Vegan Lasagna

This lasagna is super easy to make and vegan!

Ingredients:

 

Instructions:

  1. The vegan mozzarella can be made ahead of time. If you feel it is too thick to work with, you can heat it up and add a splash of water to it to be the consistency you want.
  2. Take 1/2 of the firm tofu and crumble it with your hands or a fork. Add in approx. 1/4 cup of the Holy Homous and stir to combine.
  3. If the spinach is still frozen, place in a microwaveable bowl, add 1 tbsp of water and microwave for 5 mins. This will remove most of the water from being frozen.
  4. Combine the tofu mixture with the spinach and mix evenly.
  5. Dice up the white onion and heat up a frying pan to High to Medium heat. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Sauté the onion until it is translucent.
  6. Add in the plant based ground and break up into smaller pieces. Continue to cook until it begins to brown.
  7. While frying up the plant based ground, heat up a pot of water and boil the noodles per the directions on the package.
  8. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F
  9. Now to layer your lasagna:
    • In a casserole dish, add approx. 1 cup of the tomato sauce to the bottom of the dish.
    • When the noodles are done, add 3 sheets of lasagna on top of the sauce.
    • Then add a layer of the plant based ground and sprinkle a bit of parmesan on top of it.
    • Add another 3 sheets of lasagna pasta.
    • Then layer on the tofu/spinach combination.
    • Add another 3 sheets of lasagna pasta.
    • Then dollop the mozzarella on top of it. I usually figure out how many pieces of lasagna there is and dollop the mozzarella accordingly for each piece.
    • Sprinkle with parmesan and top with basil
  10. Cover the lasagna with tin foil and place in oven for 20 mins.
  11. Optional: After 20 mins is up, remove tinfoil and broil for 5-10 mins to brown the cheese (keep an eye on it as you don’t want it to burn.)
  12. Serve and enjoy!

Manicotti Stuffed With Cashew Ricotta and Spinach

recipe by John Fothergill
Ricotta

  • 1.5 cup soaked cashew
  • Lemon juice of 1 large lemon
  • S&P
  • 1.5 TBSP nutritional yeast

The Rest

  • EVOO
  • 2 bunch spinach
  • Parsley, basil, dill
  • Manicotti shells
  • Mushrooms
  • Splash white wine
  • Strained tomatoes
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Vegan cheddar style cheese

Directions

  1. Soak 1.5 cup cashew for approximately 3 hrs.
  2. Dice a bunch of shallots and garlic.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F and boil large pot of water (add salt once boiling).
  4. Saute 2 bunches of spinach (washed and stems removed) then set aside in a colander to remove excess water.
  5. Saute some shallot in EVOO till translucent then add garlic. Continue sauteing until shallots are slightly browned. Season with S&P. Add to mixing bowl for stuffing.
  6. Rough chop spinach then add to stuffing mixing bowl.
  7. Half cook approximately 10 Manicotti shells (approximately 7 minutes) in the boiling water. Set aside to cool.
  8. Zest a lemon. Set zest aside to use for mushrooms.
  9. Make the cashew ricotta by blending the cashews with juice from a large lemon and 1.5 tbsp of nutritional yeast. Season with S&P. Blend until creamy in texture adding cashew soaking water as needed.
  10. Add ricotta to stuffing mixing bowl. Combine.
  11. Saute shallots and garlic (as in step 5) then add 1 jar or 2 cans of strained tomatoes (no skins and no seeds). Simmer on low.
  12. Fine chop some dill and tear some basil. Add to tomato sauce.
  13. Coat bottom of large glass baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce.
  14. Stuff the cooled manicotti shells with stuffing mixture. Arrange each in the baking dish. Try not to squeeze them together.
  15. Stir sauce then cover Manicotti with it. If you totally cover pasta it won’t dry out when baking. Grate some cheddar style vegan cheese over Manicotti. Bake for 30mins.
  16. Rough chop a bunch of mushrooms of your choice and some parsley. Saute shallots and garlic as in step 5. Add mushrooms. Deglaze with white wine. Add some parsley saving some as garnish. Cook down.
  17. Remove cooked Manicotti from oven and let sit for 5 minutes.
  18. Serve Manicotti on warmed plates. Top manicotti with mushrooms. Circle Manicotti with warmed EVOO. Garnish with remaining parsley.

