Veggie Lasagna

A word to the wise: If you’re trying to change your family’s eating habits to a healthier vegetarian diet, please don’t serve them a green smoothie or a blended salad to start out.  Unfamiliar and unrecognizable food like that will only shock them into resistance. Give your family something they are used to, something they can identify and already enjoy eating — but make it healthier, lower in fat and calories, with no animal ingredients.  This is a delicious recipe even a carnivore can enjoy.  It may become one of your family’s favorites!

Ingredients:

1 chopped onion

1 clove minced garlic

1 lb. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

8 oz, sliced mushrooms, rinse well and drain

12 – 15 lasagna noodles

1 container (12.3 oz) Mori-Nu silken tofu, drained and mashed with a fork

¼ c. vegan parmesan topping, plus another 1/2 c. reserved for top

1 Tbs. parsley flakes

1 tsp. oregano

1 ½ tsp sea salt

12 oz. shredded vegan mozzarella (Soya Kaas or Daiya are good brands)

1 ½ qt. any good meatless spaghetti sauce (reserve 1 c.)

Method:

— Cook noodles according to package directions.

–Saute onions, garlic and mushrooms in 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add thawed, drained spinach and toss together.

–In a large bowl combine: tofu, ¼ cup veggie parmesan and spices. Add sautéed vegetables and mix together with a fork.

–In an ungreased oblong casserole layer:

A thin layer of sauce

¼ noodles

¼ sauce

¼ tofu mixture

¼ vegan mozzarella

Repeat this process three times.

–Spread reserved 1 cup sauce over top layer of noodles.  Sprinkle with ½ cup vegan parmesan topping. (At this point lasagna can be covered and refrigerated for several hours.)

–Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (allow additional 10 – 15 minutes if lasagna has been refrigerated.)

For easier cutting, let stand for 15 minutes after removing from oven.

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Tofu Stuffed Shells

Ingredients:

1 – 2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 chopped onion

1 clove minced garlic

10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

8 oz. chopped mushrooms

1 container (12.3 oz.) Mori-Nu silken tofu, drained and mashed with a fork

15 – 20 jumbo pasta shells

2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast*

1/4 c. Parmesan flavor veggie cheese, plus another 1/4 c. reserved for topping

1 Tbsp. parsley flakes

1 tsp. oregano leaves

1 – 1 1/2 tsp. salt or sea salt

about 8 oz. shredded mozzarella flavor veggie cheese

1 qt. any good marinara sauce

Method:**

Cook the pasta shells according to pkg. directions, drain and set aside. (Lay them on a damp linen dishtowel covered with another damp linen dishtowel so they won’t dry out or stick together while you work).

Saute onions, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil. Add thawed, drained spinach and cook for another couple minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl combine tofu, 1/4 c. veggie Parmesan, oregano, salt, nutritional yeast, and veggie mozzarella (reserve 1/4 cup). Add sauteed vegetables and mix together with a fork.

In a rectangular casserole spread a thin layer of marinara sauce.

Stuff the noodles with the tofu mixture (2 – 3 Tbsp. per shell), and place the stuffed shells in the casserole. (Place the stuffed shells close together so they don’t tip over).

Spoon remaining sauce over the stuffed shells and top with reserved veggie mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 30 – 4o minutes. Serve.

* Nutritional yeast can be purchased at the health food store. It is not Dry Active Yeast although it looks similar. It is a granular powder that comes in a jar, and it gives food a cheesy flavor and aroma. Nutritional yeast is high in B vitamins.

** You can also substitute this tofu mixture for the ricotta cheese used in any vegetable lasagna recipe — just layer it between lasagna noodles, sauce, and veggie mozzarella cheese. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Or, you can layer the tofu mixture with of any type of pasta and sauce for another one dish variation.