Vegan Ricotta-Style Lasagna Filling

February 5, 2012 at 11:22 pm Leave a comment

After watching Forks Over Knives last night – a documentary about two doctors who have linked cancer, heart disease, and diabetes with the consumption of animal products, and whose work indicates that eating a plant-based diet can actually reverse existing health problems – the boyfriend and I have decided that we want to try and eat vegan more frequently. My current plan is to have meat no more than 2x a month, and dairy no more than 3 days a week. We’ll see how this goes…

I decided to try making a vegan version of fauxsagna for dinner tonight. I based this recipe for a ricotta-like filling on a few I found on the internet (here and here). I used a potato masher to give it the right texture, as a compromise between using a blender (too much cleaning) and a fork (too difficult to mash the firm tofu).

This turned out really great! It wasn’t that much work to put together at all – less than 5 minutes. It’s drier than ricotta, obviously, but it adds a nice texture and flavor to the pasta-and-sauce combination. Had I not known it was tofu, I would have assumed that this recipe just used a lot less ricotta (and maybe a lower-fat version) than others. Also, it is WAY cheaper (and lower in fat and calories) than ricotta – the tofu was $2 (compared to 4-7 dollars for 12 oz. of real ricotta in this area), and we already had the other stuff on hand. We’ll definitely be using this in the future as an alternative in our favorite pasta dishes.

I must note, however: We tried a casein-free vegan “cheese”  from the store to replace the mozzarella in that recipe. I put about 4 oz of the shreds on top of the casserole, and it was gross. It was made of flour, water, vegetable oil, and salt, and – big surprise – that’s exactly what it tasted/felt like. I’m sure it would be fine in a cold dish, but after baking for 30 minutes, the shreds melted into a slimy, stringy, gummy flour-paste with a weird aftertaste – not an experience I wish to repeat. In the future, I’ll try making my own vegan mozzarella-style “cheese” (this recipe looks intriguing), but next time we make fauxsagna, I think I’m going to just skip the cheese on top and see what happens.

Vegan Ricotta-Style Lasagna Filling

Ingredients:

– 12 oz firm tofu
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tbsp garlic powder
– 2 tsp nutritional yeast
– 1 tsp dried basil
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– Salt and black pepper to taste

Materials:

mixing bowl
– potato masher

Instructions:

1. Combine everything except salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Break up the tofu into small pieces using a fork.
2. Mash well with a potato masher until the filling is a similar texture to ricotta cheese.
3.  Mix well, and add salt and pepper to taste.

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Entry filed under: adaptations, recipes, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian.

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This is a cooking blog by someone who is not particularly good at cooking. I'm a lazy person who aspires to make simple, awesome, healthy food at home.

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