There’s nothing more comforting than sitting down to a warm, hearty dinner after a chilly evening surf session. Unfortunately, most comfort food dishes leave a little to be desired in terms of their nutritional value. However, this genius lasagna recipe from the Minimalist Baker is entirely plant based and packed with protein. It’s sure to satisfy your comfort food cravings while keeping you on track for a healthy new year.
Recipe originally from the Minimalist Baker. For more recipes and information visit www.minimalistbaker.com.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
3 large sweet potatoes (~ 450 g), peeled and thinly sliced (organic when possible)
-3-4 Tbsp (45-60 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for squash
-Sea salt + black pepper to taste (~1/2 tsp each)
-2 lemons, juiced (~1/3 cup or 80 ml)
-12 ounces (340 g) extra firm tofu, drained and pressed dry for 10 minutes
-3 Tbsp (9 g) nutritional yeast
-1/2 cup loosely packed (30 g) fresh basil
-1 Tbsp (3 g) dried oregano
-1/4 cup (20 g) vegan parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
PESTO SAUCE optional
-1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
-1 cup loosely packed (60 g) basil, finely chopped
-2 cloves garlic, finely minced (1 Tbsp or 6 g)
-1/4 cup (20 g) vegan parmesan cheese
-Healthy pinch each salt + pepper
-Water to thin
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
2. Add all tofu filling ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed. You are looking for a semi-pureed mixture with bits of basil still intact. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
3. Peel sweet potatoes and slice thinly with a very sharp knife or mandolin. They shouldn’t be paper thin, but semi-thick and bendable – about 1/8th inch.
4. In a 9×13-inch (or similar size) dish, begin laying down the sweet potatoes in a single layer, overlapping slightly.
5. Top with one-third of the tofu ricotta mixture and spread using a spoon or spatula. Top with another layer of sweet potatoes, slightly overlapping. Repeat until you have three total layers of tofu ricotta, and four layers of sweet potatoes. The top layer should be sweet potatoes.
6. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes.
7. Then remove foil, increase oven heat to 400 degrees F (204 C), and bake uncovered for another 5-10 minutes to slightly brown up the top layer.
8. While the lasagna is cooking, prepare pesto (optional), by adding olive oil, basil, and garlic to a blender or food processor. Mix on on medium-low speed to combine, then add vegan parmesan cheese, a pinch each salt and pepper and pulse to combine again.
9. Add water to thin until a pourable pesto sauce is achieved, mixing on high until only small bits of basil and garlic remain. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a bit more vegan parmesan cheese and basil.
10. Let lasagna cool slightly before serving. Top entire lasagna with desired amount of pesto, or reserve for individual servings.
11. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Freeze for longer-term storage.
12. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper for flavor, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, and lemon juice for brightness.