Friday, June 23, 2006

Eggplant and Spinach Lasagna

taken from the wonderful Vegan Planet cookbook by the rather unfortunately named Robin Robertson:

"Adding cooked chopped eggplant to the tomato sauce gives this dish substantial texture. Since vegan mozzarella doesn't melt well [calling all vegan food scientists! - TSV], I make it an optional ingredient. Other topping ideas include vegan Parmesan cheese or a sprinkling of Gomasio [I opt for the latter myself - TSV].

12 ounces lasagna noodles

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and chopped

3 cups tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought

Two sixteen-ounce packages firm tofu, drained and crumbled

One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to package directions and
well drained

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the noodles and spread out on a work surface to keep them from sticking together.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the tofu and the spinach, blending well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

4. Spread a thin layer of the sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Add a layer of noodles and top with half of the tofu mixture, spreading it out evenly. Top with another layer of noodles, a layer of sauce, and the remaining tofu mixture. Finish with a layer of noodles and the remaining sauce.

5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the vegan cheese, if using. Continue to bake until hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8"

I promised one of you that I would post this recipe a long time ago. My apologies for the delay. This is fun to make and fun to eat, and it freezes and reheats well. I for one love having a freezerful of lasagna.


Anonymous Alisa said...

Hi Daniel,

I must confess, I am not a vegan, although I eat vegan meals often. My first priority is dairy free (due to allergies, yes you don't always outgrow them) and all natural. I have been dairy free for a long time, but have never ventured a dairy free cheese. I likely will review some in the near future, for my website, but I am curious if you have trialed any truly vegan cheeses that you liked? I know that without the casein it is a bit questionable at times. If you get the chance, please check out my website and let me know what you think, Our product lists note which products are vegan as well, quite a few in fact! Thanks for the great info and recipes.

4:46 PM  
Blogger the surly vegan said...


I will check out your site, thanks for the info.

As far as vegan cheeses are concerned, no matter what the label says ("it melts!"), you can be sure that the only way that you're going to have any kind of melting going on is if you steam your food. If it's a veggie burger or something similar, this can be achieved easily enough by putting a small bit of water on the underside of the lid, then putting it onto the pan.

Vegan Gourmet (made by Follow Your Heart, the makers of Vegenaise and the creators of the only vegan omelette I've ever eaten) make a good cheddar, although they're also the "It Melts!" people, so you'll have to forgive them that. The Tofutti slices are even better, but they are very difficult to find for some reason. In researching for a response to your comment, I ended up googling across one of my older posts about vegan cheese, so you might want to check the archives - November 15, 2005.

You bring up a good point about casein, though. It is a milk protein and as such not vegan in the least. Lots of soy cheeses contain casein, but again, are not vegan. A big giveaway is their ability to melt.

8:20 PM  

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