One of the dishes I used to make all the time with dairy was lasagna. Gary would be able to eat probably half the pan in one sitting. His portions have gotten better now. He can still almost eat half the pan, but he can’t have the dairy anymore. When I saw this eggplant spinach lasagna, I knew I had to try it, especially since I had all the ingredients on hand.
This turned out great. Using tofu instead of ricotta makes this dish lighter and much healthier than a lasagna with meat and cheese. It almost makes it ok that Gary eats half the pan…*almost*.
Vegan Eggplant and Spinach Lasagna
Adapted from: Go Dairy Free
12 ounces lasagna noodles (9 noodles. I used the leftovers from previous boxes of noodles.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and chopped (I used 2 Chinese eggplant)
3 cups tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought (I used the whole can of 26oz Hunts tomato sauce)
2 16-oz packages firm tofu, drained and crumbled (I used 2 packages of Mori Nu firm tofu – 12.3 oz each)
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to package directions and well drained (I used frozen leaf spinach)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350° 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. (I found it helpful to rinse with cold water, so it’s easier to handle. Place 3 noodles on a paper towel, layer with another paper towel, repeat to separate the noodles. You can also use a clean kitchen towel.)
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.
I didn’t use the cheese. I covered and baked uninterrupted for about 42 minutes. This was a great alternative to meat and cheese lasagnas.