Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New "made up" recipe - Rolled Vegan Lasagna

Bare with me for one brief paragraph that explains a few facts that everyone should know, ... then try out the fabulous recipe that follows...  =)
Since going vegan, my biggest and most difficult struggle was giving up cheese.  After doing some research, the desire was gone.  If cheese enters my mind, I now think of cows that are genetically manipulated, artificially inseminated, and often drugged to force them to produce about four and a half times as much milk as they naturally would to feed their calves.  Not natural at all, or ethical, in my opinion.   30-50% of milk cows also suffer from mastitis, and as a nursing mother who has experienced that pain and agony, I would NEVER wish that on even my worst enemy.  Cows can live 25 years, but a dairy cows life span is approximately 4-5 years because their bodies are abused so heavily.  Once 'used up', for lack of a better term, they then become poor quality beef.  Nothing about their sacrifice makes sense to me.  But, all that said, I still want lasagna. =) And what is lasagna without the creamy filling (often made of ricotta)?!?!   (All of this info is all over the web...these specific facts were taken from peta).

I saw a recipe recently for "lasagna rolls" and decided I HAD to try it.  It wasn't a vegan, or vegetarian recipe so I did some altering, but still kept true to the "roll" idea (which is absolutely great because I HATE waiting for day two for the lasagna to actually hold together well...this recipe gives you day two lasagna instantly - flavor and all).

First, I made some home made tomato sauce.  My go-to for home made sauce (it's easier, tastier and so much cheaper than pre-made) is organic canned tomato sauce, organic diced tomatoes, and organic tomato paste.  Last nights batch was made of (mind you, this is a double batch):

2 15oz cans of organic tomato sauce
1 8oz can of organic tomato paste
2 diced organic tomatoes
1/2 of an organic onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of minced garlic
I then seasoned with an italian seasoning mix, along with some fresh ground black pepper and Mediterranean sea salt (one of my faves of the sea salts - Himalayan is another fave, very sweet and would have been great with this recipe).

I cooked up a full box of classic lasagna noodles (again, this is doubled) and after they were drained, I hung them over the pot to allow them to dry a bit.  Doing this helps with rolling as they'll stick together better (and then you won't water down your filling).

For the filling (I made a double batch as one was chopped mushroom, one was chopped spinach),
I combined the following ingredients:

1 pkg Organic Firm Tofu
1 pkg Organic Silken Tofu
1/4-1/2 c. fresh chopped parsley or basil, or mix of both
2-3 c. fresh chopped vegetables (spinach, mushroom, zucchini, squash, so many possibilities)
2 cloves minced garlic
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
1 TB of nutritional yeast (if desired, adds the parmesan flavor to the mix, but I didn't add it last night)

I mixed all the ingredients together by hand.

I put some of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking.  Now we're ready for the rolls...

I took a noodle and lay it out flat on the cutting board.  I placed a couple spoonfuls of the filling on the noodle, spreading it thin, leaving some of the end of the exposed to have that portion stick to the noodle to hold it together. 

I placed the rolled noodles seam side down in the pan.

I then topped the noodles with the remaining sauce and then sprinkled a little bit of mozzerella cheese over the top (vegan cheeses are getting better all the time.  They melt and have wonderful flavors) and covered with foil.

I baked for 45-60 minutes at 350 (until bubbly).  I served ours along side some roasted brussel sprouts and a simple green salad with balsamic.  So tasty and a hit with the whole family!!!

Here's a pic of the rolls prior to cooking:

Enjoy!!!! xo

1 comment:

  1. Oh gosh...since you mentioned this yesterday, I have been craving it. We are doing very well as vegetarians, but I haven't given up the dairy yet...mainly cheese. I was just headed to the market to get the ingredients for lasagna, sans meat, with cheese...but after reading your blog today, I will give this a try! Thanks!!!