Deconstructed Vegan Lasagna with Zucchini Noodles

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Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a fickle eater. Not picky, just fickle. I have a hard time deciding what I am “in the mood for” – mainly because I also hate to cook. If I can’t make something in five minutes or less without dirtying more than one dish I usually end up grabbing a piece of cheese and a handful of almonds instead. So, one of my goals for the new year is to simplify recipes so I can make them on-the-go. A few months ago I made a batch of vegan lasagna for my cousin who had just given birth and fell in love with the recipe. I’m not a vegan but that doesn’t mean I shy away from trying vegan foods.

The original recipe required you to cut zucchini into planks, pre-bake them and then construct the lasagna. I wanted something easier. Instead of constructing a lasagna the traditional way, I “noodle” the zucchini, blend up the “cheese” mixture and store them separately in the fridge. This makes it easy to toss ingredients together one serving at a time.  Here is the delicious recipe:

Deconstructed Vegan Lasagna with Zucchini Noodles – Makes about 5 hearty servings

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium zucchini
  • 2 cups raw, unsalted cashew nuts
  • 1/2 cup basil, blanched and shocked*
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce
  • 1 bag shredded vegan or mozzarella cheese

*To blanch and shock the basil toss 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves into boiling water and let cook for 1 minute.  Then drain and place the basil into a water bath for one minute (this process is an important step because it makes the leaves soft so they will blend smoothly)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, spiral your zucchini to make noodles (you can use a mandolin if you do not have a spiralizer) and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days
  2. In a food processor mix the cashews, basil, salt and water.  Blend until smooth and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days

To Assemble a Serving:

  1. Place a generous heap of zucchini noodles in a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle with salt and microwave for 1-2 minutes, drain off excess water (this is an important step if you don’t want to eat lasagna soup)
  2. Top with a generous helping of the cashew mixture and 1-2 Tablespoons of tomato sauce, microwave for 1-2 minutes more
  3. Mix well
  4. Top with your choice of cheese and enjoy

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I love this recipe. The zucchini cook up like al dente noodles and the cashew/basil mix is so creamy you won’t believe it’s not cheese.  And aside from being an incredibly healthy meal, it takes little to not time to prepare – which means I’ll actually make it. Also, because the ingredients have decent shelf-lives I can make up a batch of ‘noodles’ and ‘cheese’ mixture to enjoy for lunch all week long.  Here’s to healthy eating in 2016!

Cheers,

Amy

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