Vegetarian Lasagna

There are a lot of great meals you can make when you are a vegetarian from Mexican food to Chinese cuisine and even Italian food like lasagna.  Vegetarian lasagna is made in a much similar fashion as regular lasagna only it is made without meat, and sometimes without cheese if you eschew dairy in your vegetarian diet.

There are lots of vegetarian lasagna recipes you can find both in cookbooks as well as on the Internet.  You can even modify your own lasagna recipe to be vegetarian with a little creativity and experimentation.  Here are two recipes you might want to try:  one with dairy and one without.

Vegetarian Lasagna

- 1 large jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 pound chopped broccoli, rinsed and well drained
- 1 pound fresh spinach, chopped, rinsed, and well drained
- 1 pound fresh sliced mushrooms, rinsed and well drained
- 1 large carton cottage or ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Lasagna noodles, cooked al dente

Spread a layer of spaghetti sauce in bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan and put down a layer of noodles. Mix together broccoli, spinach and mushrooms. Spread over top of noodles.

Mix together cottage cheese, egg and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Spread over vegetable layer. Cover with another layer of noodles. Spread remaining spaghetti sauce and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top.

Cover tight with foil and bake 45 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

For those of you who are living a vegan lifestyle, here is a great lasagna recipe similar to the vegetarian lasagna but without eggs and cheese.

Vegan Lasagna
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 4 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
- 2 pounds firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 3 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Make the sauce: In a large, heavy saucepan, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Place the onions in the saucepan and sauté them until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic; cook 5 minutes more. Place the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil and parsley in the saucepan. Stir well, turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer covered for 1 hour. Add the salt and pepper.

While the sauce is cooking bring a large kettle of salted water to a boil. Boil the lasagna noodles for 9 minutes, then drain and rinse well. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Place the tofu blocks in a large bowl. Add the garlic, basil and parsley. Add the salt and pepper, and mash all the ingredients together by squeezing pieces of tofu through your fingers. Mix well.

Assemble the lasagna: Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch casserole pan. Arrange a single layer of lasagna noodles, sprinkle one-third of the tofu mixture over the noodles. Distribute the spinach evenly over the tofu. Next ladle 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce over the tofu, and top it with another layer of the noodles. Then sprinkle another 1/3 of the tofu mixture over the noodles, top the tofu with 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, and place a final layer of noodles over the tomato sauce. Finally, top the noodles with the final 1/3 of the tofu, and spread the remaining tomato sauce over everything.

Cover the pan with foil and bake the lasagna for 30 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy.

Vegetarian Lasagna



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