I seem to be getting the same question a lot recently, “How do you live without cheese?” Cutting cheese from your diet will have immediate health benefits, is likely to result in weight loss as well as take away money from an industry which abuses and impregnate cows. But when the health and environmental benefits are met with blank stares, I’ve had to persuade my friends with outstanding recipes to show that food without cheese is super delicious. Apart from my cheese-free pizza’s, this lasagna recipe the most popular.
Time: 1 hour Serves 8
Ingredients: Sauce2 tsp. olive oil1 large onion, chopped (2 cups) 1 1/2 tsp. basil 1 1/2 tsp. thyme 1 1/2 tsp. rosemary 2 tsp. oregano Splash of red wine (for flavor) Pinch of salt & pepper 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced (2 Tbs.)5-6 ripe tomatoes, chopped2 capsicums, diced (bell peppers) of any colour are fine1 head of broccoli10-12 mushrooms (I like brown / shiitake)A bunch (~3 cups) of Greens like swiss chard, spinach or kale.
1 packet of firm tofu, drained (~300grams) 1 clove of garlic, diced 1 Tsp. basil Sprinkle of pepper 12 sheets of uncooked lasagna noodles (whole-wheat or rice) 1/2 cup nutritional yeast + 1/4 cup to sprinkle over the top
Optional: 1 cup shredded faux mozzarella or soy cheese. I didn’t use it as I can’t get it in Korea, but I’m sure it would make for a delicious crispy topping.1/2 nutritional yeast
No need to precook the lasagna noodles, they’ll cook in the sauce.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
1. To make the tomato base filling, heat oil in skillet over a medium-high heat. Sauté diced onions and garlic in the oil for 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden. Add the chopped tomatoes until they release their liquid. Toss in the mushrooms, broccoli, capsicum, roughly chopped greens and all herbs, except the salt and those for the cheesy layers. Add a splash of dry red wine, soaking all the vegetables in the sauce. Stir and simmer on a low-heat for 20/25 mins. Stir occasionally and taste throughout. Feel free to add more herbs as the tomatoes cook (You can also add a tiny bit of sugar if the taste becomes too intense).
2. In a separate bowl separate the firm tofu with your fingers and add to it the nutritional yeast, garlic, pepper and herbs. Mix with a fork.
3. Spread 1/3 of your tomato sauce on the bottom of a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Cover with 1/4 of your tofu mixture and 1/3 noodles (2-3 lasagna sheets) so that they form a single layer. Continue to layer with 1/3 of your sauce, 1/3 of your noodles, and 1/4 tofu. Reserve 1/4 of the tofu for after the initially cooking.
4. Cover lasagna with foil, and bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbling hot. Remove the foil and top with 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast or faux cheese. Put the uncovered dish back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until noodles are tender and topping is crisp.
Let dish stand 10 minutes before serving. Goes great with a zangy light green salad or following some soup.