Last weekend I headed to the monthly Seoul Vegan Potluck. Despite being a carnivore I always enjoy the vegan events, meeting new people and trying new foods. This time I even managed to pick up some spices and a bread loaf pan which I have been wanting for so long, from a lovely man who is leaving and wanted to give all his cookware and condiments to a good home. It’s such a lovely sense of community that I enjoy, as well as challenging myself to make new things and of course getting to eat lots of yummy foods.
I was kind of in a quandary on what to make this month. The theme was red foods, but I had my heart set on trying a vegan lasagne. I make lasagne a lot, but without the dairy it was quite the challenge. I had seen a cauliflower alfredo sauce on Pinterest which I knew I could use for a bechamel sauce and figured tofu might make a decent ricotta substitute. Despite never having made it before it really came together in the end, and was enjoyed by everyone so I’m really glad I took the chance to make it.
12 lasagne sheets
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 bunches of spinach
4 red peppers
500g of tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
1 medium cauliflower
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
200ml of soy milk
4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon of celery salt
Pepper to taste
2 packs of tofu (squeeze and freezed)
1 tablespoon of parsley (fresh)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 lemon zest and juice
1 teaspoon of celery salt (or salt)
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of panko crumbs
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon of ground almonds
1. First you need to prepare your tofu in order to make the tofu ricotta. Do this at least a day in advance using the squeeze and freeze method. Remove tofu from the pack and pour away the excess liquid. Put into a tray then place a chopping boards on top then put something heavy on top and leave for a few hours. Pour away any excess liquid then wrap the tofu in clingfilm and put it in the freezer. You can store it like this for months. Then defrost when needed.
4. Put your defrosted tofu into a blender or food processor along with parsley, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, celery salt, and pepper and blend until combined and somewhat smooth. It doesn’t have to be perfect and a few lumps recreate the ricotta texture.
2. To make the alfredo or bechamel sauce. Boil your cauliflower for about 10 minutes until soft then strain. Meanwhile saute your garlic in the olive oil until softened but not browned. Pop the drained cauliflower into the blender along with the sauteed garlic, soy milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth then set aside.
3. To make your red sauce. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, cut the peppers in half and pull out the seeds then put them in a roasting tray. Add the tomatoes and cloves of garlic to the tray, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 20-30 minutes until soft. Then put everything in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in the mixed herbs, season to taste, and set aside.
5. Roughly chop your 2 packs of spinach, then heat a little olive oil in a pan. Add the spinach and cook in batches for a few minutes until wilted. To make the topping mix the panko crumbs, nutritional yeast, and ground almonds in a bowl together.
6. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Put a layer of lasagne sheets in the bottom of your dish. Then half of the tomato sauce, followed by half of the spinach and half of the tofu ricotta. Then repeat.
7. Finish with a layer of lasagne then top with the cauliflower alfredo, sprinkle on the topping, and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pasta has cooked and the top is golden brown. Voilà delicious vegan spinach and ricotta lasagne.