Vegan Ricotta (Cashew Cream Sauce)

This recipe for vegan gluten-free Lasagna, (or is it “lasagne”? I mean, really, we need to settle this) utilizing slices of zucchini in place of pasta, was created in the heat of summer when my son would bring home bushel baskets of zucchini. It became a household favorite, offering a healthier and lighter alternative to pasta and it is a meal we enjoy hot or cold.
Vegan Ricotta (Cashew Cream Sauce)

Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw cashews, (or see Notes below*) soaked in water for 2 hours and drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • dash of onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • few grinds of black pepper

Instructions
combine in high speed blender (we use a Vitamix) until smooth.
Notes
If fat content is an issue please see the Notes on the full Lasagna recipe below

Vegan Gluten-Free Lasagna

Ingredients
  • 4-5 medium zucchini squash
  • 5 cups of pasta sauce
  • 1 lb frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella style shredded cheese (optional, or to taste. We like Daiya brand)
  • 2 tbs oregano, divided
  • 1 recipe vegan ricotta (see recipe below)


Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine ricotta, spinach and 1 tbs oregano.
  3. Slice zucchini into vertical slices, 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Cover bottom of 9×13 with 1 1/4 cup of sauce.
  5. Layer slices of zucchini on top of sauce.
  6. Cover with half of the ricotta sauce.
  7. Repeat.
  8. Top with a layer of sauce, then zucchini and final layer of sauce.
  9. Sprinkle with mozzarella style cheese and 1 tbs of oregano.
  10. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes
For a more traditional lasagna that is still vegan, simply substitute dry lasagna noodles for the zucchini and be sure to add the liquid with the thawed spinach. (if you use brown rice pasta – like Tinkyada brand – it is still gluten free). Remember to cover while baking and uncover to cool. This was my original recipe and I modified it to use up the zucchini. I have served it for years to non vegans and it is always a hit. The fact that you don’t have to cook the noodles first makes it quick to put together.
Fat Content: if you are concerned about the fat content because of the cashews, feel free to use less. I often will use 1 1/2 cups of cashews and/or omit the vegan mozzarella. It’s a flexible recipe and you can adjust it freely to suit your tastes. The full recipe is an attempt to make an equivalent experience to a cheesy traditional lasagne and the full recipe has just over 11g fat per serving (1/12 of the recipe).

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