Want to hear something I personally find completely crazy? Ten years ago today Mark and I went on our first date. It was an epic date, too: he picked me up at noon and I didn’t get home until well after midnight. We’ve been together nearly every day since. Anyway, like most of the country, Northern Virginia is laboring through 100-degree-plus days, with heat indexes as high as 115. Most people probably don’t think “lasagna!” when it’s 110 degrees out, but I do think “lasagna!” when it’s time to make a special meal for Mark. I’ve posted a few lasagna recipes before, but since I hardly ever make things the same way twice, here’s another one. I called it Blender Lasagna because I realized while I was assembling it that I had used the blender for every layer.
no-boil lasagna noodles (I can only recommend Trader Joe’s brand), or regular lasagna noodles, cooked
1 1/2 cup vegan protein, chopped or shredded (like Italian sausage, etc. I used chick’n breasts because I had them to use up)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
vegan mozzarella, shredded
1 14.5 oz can whole tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
4-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
dried oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes, to taste
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Garlic Stem Pesto
enough garlic stems (scapes), chopped, to make a cup (I’ve been looking all over for garlic scapes, and finally discovered the Asian grocery store has had garlic stems all along)
6 Tbsp olive oil
6 Tbsp water
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 package silken tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
dried basil, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt, to taste
fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, then fire up that blender or food processor! Place the tomatoes and tomato sauce in the blender and puree. Heat a little olive oil in a sauce pot, then add the rest of the sauce ingredients and cook for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes, stir, and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Rinse out the blender. Put all of the pesto ingredients in it and process until smooth, adding additional water if necessary. Set pesto aside. This makes way more pesto than you probably need for the lasagna. You can halve the recipe or freeze the extra. Or save it for another recipe later in the week.
Rinse out the blender. Put all of the cheezy sauce ingredients in it and process until smooth, adding the lemon juice last. I like mine fairly tangy so I didn’t give an amount for the lemon juice because some people may not like that much. I never measure stuff like this; just taste it and adjust the seasonings until you like it. Set cheezy sauce aside.
Chop onions and zucchini. If you’re using a food processor you could even use that to roughly chop the vegetables. Saute the onion and zucchini in a little olive oil with salt and pepper.
Place a thin layer of tomato sauce in an 8×8 pan and put down a layer of noodles. Smear with pesto. Top with the protein and add some tomato sauce. Put down another layer of noodles, add some tomato sauce, then top with the onion and zucchini mixture. Put down another layer of noodles and cover with the cheezy sauce. Put down the final layer of noodles and cover with the remaining tomato sauce. Cover pan with aluminum foil and place on a cookie sheet. Put in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, add the mozzarella, and return to the oven. Bake for 15 more minutes then remove from oven and let sit for another 15 minutes.