Over the years I have collected numerous cookbooks. I bow my head in shame that there may be some that I have never used. This year I have set a goal to cook a recipe from each of my cookbooks and blog about it.
The first book that I would like to use is called The American Vegetarian Cookbook from the Fit for Life Kitchen by Marilyn Diamond. When I first became a vegetarian Fit for Life and Diet for a Small Planet were great resources for me. When Marilyn Diamond came out with this cookbook, I ran to the Tattered Cover Bookstore right away to pick it up. The recipes are fairly simple and not overly time consuming. More importantly they are delicious. This week I have selected Vegetable Lasagna to go with our Vegan Wednesday theme (heavy on the Swedish accent there). Enjoy!
1 (10 – ounce) box lasagna noodles
1 pound firm tofu (we used 1.5 pounds but will use 2 pounds the next time)
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ½ teaspoon ground)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed in 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large, 2 medium, or 4 small zucchini, cut in 1/8-inch-thick lengthwise slices (3 cups)
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach
¾ cup prepared tomato sauce (phatveggie kitchen used a store bought jar)
Dried basil, oregano, sweet Hungarian paprika, salt, and freshly ground pepper.
1. Prepare lasagna noodles. We like to use the non boil type.
2. Prepare ricotta. Crumble three-fourths of the tofu (12 oz) in a food processor or blender. Add oil, salt, and nutmeg. Process only until mixture is slightly lumpy. Finely crumble remaining tofu into mixture and set aside.
3. Using 1 tablespoon of the garlic oil for each batch, cook zucchini in a single layer, n several batches, in a large skillet. Sprinkle each batch of zucchini generously with basil, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. If the slices are thin enough, you will not need to turn them. Sauté until bright green and tender-crisp. Remove from skillet and set aside.
4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon garlic oil to skillet. Toss in mushrooms and sauté until tender and slightly brown on edges. Remove from skillet and set aside.
5. Steam spinach until defrosted. Squeeze to remove excess water and set aside.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly brush a shallow 9 X 13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Place a scant ladle of tomato sauce in dish and spread over bottom. Put a layer of 3 noodles on top of sauce. Cover with a thick masking ricotta. Top with layers of zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, and salt and pepper to taste. Repeat layers of tomato sauce, pasta, ricotta, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, seasonings twice more, reserving 3 lasagna noodles, ½ to ¾ cup ricotta, and 2 tablespoons tomato sauce for final layer.
7. End with final pasta layer, a masking of ricotta, and a thin brushing of tomato sauce. Dust with basil, oregano, paprika. Cover with foil lined with parchment. (Parchment prevents leaching of aluminum into the food). Bake 45 minutes, then cool a few minutes before cutting. Serve hot.