Meatless Monday: Vegan Quinoa & Zucchini Lasagna
When I was trying to think of a recipe to make for this weeks Meatless Monday dish, a quinoa and zucchini lasagna that I had made about a year ago or so came to mind. I remember when I made it, how delicious it was and I even shared some with my family who raved about it and wanted the recipe. To be completely honest it wasn’t my original recipe. I actually first found it on Eating Well and had modified it at the time to cut out the cottage cheese, parm and egg- choosing to use ricotta and half the amount of mozzarella cheese it called for.
So this time when I decided to make it I wanted to take it to another level and take the cheese out all together so that it would be vegan friendly. The challenge came in finding something to replace the cheese (I didn’t want to use the typical vegan cheese alternatives), but after some thought I realized I could use cashews to add some creaminess to the dish and still keep it vegan friendly. This dish is also gluten free and soy free while still maintaining the comforting goodness that traditional lasagna typically offers!
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carton mushrooms, sliced
- 2 14.5 oz cans tomato sauce
- dried basil
- dried oregano
- salt & pepper
- 2 large zucchini, sliced
- 2 cups raw cashews
- fresh basil
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil + 2 for cooking & drizzling
- 1 package of baby spinach
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium size pot bring water and quinoa to a boil then reduce to simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Remove and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan and add onions, cook until transparent. Add mushrooms and cook until soft then add tomato sauce, garlic and season with dried basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
- In a food processor; add cashews, olive oil and basil and process until smooth and creamy.
- Grease a 9x13 pan and layer the bottom with the cooked quinoa.
- Next, layer about a 1/3 of the sauce on top of the quinoa, then layer 1/2 of sliced zucchini on top of the sauce.
- Next, evenly spread the cashew mixture on top of the zucchini- this may have a paste like consistency and you may need a knife to spread it.
- On top of the cashew spread, add about 1/2 of the sauce that is left then layer with spinach on top.
- Next, use the last of the sauce and spread evenly over the spinach then layer the remaining zucchini on top of that.
- Sprinkle with more salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
- Place on the top rack of the oven and bake for approximately an hour or until top layer of zucchini is soft.
- Remove from the oven then let cool.
- Enjoy! :)
Here is a visual guide on how to construct the lasagna by layer. Make sure to add sauce on top of the spinach- I forgot to take a picture of that step 😉