Hey Fabbies! Happy Sunday! Lately I have been getting so many messages on my social media asking for recipes, and I said to myself, “In 2018, I am going to post more recipes!” I know as someone who cooks often, even I am sometimes searching for different things to cook. I have to give my Fabbies what they want! And for today, I am sharing a quick and simple vegan lasagna recipe that only uses 5 main ingredients! Say word.(Psssst. If you wanna get straight to the recipe, skip this story I’m about to tell, even though it’s a good story. As a matter of fact, don’t skip the story. Just read the story and get to the recipe afterwards okay?)
7 Years A Lasagna Maker:
Before going Vegan, I used to make lasagna all the time. As a matter of fact, I made my very first lasagna dish back in 2010 when I was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on a cold, winter night. I’m pretty sure snow was piled up to the roof this day. Anyway, I remember feeling so intimidated as I was preparing it, because the concept of making lasagna that didn’t come from the frozen food section was a foreign concept to me. I think I might have even been sweating while I was cooking I was that nervous! Well, part of the other reason could have been that I was newly cooking on a more regular basis at that time, and also newly cooking on a more regular basis for Supreme, who I had recently moved in with. So here I am, about to make this fancy lasagna for my now live-in boyfriend for the very first time…Before living together I may have cooked for him like twice in my apartment! We ate out otherwise. Ahhh the nerves!
But what do you know? It wasn’t as hard to make as I thought. It was actually fairly simple! And it actually turned out pretty good. So much so that I most certainly took a picture of it, and twitpic-ed it! (Do ya’ll remember that? In the days before Instagram, we shared our pictures on Twitter, and that was “thing” to do? Hehe. I’m old. But I digress. While lasagna sounds difficult to make to some, it certainly is NOT. And over the years of making lasagna, I have done several different types of lasagna recipes, styles, remixes, and more, and have settled into the fact that really, vegan or not, all you really need is 5 core ingredients if you want a classic tasting lasagna. Many lasagna recipes include several types of cheeses, but in this vegan lasagna dish, one flavor of cheese absolutely does the trick! When it’s finished, you’ll have yourself a hearty dinner dish that you and the family can eat on for days.
Before we dive into the recipe, I wanted to share that as I have been on the journey of veganism over the last 3 years, I have been a perpetual student on learning about the different foods and what kind of nutrition they provide, and what foods provide optimal benefits for our bodies. Dr.Sebi, (RIP), a renowned holistic doctor and healer, has cured people from diseases that are considered irreversible such as cancer, AIDS, diabetes and so on, had put together a list of plant-based whole foods that he says are healing and alkaline. You can read all of the foods that are on that list HERE. (And if you want more information on the benefits of following an Alkaline Vegan diet, I suggest you google Dr. Sebi and deep dive in the education that his teachings have provided.)
When preparing food for myself and my family, I try to stick to Dr. Sebi’s list as closely as possible, however, some dishes, such as this vegan lasagna dish and the beloved rotel dip that my family is obsessed with, (find that recipe HERE), are just hearty comfort food dishes that I like to whip up every now and then. As a matter of fact, we don’t buy vegan hot dogs, sausages, chicken, anymore, as we have shifted to more whole, plant based foods overall, but we still do occasionally get Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles, which is the only “mock meats” that we eat. And I buy them strictly for the times I make rotel dip or lasagna. And both dishes are family favorites. I have made the lasagna dish so much over the years that I even have simplified it down to just 5 main ingredients. (I love cooking food that does not require a lot of ingredients!) Oh! And best part of all? The ingredient list is a total of only $20!
You will need:
- 1 medium-sized organic red onion, chopped.
- 1 bag of Daiya brand mozzarella cheese
- 1. 5 jars of your favorite pasta sauce brand. I use Whole Foods Brand Organic Portobello Mushroom Pasta Sauce. (And I say one and a half jars because that ensures the lasagna will be sauce-y, which I love. So if you love your food sauce-y like me, then use two jars. But about a jar and a half should do.)
- Beyond Beef crumbles
- 1 package of lasagna noodles
And of course you will need your desired seasonings, and your favorite cooking oil to cook the “beef” crumbles in. I used sea salt to taste, pepper, onion powder, basil and oregano for the seasonings, and I typically use grapeseed oil to cook most of my food in.
- To start, bring a large pot to a boil. (And the bigger the pot the better. These are for long lasagna noodles.) When cooking any kind of pasta, or really anytime you’re boiling water and have to add food to it, season your water before any adding the pasta. It helps make the pasta that more flavorful. I learned this tip from my mom ages ago. After the water begins to boil, add the uncooked lasagna noodles. Boil al dente. (This is a fancy way of saying cook them until the noodles are soft but “firm to bite”. So about for 7-10 minutes.)
- While the lasagna noodles are cooking, you can begin preparing the filling. In a separate medium to large pot, add about 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil on medium heat. Add your chopped red onions to the pot. Add your desired seasonings to the onions while they are cooking:
- Once the onions begin to brown, (after about 5 minutes), you can then add the bag of frozen ground “beef” crumbles. (I kept this recipe to 5 main ingredients, but if you want to get fancy and add bell peppers, red peppers, and whatever else, feel free!) Stir in “beef” crumbles with the onions, all while on medium heat. Continue to stir occasionally for about 7 minutes:
- At this point, the lasagna noodles should be done cooking, so go ahead and drain the water, and allow the noodles to cool for a bit. You just don’t want them when they are fresh out of the boiled water because you will need to be able to grab them one by one soon, and you don’t want them to burn the shit outta your hand.
- While the noodles are cooling off, you can then add your jars of pasta sauce to the “beef” crumbles and onion mixture in the pot. Stir altogether, still on medium heat:
- After a few minutes of stirring, you can then add the bag of mozzarella cheese to the “beef” crumbles/onion mixture. Continue to stir, then cover pot with a lid, and turn the heat down to a low setting.
- While the cheesy sauce is simmering, your lasagna noodles should be warm to the touch and ready to grab by now. By using whatever you have, and I recommend these things: parchment paper, brown paper bags cut in half and laid flat, cutting boards, whatever; lay the lasagna noodles flat side by side. This just helps them stretch to their full length and get ready for layering easier:
Now it’s time to add everything to the baking dish!
8. In a 9 x 13 (or similar size) glass lasagna baking dish, pour half of the “beef”/onion/cheese mixture around the bottom of the dish:
9. Next, begin placing a long lasagna noodle length wise, all the way across until the noodles cover the mixture:
10. Now, layer the noodles by pouring the remaining mixture on top of the noodles, until they are all covered with sauce:
11. Next, repeat step 9. It should look like this before going into the oven:
12. OPTIONAL: Lightly douse the top of the noodles with olive oil, then toss shredded cheese across the top of the top of the layered lasagna.
13. Cover glass lasagna dish with foil, and bake in the oven at 375 Fahrenheit for about 25 min.
14. Take foil off, and cook for another 5-7 minutes in oven.
After about 30 minutes of bake time, the lasagna is ready! Put on top off stove to cool for about 10 minutes before serving, and enjoy! You can add whatever garnish you’d like like fresh basil or parsley after you’re ready to serve it. 🙂
Bonus: My little helpers are always nearby. 😉
This post ended up being somewhat picture-heavy because I recently took an online food photography class, so I was practicing some new skills with this blog post. Ha! How’d I do?
Have a great week Fabbies!