Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gluten Free / Dairy Free Lasagna Recipe (easily made vegan and tomato free)


I’ve been making this GF/DF lasagna for a couple of years now. I started off with DeBoles no boil noodles but this was at a time when I was still eating tomato sauce (albeit very little) and there wasn’t enough moisture in my pan to fully cook the noodles (I only used about a ½ cup total). That first attempt came out ‘crunchy’. When was the last time you used ‘crunchy’ to describe a really good lasagna? Nope, me neither.

GF / DF / Vegan Lasagna (with Tomato Free Sauce)
I’ve since tried making this with Tinkyada noodles as well as the DeBoles but this time boiling them a bit first. Both were fine but some challenges remained. First, if you use the Tinkyada, the 15-16 minutes recommended on the package is delusional – try about 10 minutes or less (remember they’ll continue cooking in the oven). Second, the both brands are 10” long so if you pan is shorter, you’ll have to cut them (my current pan is 10” by 14” but my original was 8”x8”). Finally, these noodles tend to stick together while cooking especially if you don’t have a big enough pot. I had been cooking them in batches in a 12” sauté pan but that just adds to the time and complexity.

The last time I made a big batch of No Tomato Pasta Sauce. I set aside enough to try this recipe again, only this time using the DeBoles and not boiling them. This recipe will work with regular Tomato sauce or my tomato free sauce.  It is vegan as written and only contains meat if you want it to (or serve it with meatballs).

Ingredients:
1 cup sauce (Tomato or Tomato-Free Sauce)
1 box gluten free lasagna noodles (DeBoles or Tinkyada) 10oz
1 block Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella Cheese (enough shredded to cover top, about 1/3 to 1/2 the block)

Tofu Mixture:
1 package silken tofu (14oz)
1 cup sauce (Tomato or Tomato-Free Sauce)
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup shredded spinach (optional)


How to prepare:
If using Tinkyada, boil the noodles for 10 minutes (Tinkyada says 15-16 min but this is way too long) or until done. Drain, rinse with cold water and lay out flat before they crumple and/or stick together.

If using DeBoles No Boil, skip the previous step.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine the tofu, 1 cup of sauce, parsley, basil, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper (include optional shredded spinach if using). Hint: crumble the dry spices in the palm of your hand before adding to increase their flavor. Use a spoon and stir the tofu mixture until it resembles the ricotta cheese filling of real lasagna. (Do not use shredded mozzarella in the mixture; it will not melt like real mozzarella unless it is broiled on top.) [Notes: don’t over stir or the mixture will become too smooth. If using soft tofu, a whisk may be easier to use to get the correct consistency.]

Preheat the oven to 375. (350 for No Boil.)

Coat the bottom of a lasagna pan with 1/2 cup of sauce.

When the noodles are ready, add a single layer to the pan topped by a layer of the tofu mixture (I used about 2 heaping tbsp of mixture per noodle). Alternate layers until you are out of noodles (hint preserve some of the better [unbroken] noodles for the top). Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce on the top layer of noodles. Bake covered at 375 for 20-30 minutes until heated through. (Or if using No Boil, bake covered at 350 for 40-60 minutes. Start checking at 40 minutes for doneness.)

Remove from the oven and cover with shredded soy mozzarella. Place under the broiler and broil – watching carefully until shredded cheese begins to bubble. Remove promptly once the cheese is melted as shortly thereafter it will blacken and then burn. [Warning, if you bake the soy mozzarella on top of the lasagna it may dry out and not melt as much when you broil it, it is better to add after baking.] [You can also use Daiya Shredded Mozzarella, if so, uncover and add for the last 5-10 minutes of baking.]

One final note, I’ve been pre-melting my Vegan Gourmet in the microwave and then drizzling it over what I’m making. I find this works best for things that aren’t oven baked – cheese steaks, tacos, nachos, etc. I think the next time I make this, baked ziti, or stuffed shells, I’m going to stick to broiling it.

Enjoy!

Variations:

Meat Lasagna – include cooked ground beef either in the tofu mixture or in a layer on top of the lasagna but below the shredded cheese.

Baked Ziti – I use this same tofu mixture tossed with cooked pasta (ziti, etc) to make Gluten Free / Dairy Free / Vegan Baked Ziti 

Lasagna rolls – Haven’t tried this yet but should be able to use the tofu mixture in individually rolled Lasagna noodles. Obviously, this won’t work with No Boil Noodles!

Stuffed Shells – I also use pretty much this same recipe for Gluten Free / Vegan / Dairy Free Stuffed Shells

Recipe Pages:


All of the recipes on this site are listed here: Gluten Free Recipes flagged by allergen, but you may also be interested in my listing of Vegan Recipes and/or my list of Dairy Free Recipes (that you'd expect to contain dairy).

If you try this recipe and have success please let me know by leaving a comment below!

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