The special on my dinner table last night: Vegan Spicy Lasagna Verde - Recipe Revisited.
Lasagna is a funny dish because you can't really "taste your food" before it goes out. There is really nothing you can do to alter the flavor once it is baked. The dish is done. For good or for bad. You can't add a few dashes of salt/pepper the way you can with soup or a veggie saute.
You basically have to put a lot of love into it and cross your fingers that it all works out at that first bite. Or, you can follow this recipe and have it in the bag...
A few years ago I came up with a recipe for tofu-pesto-stuffed Lasagna Verde recipe. This week I decided to revisit my recipe and make it even better. And easier! And more packed with flavor in every bite.
Lemon-y Walnut-Mache-Basil Pesto..
oozy cheese melting out through the layers..
Lasagna Verde Upgrade Highlights:
* Thinner tofu
* More lemon
* Added nutritional yeast for tofu saute
* Added Daiya cheese
* Veggie broth for moisture and flavorful noodles
* Mache in the pesto
The flavors: zesty lemon-y walnut pesto bursting with green flavor from mache and basil. Flavor-marinated silky noodles and delicate layers of vegan Mozzarella cheese, plenty of ultra thinly sliced, "cheezy" sauteed tofu and don't forget the extra virgin olive oil laced throughout. A jalapeno adds a spicy kick to the pesto.
Review: I have to say, I love this recipe even more than the original. I wasn't sure if I would - but I definitely do. The lemon flavor is bolder and the addition of light Daiya vegan cheese works magic. And slicing the tofu extra thin almost makes it taste like more velvety noodles. You can barely even tell that 'tofu' is in this dish. Give it a go and tell me what you think!..
Another fun idea..
Mini Lasagna Verde (personal sized)..
Spicy Lasagna Verde Revisited - 2011
vegan (all 'cheese' ingredients are vegan versions)
tofu saute mixture:
1 block of firm tofu, sliced extra thin
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
no-boil lasagna noodles, 1 box
1/2 cup (or more) Daiya Mozzarella cheese
1 cup veggie broth
vegan Parmesan cheese (opt'l)
topping layer: pepitas, Daiya cheese, Parm cheese
Spicy Mache-Basil Pesto:
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 bunch basil leaves
2 1/2 cups mache lettuce (loosely packed)
1/4 cup sweet onion
1 de-seeded jalapeno (opt'l)
1/2 tsp pepper
3 garlic cloves or 2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup raw pepitas
3/4 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2+ cup water (as needed to loosen)
salt to taste
optional: a few marinated artichokes if you have some on hand
1. First start on your tofu. Squeeze your tofu dry and thinly slice. Marinate the tofu in the ingredients for at least 15 minutes. Then do a very quick saute in a skillet over high heat - until the edges start to brown. Set aside.
2. In a food processor, add all your pesto ingredients. Blend until creamy. Taste. Add more salt, oil, water, nuts or greens as desired. Or leave as is.
3. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and start assembling your lasagna. Start with noodles, then a nice splash of veggie broth, a sprinkle of cheese, then layer all your tofu strips evenly across the noodles. Next add another layer of noodles, some more cheese, some more broth and thick layer of pesto sauce all across the noddles. Repeat this last layer of noodles/pesto/broth and then add your top layer of cheese and a few raw pepitas and vegan Parmesan cheese for color/texture - or if you'd like, do another layer of noodles.
Be sure to add splashes of veggie broth at each layer so the past noodles fully cook. Also add a bit of veggie broth around the edges of the lasagna before baking. (If you use noodles that are precooked you can omit the veggie broth). Cover with foil.
Ready to bake..
4. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
Staredown the lasagna... and time to dive in!