In Boston, we made a VEGAN “Rika” eggplant-mushroom-spinach-zucchini (in alphabetical order) lasagna with Daiya mozzarella-style shreds and Tofutti ricotta cheese. Honestly, I prefer the Daiya Cheddar-style shred over the Mozzarella-shred since Mozzarella tends to be slightly greasier and bland than Cheddar, but this time, I am using Mozzarella for the lasagna dish, just for the look and taste. Before I was a VEGAN, I fell in love with ricotta cheese which was low in lactose, so I never had a vegan ricotta cheese product before. When I opened the Tofutti ricotta cheese, it looked like a large pail of white cheese, and I had to fork it to form clumps. It smelled a bit sweet and funky as cheese are supposed to be :). After baking the ricotta cheese in the lasagna, it melted into a béchamel-style creamy sauce, which was nice to see in a lasagna dish.
1 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 cup button mushrooms, chopped (use as much as you like for more layers)
1/4 pounds spinach, cooked and squeezed
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Diced garlic cloves
Daiya mozzarella style shreds
Tofutti ricotta cheese (take it out in a large bowl and fork to separate them into “clumps” before proceeding)
Your favorite sauce recipe or a jar of store bought spaghetti sauce (I use Trader’s Joe Organic Tomato Basil Marinara)
Pre-boiled vegan lasagna noodles
Wild rocket or red pepper flakes for garnish
Thinly slice eggplants and zucchini. Drizzle with olive oil and grill 5 minutes per side. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Don’t over sprinkle it, because Daiya cheese gives a bit of salty flavor. Set aside to cool.
Saute button mushrooms and diced garlic cloves in olive oil for 5-10 minutes. When tender, add fresh thyme, salt and pepper for flavour. Set aside to cool.
Add spinach to boiling, salted water for 1 minute. Remove and add to ice water and let it cool. Strain the spinach and pat dry with paper towel. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and spray vegetable oil in the baking dish.
Spread spaghetti sauce on the bottom of dish. Put a layer of pre-boiled lasagna noodle and top with spaghetti sauce again and spoon with Tofutti ricotta cheese thinly. Add a layer of grilled vegetables, spinach and mushrooms, followed by Daiya mozzarella style shreds and Tofutti ricotta cheese. Repeat twice.
Bake for 45 minutes preheated oven, covered with foil. Remove from oven and remove foil. Top with Daiya mozzarella style shreds and bake for another 15 to 30 minutes until it reaches desired appearance. Set it aside to cool for 30 minutes before cutting.
1. Before the Oven:
2. After the Oven, spread it with wild rocket or red pepper flakes for spicy: