baking time will be longer since the temp will be colder.

Serve hot! Delicious leftovers for a few days too. I reheated my lasagna in the microwave for a quick and comfort-food cozy vegan lunch. So good!

Take a bite!

Cheese note: I didn't add a lot of Daiya cheese to this lasagna. I only had about 1/4 cup on hand. But for a super cheesy lasagna, you can always add more cheese if you crave it. However, remember it is still cheese! Even if it's vegan. Don't over-do it. The flavors from the veggies and vegan ricotta are bold, delicious and powerful - so you really don't need a lot of excess cheese. A nice sprinkle on top for texture is all I needed.

Excess marinade: You can use part of the leftover marinade as an extra moisture adding layer to your lasagna (especially important if you are using no-boil noodles like I did). And you can even use the marinade as a salad dressing for a salad side-dish. Since the only ingredients going in the marinade are veggies and tofu - you can certainly re-use the marinade as a dressing. Nothing wasted. (If you were to be marinating raw meat - obviously your marinade would have to be tossed after used. Just one perk of cooking with vegetarian foods.)

..Ready for those step by step pics yet? Or peruse more pics below...

More Lasagna Posts:
Spicy Verde Lasagna Recipe
Tips for a Soy-Free Vegan Lasagna
5 Vegan lasagna Tips

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