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Almost Vegan, Definitely Vegetarian Lasagna

August 25, 2008

This recipe is one I cobbled together from a memory if eating a similar dish at Sunflower Cafe and a recipe I found in Metropolitan Home. It’s a stacked vegetable lasagna with “noodles” made of marinated and roasted vegetables and a “ricotta” center of orzo and blended tofu. No one would ever know it was tofu instead of ricotta, and overall this is a very healthy dish with probably most of your daily vegetable servings.

Almost Vegan, Definitely Vegetarian Lasagna

1 large eggplant sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch slices

2 large zucchini sliced in half crosswise, then sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices

2 large yellow squash sliced in half crosswise, then sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices

4 portabellos sliced in half crosswise, so you get 2 thinner rounds

2 red bell peppers

2 c balsamic vinaigrette dressing (I like Publix brand)

1 bunch fresh basil (optional)

1 lb soft tofu

1 c breadcrumbs (I used the Italian seasoned Vigo breadcrumbs)

1/2 c chopped mix fresh herbs (like parsley, oregano and basil)

1 c orzo, cooked

1 jar favorite or homemade marinara (I like Barilla marinara because it has a great not overly sweet or herby flavor)

1/2 Parmesan for top

grated mozzarella (if you like more cheese)

Preheat over to 425 degrees.

Season eggplant, zucchini, squash and portabellos with salt and pepper, then marinate in balsamic vinaigrette and marinade for 20 minutes, up to 45.

Roast red pepper under broiler, on grill or over a glass flame until charred. Put in ziploc bag or bowl covered with towel for about 10 minutes and remove skin and seeds when its cool enough to handle. Cut into 4 sections.

In food processor combine tofu, 1/4 c Parmesan and 2 eggs and blend until incorporated. Stir in parsley and orzo. Set aside.

Drain vegetables and put eggplant, zucchini, squash and portabellos on baking sheets and bake 10-15 minutes, or until softened. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees.

In a greased 9×13″ pan, spread about 1/3 c marinara on bottom. Place one layer of eggplant and a second layer zucchini and squash in pan. If using, layer cleaned and stemmed basil leaves on top. Spread 1/2 of the tofu mixture over top. Spread another cup of marinara. Layer mushrooms and red peppers on top and another layer of basil leaves, if using. Spread remaining tofu mixture in pan and layer remaining layers of eggplant, zucchini and squash on top. Spread another cup of sauce on top. (some of this layering depends on the size of vegetables you get. just plan to use half the eggplant/zucchini/squash on the bottom, all the red peppers and mushrooms in the middle and the remaining half eggplant/zucchini/squash on the top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, loosely covered with foil, until the lasagna bubbles on sides and is hot in the center. Sprinkle with 1/2 c Parmesan and mozzarella, if desired, and bake uncovered for 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts. Let rest 5-10 minutes.

If you want to make this vegan you could use soy cheeses instead of regular. But no promises.

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