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Monday, October 6, 2014

Green and White Lasagna for One

I’m allergic to tomatoes. It’s very sad, I know. But that doesn’t mean I can’t eat yummy things like pizza or spaghetti—I just use green or white sauces! In this case, I’ve used both. I couldn’t choose, and you shouldn’t have to either!

3 lasagna noodles (if using) OR ½ zucchini, sliced very thin lengthwise (I use a mandolin).
Pesto Sauce (recipe below)
Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce (see below)
3 green onions, diced small
¼ cup diced Kalamata olives
1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach
½ cup vegan cheese (I use Daiya Mozzarella shreds)

  1. Put some water on to boil and make the lasagna noodles while you make the pesto and Alfredo sauces. I like to use left-over sauce if I’ve gone all haywire with my quantities earlier in the week. I also like to use both sauces, to make it a little more unctuous (I go sparingly on the cheese), but you could use one or the other.
  2. Prepare the veggies (zucchini, onions, olives) while you wait too. You could cook the zucchini if you want, but I like the sturdiness of the fresh slices. If you use zucchini instead of noodles, you have a nice gluten-free option.
  3. When the noodles are cooked, cool them down by dropping them into a sieve and running cold water over them. You need to be able to handle them but they don’t have to be all the way cooled. You’ll also want to cut them to fit your casserole. It’s fun! It’s an art project!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. In a single-serving sized casserole, blop some pesto sauce in the bottom, spreading it neatly to the edges. This is what keeps the noodles or zucchini from sticking. You can be messy with the other layers.
  2. Now, make a neat layer of zucchini or noodles. (You can use both, if you want, but sometimes I want a gluten-free option.)
  3. Then, make layers of Alfredo sauce, onions, cheese, and spinach, noodle/zucchini, pesto, olives spinach, cheese, noodles/zucchini etc., repeating until the casserole is full. The very top should be sauce (either one) with cheese sprinkled on it.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melty.
Let it cool for a few minutes before devouring. It will be super hot!

Pesto Sauce

1 bunch fresh basil leaves
¾ bunch fresh cilantro leaves (you can use parsley if you’re anti-cilantro)
2 cloves of garlic (bake them if you want a milder dose)
2 TBLSP raw sunflower seeds
2 TBLSP rice vinegar
1 TBLSP olive oil (more, as needed)

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and whirl until it’s a soft mash.
Makes about 1 cup, enough for two one-person lasagnas, or a lasagna and some noodles, or a rice salad and some sandwich spread.

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 loaded cups of cauliflower florets (1.5 to 2 inch pieces)
1/3 cup water
Pinch of salt
6 TBLSP non-dairy milk (I use almond milk)
1.2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon of dry thyme
1 teaspoon dry basil or 6 fresh basil leaves chopped finely
4 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
a generous dash of black pepper
2 teaspoon flour of choice (omit to make gluten-free)

  1. Put 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil in a saucepan with a cover on a medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Don’t let it brown!
  2. Add the cauliflower, water, and salt, and cover and cook for 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Cool it a little bit before proceeding.
  3. Add the cauliflower and any remaining water to a blender or food processor along with the non-dairy milk, onion powder, thyme, basil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper, and flour (if you’re adding any). Blend to a smooth puree. Taste and adjust salt, herbs and lemon juice, if needed.
Makes a good lasagna layer, but is also excellent on pasta, rice salad, quinoa, spaghetti squash, sandwiches, steamed broccoli, or, if you’re a nut, as a dipping sauce for veggie sushi!

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