Sometimes, things just come together in my head and in the kitchen. I have been eating slightly differently lately (more about that in another post) and was trying to figure out how to make lasagna without tomato sauce. For some reason, I remembered my creamy mushroom gravy, which is so delicious I have made it simply for the purpose of pouring it over toast. I thought, what if I used the gravy instead of tomato sauce, and made stroganoff lasagna? You’re welcome.
You’ll need to make the gravy and the cashew “ricotta” in advance (recipes below). If you make the ricotta in advance, do not add the ground flax seeds until you are assembling the lasagna. While you can make this without pre-cooking the noodles, I do recommend cooking them for about five minutes until they start to soften. They will absorb the gravy much better if partially pre-cooked.
Makes 12 servings
1 recipe creamy mushroom gravy
1 recipe cashew “ricotta”
1 lb. shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
1 lb. gluten-free lasagna noodles
1/2 C. (75 g) raw cashews
2 T. (10 g) ground flax seeds, if making this in advance, add this right before assembling the lasagna
¼ C. (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 T. (30 ml) olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 lb. (450 g) soft tofu
Cover the cashews with filtered water and let sit about 30 minutes. Drain the cashews and put them in a blender or food processor. Add the soaked flaxseed, lemon juice, oil, and garlic. Blend until it is a smooth consistency. (If you do not have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, you may need to add some filtered water to help it along.) Add the tofu a large chunk at a time, blending well after each addition. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the lasagna, then add the flax seeds and 4 T. (60 ml) filtered water, stirring well.
Creamy Mushroom Gravy
Makes 7 cups
1 T. (15 ml) toasted sesame oil
1 T. (15 ml) olive oil
2 C. (400 g) yellow onions, about 2 medium
8-12 oz. (225-345 g) cremini mushrooms
1/2 C. (125 ml) marsala or Madeira wine
3 ribs celery (150 g)
1/2 t. (0.5 g) black pepper
3/4 t. (1 g) dried sage, or 1 T. (5 g) minced fresh sage leaves
3 T. (45 ml) Braggs® Liquid Aminos or wheat-free tamari
2 C. (500 ml) vegetable broth
2 C. (500 ml) soy or almond milk
6 T. (45 g) gluten-free oat flour
6 T. (25 g) gluten-free nutritional yeast
1 C. (250 ml) vegetable broth
Wash and dry the mushrooms and slice very thinly. Wash the celery, trim off the ends, and slice thinly.
Slice off the stem end of the onions, then set it cut side down and slice in half lengthwise. Peel back the skin, then chop into small dice.
Heat the oil in a large, deep sauté pan. Add onions and celery and saute for 5-8 minutes until everything is golden. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the mushrooms and sauté until golden. (You want to give the mushrooms plenty of space to release their liquid or else they get soggy.)
Deglaze the pan with the wine, and cook until almost dry. Add the onion mixture back into the pan with the spices.
Sauté for 1 more minute.
Add the Braggs®, vegetable broth, and 1 cup of the soymilk. Bring to a boil.
In a small bowl, combine the rest of the soy milk, flour, and yeast. Whisk together until smooth, then whisk in to the pot. Heat until thickened. Remove from heat; it will thicken as it stands. Stir in one cup of vegetable broth if using for lasagna.
Bring a large pot of water to boil with a generous pinch of sea salt. Cook the noodles, stirring to keep them separated, for 5-6 minutes until softened and flexible. Rinse with cold water and drain.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas mark 4. Spray your lasagna pan (9″ X 13″/22 cm X 33 cm) lightly with cooking spray on the sides. Spoon in a generous amount of gravy to cover the bottom. Place a layer of noodles across the bottom (3 across). Use the broken ones on this layer and the middle one, reserving the best ones for the top. You must have the noodles completely covered.
Spread about 1/3 of the ricotta mixture on top of the noodles. Add a thin layer of gravy. Sprinkle with some grated cheese.
Create another layer of noodles, ricotta, gravy, and grated cheese, and repeat. Top with the last layer of noodles, the last of the gravy and grated cheese, making sure the noodles are completely covered with gravy. Wipe up any spills along the edges of the pan. Spray one side of heavy-duty aluminum foil with cooking spray, place on top of the lasagna (sprayed side down), cover tightly, and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake uncovered another 15 minutes.
Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting, to allow it to firm up. Top each serving with chopped fresh parsley and serve with a green salad. Enjoy!
Notes: Try using vegan sour cream thinned with some lemon juice in place of the “ricotta.”
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