August 8, 2012

Zucchini & Eggplant Lasagna

We've made this twice in the last 8 days. It's that good. Both times required a trip to the grocery store for tofu. It was totally worth it.

I almost didn't share it with you because we were running super late & I didn't have much time for photos, but since we've had it twice, I had to snap a few quick ones. To note: lasagna is ugly in pictures, especially rushed ones. Don't let that put you off. It tastes 1000% better than it looks here!

Let me tell you about the second trip to the grocery store. It was on Sunday afternoon & I decided to bike. So I headed out, & started seeing some dark clouds coming in. I hurried through the store & got frustrated immediately. I thought I'd buy a couple boxes of tofu so this wouldn't happen again, only to find that they only had 3 containers & they all expired on Aug. 8. Strike 1. I paid for my items & headed out to my bike. It was really dark & blustery, but I decided to head home anyway. I took the shortest route, but it wasn't enough. As I exited the parking lot & turned at the light, it started to downpour. I was drenched within seconds, so I figured I might as well keep going...I'm pretty sure at one point it was hailing. Strike 2. I made it home safely, though. Next time I need tofu for a recipe, I'm taking the car & buying several boxes!

This recipe is perfect to make ahead of time. We assembled the lasagna on Sunday afternoon & then put it in the refrigerator, covered, overnight. When I got home from work on Monday, I took off the lid & put it in the oven while it preheated. Once the oven was at 400, I set my timer & dinner was ready 45 minutes later! It's great for nights when you have other chores to do before dinner because there's no prep involved that day. I would assume that it could be frozen & then baked in a similar fashion, though baking time would increase.

Grilling the veggies adds so much flavor to this lasagna! I do not recommend skipping that step. It also helps keep the lasagna from getting overly wet as it bakes. I hope you try this & enjoy it! It's light, yet filling - perfect for a late summer evening.

Zucchini & Eggplant Lasagna - Vegan
Filling adapted from PBS Food Fresh Tastes Blog
Serves 6

2 medium zucchinis
1 large eggplant
3 c thick tomato sauce
1 16 oz. block extra firm tofu
1 T nutritional yeast
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp oregano
2-3 cloves garlic
4 c swiss chard (or spinach), coarsely chopped
garlic powder
Italian seasoning

Cut tofu into 4 pieces & press for at least 20 minutes.

Slice zucchinis & eggplant lengthwise into long strips, about 1/4" thick. Grill slices on a well-oiled grill at med-high for about 5 minutes per side or until browned.

In a blender, combine pressed tofu, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt, oregano, & garlic. Blend until smooth. Add swiss chard & blend until only small pieces of swiss chard remain.

Preheat oven to 400*F. Spray a 9"x13" baking pan with cooking spray. Spread about 1/2 c sauce on the bottom of the pan. Lay a single layer of zucchini (about 1 of them) on the bottom. Cover with half of the tofu filling mixture. Sprinkle with garlic powder & Italian seasoning. Cover with sauce, about 1/2 to 1 cup. Layer with the eggplant slices. Top with remaining tofu filling & 1/2 to 1 cup of sauce. Sprinkle with more garlic powder & Italian seasoning, if desired. Place the remaining zucchini on top and cover with remaining sauce. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.*

*Baking time is fairly flexible. I've increased the heat to 450 & baked for 45 minutes, so if you have something else to go in the oven also, it should bake nicely at 350 also, just bake it for an hour instead. All of the ingredients are cooked already, so baking it helps meld the flavors and heat everything evenly.


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