My roommate and I have been wanting to make vegetable lasagna for a while, and since my mom made it with tofu growing up, I decided to incorporate that as well, for a wonderfully tasty vegetarian meal! I had several ultimate frisbee friends over for dinner, and they all loved the lasagna, even the meat-eaters. I apologize for the yellow-y pictures, since by the time we sat down for dinner, any natural light was gone so I had to make do with the lighting in the kitchen.
One thing that’s nice about this lasagna is that you don’t have to pre-cook the noodles, you add water to the sauce instead, which soaks into the noodles during baking. Not having to work with slippery, soft noodles during the layering process makes things easier, and as an added bonus, it means one less pot to wash! This lasagna, while it does take some time to go through the process of making it, is well worth the time and effort. It is delicious, incredibly filling, and a much healthier alternative to traditional lasagna with oodles of meat and cheese. Here’s the recipe!
Makes 15 servings
1 12 oz package of firm tofu
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Italian herb seasoning
Salt and Pepper
1 24 oz jar of pasta sauce of your choice
3 cups water
1 package of shredded mozzarella
3 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
2-3 cups baby spinach leaves
10-15 fresh basil leaves
Parmesan cheese, for topping.
1 package lasagna noodles
Drain the tofu and crumble with a fork in a bowl. Mix in the Italian herb seasoning, salt, and pepper, or any other herbs you wish. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, and lightly brown the garlic, then add the tofu and toss to coat with oil. Lightly brown the tofu. Add the jar of pasta sauce and wait for bubbles to form. Turn down the heat, then add the water and stir to combine. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes. Add the basil leaves and allow to wilt.
In a 9×13 pan, place a layer of lasagna noodles (usually there are 18 noodles in a box, so I do two layers of four noodles and two layers of five noodles). Ladle some sauce over it and layer with half the zucchini and a quarter of the mozzarella. Place another layer of noodles over that layer and spread the spinach leaves. Ladle sauce over the spinach, then layer more mozzarella on top. Repeat with one more layer of noodles, zucchini, sauce, and mozzarella. Top with a final layer of noodles, sauce, and mozzarella, then sprinkle Parmesan on top. Cover with foil, making sure to tent the foil so it doesn’t touch the cheese, and allow to sit on the counter or in the fridge for at least one hour, to allow the water to soak into the noodles.
Heat the oven to 350˚F and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, check to see how much water has been absorbed. If it is still watery(mine was), bake another 15-20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the cheese is bubbly. Remove the foil and bake for the last 5-10 minutes. Don’t bake it too long uncovered or the noodles will get hard. Enjoy!
Shared on Cast Party Wednesday at Lady Behind the Curtain
First, put down a layer of noodles.
Ladle 2-3 ladles of sauce mixture over the noodles.
Layer half the zucchini over the sauce. You could also layer the zucchini first then pour sauce over it.
Sprinkle some mozzarella over the zucchini.
Add another layer of noodles, then spread the spinach leaves over those.
Ladle the sauce over the spinach leaves to help weigh them down, then sprinkle more mozzarella over that.
Repeat with another layer of noodles, zucchini, sauce, and mozzarella.
For the last layer, put down the noodles, ladle the remaining sauce over them, then top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Here’s how it looks coming out of the oven! I had to put a baking pan underneath mine because the sauce started bubbling and a little bit spilled over the side when I checked it at 40 minutes.
Yay friends and food!
Baked to perfection! Melty cheese, but the noodles are still soft.
Ahh… Look at all those beautiful layers! This is lasagna at its finest.
Now onto the workout portion of today! I had the day off work again, so I went for a swim this morning, came home and prepared the lasagna, tortilla chips, and snickerdoodles (post to come soon!) that I was serving at dinner. While the lasagna was sitting and soaking in the water, I went to the track and did a dryland circuit.
Starting with the swim, it’s Threshold Thursday! Threshold sets are always hard, and todays was a bit of a distance threshold set, so it was quite a challenge. I always feel good after these kind of workouts though. Tired, but a good tired. It was another beautiful day today, so I was happy to get in the pool! Although I will, say, my goggle tan is becoming quite exquisite… A hazard of the sport 😛
(200 free, 100 IM)x2
3×100 free @1:30, descend 1-3
4×75 fly/back/breast @1:20
6×50 free @:55 (sprint 1st 15m, sprint middle 15m, sprint last 15m)x2
4×200 threshold free @2:40 (threshold interval)
2×50 @1:00 fast fly/easy free
3×200 threshold free @2:40
2×50 @1:00 fast back/easy free
2×200 threshold free @2:40
2×50 @1:00 fast breast/easy free
200 threshold free @2:40
2×50 @1:00 fast free/easy free
200 easy choice
Total: 4100 yards
Time: 1 hr, 5 min
Now for the dryland circuit, I did mostly legs and back at the gym on Tuesday, so today I did a lot of pushups, as well as some leg exercises taken from P90X. Here’s the circuit I did, and with a warmup it took about 50 minutes.
Warmup jog and dynamic stretches and movement prep exercises
(10 pushups, 20 jumping lunges, 30 crunches, 10 pushups, 20 single-leg squats, 10 on each leg, 30 bicycle crunches)x2
(10 dips, 20 single-leg RDLS, 10 each leg, 30 deadbugs)x2
(10 stacked foot staggered hands pushups, 20 jumping lunges, 30 side crunches, 10 stacked foot staggered hands pushups, 20 skaters, 30 v-ups, 15 each side)x2
(10 dips, 20 side-lying hip abduction leg raises on each side, 30 supermans)x2
(10 pushups, 20 leg lifts, 30 80-20 squats)x2, second round switch legs for the 80-20 squats
(10 dips, 20 straight leg raises on back on each leg, 20 alternating arm and leg supermans)x2
Cool down and stretch
Total: Approx 1 hr