Mmmmm Mama Mia! This dish just amazes both me and Bob. It takes a bit of prep and time to put it together, but if you can grab your partner and spend some quality time together in the kitchen, it’s an enjoyable experience. There are a few tweaks that we would make next time. We would make way more cheese, for starters. So far, everyone who has tasted it really seems to like it but they say it needs more cheese. So next time we will double the recipe. If you have extra afterward, it will be great to have on hand as a cheese spread. We would also add a bit more seasoning to the cheese. We seem to really like strong flavors.
We have more family coming over to try it today so I will let you know how that goes. My Uncle Billy is a huge lasagna lover so we are really being tested. :) The recipe makes one 7 x 7-inch dish.
We doubled the recipe and it made for us one 7-inch round Springform pan and a loaf pan Springform pan. Putting the layers together was so exciting because all of the food layers are just so vibrant with color. Remember we starting eating with our eyes. One other wonderful benefit of making this is throwing it in the dehydrator … it makes for a wonderful, homey, comfort-food smell in the house. Please don’t be intimidated by all the different components . Take them one at a time, each one will teach you new skills that can be used in future recipes. You will learn the art of wilting spinach which will resemble cooked spinach. You will learn how to marinate veggies to heighten the flavor and also give it that cooked appearance. This technique alone can be used to create all sorts of future recipes! You will learn how to make “zucchini noodles” and trust me, you will get excited over this and use it over and over when creating new dishes. You will learn how to make raw “cheese” and that alone is a huge versatile food. This is a teaching recipe. And in the end you will be proud of this wonderful comfort food dish that you will set in the center of the table in front of your loved ones.
Living Lasagna Yield: One 7 x 7-inch casserole (4-6 servings)
Almond Ricotta Layers
Ingredients: yields 1 cup
- In a medium bowl combine the prepared almond cheese, miso, onion, nutritional yeast, garlic, nutmeg and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
- 16 mushrooms, washed and sliced; your choice
- 1 tsp Tamari or sea salt
- 2 tsp cold-pressed olive oil
- Pinch of pepper
- Wash and dry each mushroom. Make sure to remove all of the dirt. Don’t soak them in water. Use a damp paper towel to wipe each one off.
- Toss the mushrooms in the Tamari, olive oil, and pepper.
- Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
- Drain well and gently squeeze to remove excess liquid.
- 2 large zucchini, sliced 1/16” thick lengthwise
- sea salt
- Slice the zucchini into even slices. I recommend one like this.
- Place the zucchini slices on a dehydrator tray lined with a nonstick reflex sheet, and dehydrate at 105 degrees for an hour, to soften.
- OR, soak for 1 hour in a salt-water brine, then drain well and towel dry.
- Wash the spinach leaves and place them in a salad spinner to release the water on it. You can also place the wet spinach on a dry paper towel and blot the excess water off.
- Place the spinach in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade until it is ground, but not overly processed. You want to still be able to identify it and not make a paste out of it.
- Squeeze out the excess moisture from the spinach and set aside in a bowl. This is important. You don’t want the spinach “soupy” causing puddles of liquid in your lasagna.
- 6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped (6 cups worth)
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato powder
- 1 1/2 Tbsp finely minced onion
- 1 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
- 1 1/2 Tbsp minced fresh oregano
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Pinch of pepper
- If you can’t find tomato powder and don’t want to order it, you can make your own. Dehydrate tomato slices till very dry and grind to a powder in a spice/coffee grinder.
- To remove the seeds, cut the tomato in half and with a sharp small spoon, scoop out the seeds. Leaving the seeds in the tomato will cause the sauce to be to watery. Place the Roma tomatoes in a colander to allow any remaining liquid to drain, (Drink the wonderful juice or add it to another recipe.)
- When the tomatoes are thoroughly drained, put them in a food processor outfitted with the “S” blade, and pulse to chop. Do not over process; the mixture should be slightly chunky, like a salsa.
- Add the sun-dried tomato powder, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper, and pulse to mix.
- Let the sauce sit for at least 10 minutes before assembling the lasagna, to allow it to thicken. If the sauce is too wet, drain off a little of the juice.
- Spread a layer of marinara sauce in the bottom of the pan of your liking, and place a layer of the softened zucchini noodles on top.
- Spread another layer of sauce over the zucchini, then a layer of the mushrooms, and press, using a spatula.
- On top of the mushrooms, put a thin layer of cheese, followed by a layer of spinach. Press firmly and continue layering. Begin with the zucchini, then the sauce, mushrooms, cheese and spinach. Press firmly between all layers.
- Create a least one more layer of each item and finish with a final layer of sauce, dotted with cheese.
- Serve immediately at room temperature or warmed slightly in a dehydrator set at 145 degrees for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 2 days.
- A traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus kōjikin a.k.a “koji”. Most people are familiar with the traditional Japanese soup by the same name, but there are many uses for, and a wide variety of, salty, buttery miso. It makes flavorful sauces, salad dressings and marinades. Miso has been commonly recommended as a B12 source for vegans. It also contains the trace minerals zinc, manganese, and copper. Look for unpasteurized, naturally fermented miso in the refrigerated section of your local Asian market or health food store.
- WholeFoods carries this as well.