"Enlightened" Ooh-La-La (Chloe Coscarelli) Lasagna
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Whenever I discover a recipe that's easy-to-make, scrumptious, makes a lot--and I find myself making it over & over again--I can't wait to share it with all of you!
That's the story with Chef Chloe Coscarelli's Ooh-La-La Lasagna. I lightened it up--cut out the oil & used Na-SoyA's Low-fat Firm Tofu--and Ta-Da!! Ooh-La-La Librarian's Light Lasagna.
No long intro here, except to share with you what Chloe says about her own lasagna recipe:
"With a last name like Coscarelli, I know my lasagna. So trust me when I say this is the best vegan lasagna you will ever make!"
But, one more thing.
Even though some of the recipes in "Chloe's Kitchen" contain oil, Earth Balance, nuts, coconut milk, vegan shortening, & assorted Esselstyn no-no's -- and there are lots of delectrable desserts made with SUGAR & CHOCOLATE -- there are SO MANY recipes that can be easily enlightened. I haven't been disappointed in my enlightened versions yet. I've found enough winning recipes in this cookbook to make it worth the purchase price.
Chloe is a master chef, with a talent for creating easy, flavorful, & out-of-the-ordinary recipes. Check it out from your library first. I bet you'll want your own copy.
That's exactly what I did. I found I couldn't live without it!
My "Enlightened" No-Oil Version of Chef Chloe's Ooh-La-La Lasagna
Hot Out of the Oven - Needs No Cheese or Faux-Cheese Topping
Finally Found No-Boil Whole Wheat Lasagna at Whole Foods - A Real Time-Saver!!
No worries. If you can't find whole wheat no-boil noodles, go ahead--use the regular version. This recipe is designed SPECIFICALLY for no-boil noodles. It uses lots of sauce, & raw spinach--which help to sufficiently soften the thin no-boil noodles.
Layer Sauce, Noodles, Garden "Ricotta Cheese" & Plenty of Raw Spinach
Enlightened Ooh-La-La Lasagna
adapted from Chloe's Kitchen
For a copy of the recipe on one page without photos, click here
Makes one 9" X 13" pan of lasagna
6 to 8 generous servings, nutrition info below
Garden Ricotta ingredients
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 14-ounce container of NaSoyA brand Lite Firm Tofu (not Mori-Nu)
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt (more or less to taste)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper (to taste, naturally)
- 1 tablespoon of white miso paste
- 3 cups of fresh basil (Must use fresh basil--never dried! OK-not so easy & inexpensive to buy basil in the winter. We found mini-fresh-growing bags of basil for $2.99.)
- 8 to 10-ounces of crimini (or white) mushrooms, sliced
- 1 32-ounce of no-oil marinara sauce (add 1/4+ teaspoon of red pepper flakes if you like your marinara spicy, like we do. Walnut Acres Tomato-Basil Low-Sodium No-Oil is a good choice, but, it needs some extra spice, IMHO.
- 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar or maple syrup
- Pepper &/or salt to taste (salt optional)
- 5 ounces of baby spinach
- 9 ounce box of no-boil lasagna noodles
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Options: Lightly spraying a 9' X 13" pan with high-heat canola spray; or line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper; or simply go "bare naked pan". Suit yourself. I mostly go "bare naked pan". Never a problem.
Preparation of the Garden Ricotta
1. Preheat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion, lower the heat, cover the pan & saute for 5-7 minutes until the onion is soft. Every couple of minutes, lift the lid, stir the onions, adding a small amount of water if the onions start to dry out--and to deglaze the pan. Remove from the heat when done.
2. In a food processor, combine onions, garlic, drained (not pressed) tofu, lemon juice, salt, pepper, & miso paste. Pulse until the mixture is almost smooth, but still has some texture. Now, add the basil and pulse a few more times to mix the basil into the "ricotta". Taste--and adjust seasonings, accordingly.
Preparation of the Marinara Sauce
1. Preheat the large frying pan again over medium high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms, lower the heat, cover the pan & saute for 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms are soft. Every couple of minutes, lift the lid, stir the mushrooms, adding a small amount of water if the mushrooms start to dry out--and to deglaze the pan.
When the mushrooms are done, add the jarred marinara sauce, the optional hot-pepper flakes-to-taste (if you are using them), the non-dairy milk and the brown sugar or maple syrup. The milk & sweetener moderate the acidity of the tomatoes. Add black pepper or salt to taste.
Assembling the lasagna--follow this exactly even if it sounds a little odd--and not equal divided.
1. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of your pan.
2. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles across the pan. Spread half of the Garden Ricotta over the noodles. Layer half of the spinach over the Garden Ricotta.
3. Arrange 4 more noodles on top of the spinach layer. Spread another layer of sauce over the noodles, and then arrange 4 more noodles on top--and then top the noodles with another layer of sauce. Yep, that's the weird part. Noodles, sauce, noodles, sauce. Don't ask! I just did what Chloe said to do & worked just fine.
4. Finally, spread the remaining Garden Ricotta on top of the sauce layer. Top the Ricotta with the remainig raw spinach. Now finish with final layer of 4 noodles--and top the noodles with the remaining sauce. I ended up with 1 left-over unused noodle. Aesthetically rearrange the mushrooms in the top layer of sauce to make the top layer look pretty.
Note: I know the layering sounds odd--but, it all works out just fine. The lasagna may seem extra saucy, but, it helps to cook the "no-boil" noodles.
5. Cover the lasagna pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the noodles are cooked and the sauce is hot & bubbly. Remove from the oven & let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition facts based on 1/8 of a serving of the pan of lasagna
Nutrition Facts based on the "Big Boy" portion of 1/6 of a serving for a pan of lasagna
So good. Hope you have enough left-over for a 2nd dinner, or at least a lunch.