ENJOY!!!

Why go vegan?

  • Animal agriculture results in the suffering of over 100 billion animals each year.
  • Animal agriculture is the 2nd leading cause of climate change.
  • Animal agriculture is the cause for 90% of rainforest deforestation.
  • Animal agriculture is the cause of 75% of antibiotic resistance.
  • Animal agriculture is the cause of at least 50% of heart disease and diabetes cases.
  • Animal agriculture is the cause of at least 50% of most cancers.
  • Animal agriculture uses at least 50% of our water reserves.
  • Animal agriculture runoff is the leading source of water pollution and causes the majority of ocean dead zones.

Chicken Ballotine

ballotine [ˈbalətiːn]: A ballotine is a piece of meat, fish, or poultry that has been deboned, stuffed and then rolled and tied into a bundle. (Wikipedia)

I don’t know what made me try and make a whole chicken ballotine to roast but I’m glad I did as it turned out really moist and flavorful. I made the point to brine the whole chicken for 5 hours before deboning it. I don’t know if I’ll get used to deboning raw chicken, even with disposable gloves, but it is required for this technique. I’m getting pretty good at deboning chicken but there is definitely room for improvement as I have troubles with the carcass around the neck and would like to be quicker at it. I would advise breaking the leg bone so there is still the bone that sticks out as it makes tying the legs easier. If you’re thinking about deboning a chicken for the first time, I highly recommend watching Jacque Pepin do so in this video as he not only shows you how to debone a chicken but prep the chicken. I basically followed everything he did after I brined the chicken.

While the chicken was brining, I worked on making the stuffing to allow it to cool completely before stuffing it in the chicken. You want to be sure not to use warm stuffing as that can cultivate bacteria leading to food poisoning. Once I completed deboning the chicken and letting it air dry a bit, I spread the stuffing over the chicken, being sure to stuff the leg pockets with it. I folded the chicken back up, overlapping the sides a bit and trussed it up. Be sure to use either kitchen twine or 100% pure cotton string that has no chemicals added (string with chemicals can negatively affect the taste of your meat once done cooking). I used to be amazed at how butchers would tie up meat but it’s a really simple process consisting of tying the legs together with the knot in the center and then looping the string and pulling it under the chicken repeatedly until you reach the end. You then turn the chicken over and thread the twine over and under the horizontal twine created in the first step.  If you don’t have enough skin to cover the opening and are worried about your stuffing falling out, you can ball up some aluminium foil to stuff the hole with. Again the video by Jacque Pepin does a good job of explaining how to do so. I then roasted the chicken allowing it to sit for approx. 15 minutes before carving and plated it with mashed sweet potato and roasted asparagus with balsamic dressing.

chicken ballotine

Trussed up chicken

Chicken Ballotine

1 whole chicken
Stuffing
Kitchen twine or plain cotton string

Stuffing

Olive oil
Butter
White onion
White mushroom, roughly chopped
Shiitake mushroom, roughly chopped
Spinach
Garlic

Heat the butter in a frying pan and add both mushrooms and onion, stirring occasionally. Once softened, remove the mushrooms to a plate for use later.  In the same pan, heat some olive oil and add the garlic, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn, approx. 2-3 mins.  Then add the spinach and saute until it wilts.  Add the mushroom and onion mixture to the spinach and mix until it is well blended.  Place stuffing in the refrigerator to cool.

When ready to roast the chicken, spread stuffing evenly over the chicken, ensuring the legs are stuffed. Fold the chicken back to its original shape and truss accordingly. I roasted the chicken for 20 minutes at 430 and then lowered the temperature to 350 for approx. 40 minutes.  Note we don’t eat the skin so I didn’t bother basting it but feel free to periodically baste the chicken with olive oil when its roasting at 350. The chicken is fully cooked with the juices run clear and can be made into gravy if so desired.  Let the chicken rest for approx. 15-20 minutes before carving. Pair with mashed potato or yam and root vegetables.