Cooking Green Recipe

Planet-Friendly Lasagna

by Kay Bushnell

(Serves 8)

This meat-free, dairy-free lasagna is ideal for celebrations of all kinds. Make the tomato and cashew sauces a day or two ahead. Assemble and bake the lasagna the day before so flavors will permeate the noodles. Then simply heat it up on the day you serve it.

Ingredients:

  • Tomato sauce (recipe below)
  • Cashew "cheese" (recipe below)
  • 3-4 cans sliced black olives, drained and rinsed
  • Lasagna noodles to make 4 layers of noodles

Just before assembling the lasagna cook noodles according to directions on the package and drain them.

Tomato Sauce

  • 1-1.5 cup water
  • 1-1.5 cups EACH chopped onion, grated carrots, and green pepper
  • 1-1.5 cup chopped celery
  • 3-5 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon EACH dried oregano and basil
  • 2 28-oz. cans crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 rounded teaspoon salt or to taste

In a large saucepan braise vegetables in a little water until tender. Add tomatoes and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Cashew "Cheese"

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3+ cup lemon juice
  • 2 4-oz. jars pimientos or 4 ounces of roasted red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon onion granules
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast such as "Red Star" (not baking yeast)
  • 1 12.3-oz. firm tofu, crumbled

Place water, cashews, and salt in blender. Whiz thoroughly until very smooth. Add lemon juice, pimientos, onion granules, garlic salt, nutritional yeast, and tofu and whiz again.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Set out a 10" x 13.5" x 2.5" stainless steel lasagna pan or glass baking dish. Build 4 layers. Save enough tomato sauce to cover the top layer of noodles and enough "cheese" sauce to pour over all.

Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce over the bottom of the baking dish before adding the first layer of noodles. Place a layer of 3 or 4 noodles (depends on the width of noodles) over the sauce. Ladle some tomato sauce over the noodles; then spread some cashew cheese over the tomato sauce. Sprinkle olives over the layer. Repeat layers until all noodles are used. Save enough tomato sauce to cover the top layer of noodles. Pour the last of the cashew cheese over the top, and sprinkle the last of the olives over the cashew cheese. Bake at 350° until bubbly, about 45 minutes. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before serving, or refrigerate and serve the next day.

—Copyright Kay Bushnell