I was intent on doing a Sunday cook to prepare healthy food to eat throughout the week. I wanted to make a vegan lasagna, but was annoyed when I found out the lasagna noodles I purchased had egg in them. I was going to go forward but when I looked online for vegan lasagna noodles, they were really hard to find, and I figured it wouldn’t be fair to folks if they weren’t readily available. Instead I decided to go without the noodles and do a layered vegan ratatouille-style lasagna with cashew cheese and lentils layered in between to act as the noodles and help soak up the vegetable juices as well as boost the protein level. Using lentils is also a good alternative for those folks going gluten or wheat free.
In essence of easy I used jarred (not canned) marinara sauce which made seasoning easy. A quick cashew cheese and a mandolin to slice up the vegetables and this was an easy dish to assemble. I used red lentils here as they cook much more quickly so I didn’t have to fear they wouldn’t be done. Bake it for two full hours at 350 and let the vegetables really bake down, allowing the lentils to soak up the vegetable juices. Remove the foil halfway through baking to help bake-off any excess juice.
I was really pleased with the outcome, the dish was layered nicely, savory, stuffed with vegetables and tender lentils with little bits of tangy cashew cheese strung throughout.
Vegan Ratatouille Lasagna (makes 10 servings)
For the Cashew Cheese
- 1 – Cup Raw Cashews
- 2 – Tb Lemon Juice
- ¼ – Cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1 – Tsp Italian Seasoning
- 3 – Garlic Cloves
- ¼ – Cup Water
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
Process all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth, adding a little more water if necessary. Set aside.
For the Lasagna
- 1 – 42 Ounce Jar Marinara Sauce
- 1 – Cup Red Lentils
- Vegetables Variety – Slice thin by hand or use a mandolin
- 1 – Medium Eggplant
- 1 – Large Sweet Onion
- 2 – Crookneck (Yellow Squash)
- 2 – Zucchini Squash
- 1 – Large Red Pepper
- Fresh basil to garnish (optional).
In a 9 x 13 pan, spoon about 1 Cup of marinara sauce in the bottom, add a layer of vegetables, dabs of the cashew cheese and a sprinkling of lentils and cover with sauce, (retaining 1 cup of sauce for the topping) continuing layering ingredients until the dish is full, press lightly, finished off the top layer with remaining 1 cup of marinara sauce.
Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, remove the foil and bake 1 hour more. Let the lasagna set for ½ hour for the juices to settle before slicing. Slice and garnish with fresh basil if desired.