You get so much bang for your buck with this recipe. Bursting with veggie flavor combined with traditional lasagna flavors, it's special enough to serve your most discriminating guest (not-yet-vegans love it), and easy enough to whip up for a quick meal. This is my own recipe and surprisingly I get cravings for it.
I've included variations below, however, if you stick to the basic recipe it's always a crowd pleaser. It's super versatile too and you can experiment by adding any of your favorite flavors, or even eliminating the vegan meat for example. I love to cook and have done many variations on this basic recipe, and all result in a delicious meal. This dish also freezes very nicely so consider doubling the recipe and making two pans.
For a first run the recipe may seem cumbersome, but one time through and the next time will be a breeze!
What you will need:
Large frying pan
Large mixing bowl
2 block firm/extra firm tofu
1/2 head broccoli
10 cherry tomatoes
Oven-ready vegan noodles
2 jars vegan tomato sauce
1 bag vegan ground meat crumbles
Vegan mozzarella or provolone slices or shreds
Red wine - vegan, or Bragg's Liquid Amino Acids
Vegan Italian sausage (Tofurky Italian is a great option.)
Peppers green or red
Italian blend spices
In a large frying pan, begin cooking your vegan meat crumbles on low (entire bag). To your taste you can add any variation of chopped mushrooms, vegan sausage, onions, peppers, spinach, or leave plain. If you want to you can add a bit of olive oil to brown, but I tend to not use it. Occasionally stir to cook evenly.
While the meat cooks, take 4-5 medium sized raw carrots and 1/2 small raw head of broccoli and add to food processor. Let run until crumbly consistency. Add 1 block firm tofu (drained but unpressed), 2 T minced garlic, 1/4 c nutritional yeast, 1/4 t salt, few dashes of pepper, and run until smooth/slightly chunky paste. Do not liquefy. Put aside.
If your meat/(veggie) is cooked to a fairly dry consistency, add 1/4 cup vegan red wine or Bragg's liquid amino acids, stir to coat and continue to cook on medium/high, stirring occasionally.
In a large mixing bowl crumble the second block of tofu (extra-firm), drained and pressed (it doesn't have to be super dry, just not sopping wet). Add 1/4 c nutritional yeast, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp oregano (option: along with 1/2 tsp basil/Italian seasoning-- your preference). Break up and stir with a fork and to a ricotta-like consistency.
Cut 10 cherry tomatoes in half and put aside.
Finish cooking your meat/veggies on higher heat until wine is absorbed, pan is dry, meat is well done.
Coat the bottom of your lasagna pan with 1 cup sauce. Your oven-ready noodles need the sauce to cook and soften, and it will appear a bit soupy but it will soak in. Also your noodles will not reach the end of the pan and that's OK, they expand.
Preheat oven to 350.
Layer as follows: layer of noodles (they don't need to overlap but if you prefer it that way it works), layer of veggie paste, v-meat, v-ricotta, more sauce, more noodles, repeat. If you like a "cheesy" filling, you can add v-mozzarella or v-provolone in between layers under sauce. The layering doesn't have to be precise in any way except the layer of sauce needs to be the final layer before the next layer of noodles so they cook properly. See below for photos. Also, I've done this neat & messy and the end result is the same. In the in the interest of time as you can see, I tend to go with messy .
The final top layer will have only sauce, v-ricotta, cherry tomato halves cut side down, sprinkle with nutritional yeast, and top with a layer of your v-mozzarella or v-provolone.
Bake 50 minutes covered, 10-15 minutes uncovered. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting. Dig in!