Disappearing Raise The Roof Lasagna*

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Many people will recognize that the name of this dish is a mash-up of two well-known vegan lasagna recipes created by two well known healthy food authorities: "Disappearing Lasagna" by Chef A.J., and "Raise the Roof (Sweet Potato) Lasagna" by Rip Essylstyn.

I've been on a mission to find good vegan lasagna that tastes reasonably similar to the cheesy version we all remember. Hats off to Chef A.J. for coming up with a faux ricotta filling that is truly satisfying; it makes the dish.  One variation here is to include some larger nut pieces for crunch. I like Rip Essylstyn's approach to the veggie component, and this recipe is simpler than his original.  This may be as good as vegan lasagna is ever going to get.  It seems to taste even better as leftovers, and it freezes!

PASTA SAUCE: At least 4 cups. Store - bought or use the fat-free low sodium Home-Made version, which is easy, but hopefully you've made some in advance.


THE NUT LAYER:
1/2 cups (or a little more) of coursely chopped walnuts, to sprinkle among the layers.  (You can use the food processor to coursely chop these). 


FAUX RICOTTA FILLING:

2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed & drained  ( = about 3 cups cooked beans)
2 oz (a large bunch) of fresh basil (or 1 TBSP of dry basil)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup miso
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

20 oz of frozen chopped spinach: thawed and drained. Process all ingredients EXCEPT the spinach in a food processor until smooth. Add the spinach and process a little more.  



THE VEGGIE LAYER:


1 entire small head of garlic, all cloves chopped   (use these raw)
1 lg onion chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 head of broccoli, chopped
1-2 celary stalks
Approx 1.5 cups chopped carrots

Keep the garlic pieces raw.  Dry-fry the other ingredients in a non-stick pan (adding a bit of water if needed).  I usually cook each vegetable separately while chopping up the next one.   Don't use oil.   I recommend not using salt (it's optional).  Combine the raw garlic and cooked veggies together in a bowl.  



LASAGNA NOODLES:
 

Can you skip the boiling step?    If you use whole wheat noodles, boil in water until they're thoroughly cooked.  If they're partially cooked, you run the risk that they'll be under-done since the oven may not finish them off, and whole wheat pasta tends to require more cooking than white.   Some brands of whole wheat lasagna noodles claim that they cook completely in the oven, but we haven't confirmed this.  If you wanted to try this, you would need pasta sauce completely surrounding the noodles, and also would probably need to bake in a covered dish.  (We bake in an uncovered dish to help evaporate the excess liquid.  

FYI, it's easier to work with boiled noodles if you boil them at the last minute, then cool them with water so they're not too hot to handle.  If you boil them too far in advance they may get stuck together.  You probably need 1/2 - 3/4 pounds of noodles.   


ASSEMBLING THE LASAGNA:

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Start with a layer of sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, then noodles, then spread on the "ricotta," then the veggie layer, and repeat until out of room. (If you're going with uncooked noodles, they'll need sauce on both sides).  Don't forget to sprinkle the nuts at various points along the way.  

The "ricotta" is excellent, but use thin layers.  Too much imparts a squishy texture and can be overwhelming.  You may need to thin it with water to make spreading a thin layer possible.  

The exact amount of each component depends on the size of your baking pan. I used a 9 x 9 x 2" pan, and used about 2 cups of "Ricotta" filling, 4 cups of sauce, and all of the veggie filling.  

Keeping the layers thin allows adequate amounts of noodles.  You'll probably have left-over fillings of various kinds; use them in other ways.

Bake uncovered in a preheated 375 degree oven for an hour. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

 

 

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published this page in More Time and Worth It 2013-06-08 18:02:47 -0400