Pasta is the epitome of comfort food and the ‘balance’ of be heavy carbs and cheese is just what’s required when you’re having one of those days….and that’s exactly what I have for you; a delicious smokey (optional) cheese lasagna with a tofu ricotta stuffing.

As a side note, I must tell you that the ‘cheese’ is made from  mostly vegetables… Yup… have you ever heard of such a thing?? Well trust me, it’s still SUPER cheesy and 100% guilt free.

vegan cheese lasagna
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Autumnal Smokey Cheese Lasagna


 

INGREDIENTS

For the rolls:

– 2-3 large handfuls of washed baby spinach
– 7-8 medium white button mushrooms (or whatever, get girolles if you’re feeling fancy!)
– 300g extra firm tofu (if you don’t like the stuff, just switch for more veggies or blended cashews)
– 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
– Tbsp black pepper
– 8-10 lasagna sheets

For the sauce:
– 1 cup cashews (soaked for a minimum of 4 hours; best to leave overnight)
– 1 medium carrot
– Quarter of a medium cauliflower
– 2 large cloves of garlic
– 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
– Tbsp smoked paprika (optional – leave this out if you want a plain cheese sauce)
– Apple cider vinegar (2 caps)
– 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
– Tbsp turmeric
– Tbsp mixed herbs
– 1/5 cup of lemon juice
– Black pepper
– 1-2 cups water
– Bunch of asparagus (20~ stems), to serve on the side

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METHOD
– Roughly chop the spinach and mushrooms in to cm2 pieces (skin on… we don’t peel anything in this household except bananas) and put in to a large mixing bowl
– Drain excess liquid from the tofu and use your fingers to crumble it in to the bowl, making sure everything is about the same size and there are no large-solid chunks (it should look not too dissimilar to ricotta)
– Add the nutritional yeast, black pepper and herbs then mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Stuffing = done!
– To make the sauce, first tip in your soaked cashews (water and all) in to your blender and add the garlic.. unlike my video suggests, you probably won’t need to chop them prior to adding them to your blender, and I have no idea why I did
– Add next your cauliflower (break into florets) and the carrot, chopped in to square inch pieces
– Empty in your wet ingredients followed by your seasoning (milk, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, turmeric, smoked paprika)
– Now pulse your blender until you reach a smooth consistency – I recommend checking it a couple of times throughout and adding water if necessary, depending on how thick you like your sauce.
– For the lasagna sheets themselves, add them to a large pan of boiled (but not boiling) water and submerge them completely as they soften; med-low heat so the water reached ‘steaming’ point. Leave until the pasta becomes malleable enough to roll but still kept its bite
– Lay out your sheets on a large chopping board and allow time for them to cool-to-touch (1-2 minutes – while you’re waiting, set your oven to bake at 380 F)
– Spoon your stuffing mixture down the center of each sheet and roll end-to-end, like you would sushi. The mixture will likely spill out as you do this, but you can either stick it back in or use it for your next roll
– Once all sheets are filled, place them evenly-spaced apart into a glass baking tray
– Pour the sauce generously over each roll and place on the middle shelf of your oven for approximately 45 minutes
– Once ready, feel free to garnish with fresh herbs/seeds and serve with a side of steamed asparagus (I added pine nuts to mine, just because…)