Who says lasagna is bad for you? This delicious, gluten-free lasagna is a piece of plant-based art. With the white bechamel sauce, the green pesto, and the red tomato sauce, it evokes an Italian flag and the country’s famous flavors, minus the heavy pasta and saturated fats from cheese and the cream-based sauce. We roast the vegetables to bring out their full flavor and richness, reduce their natural moisture, and deliver the texture of a typical lasagna. Feel free to use different vegetables like squash, carrots, onions, or bell peppers.

Brain Loving Sweet Potato Lasagna

Ingredients

  • {For the tofu ricotta filling}
  • 12 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed dry
  • Juice of one large lemon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ¾ cup basil leaves
  • {For the pesto}
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • {For the cashew béchamel sauce}
  • 1½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • {For the nut parmesan}
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts or cashews
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (organic if possible), peeled and thinly sliced (about 1⁄8 inch; bendable but not paper-thin)
  • 2 large zucchinis, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggplants, thinly sliced
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • EVOO, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Basic tomato sauce, either from a jar (no added sugar) or homemade

Instructions

  1. The day before you prepare this lasagna, cover the cashews for the béchamel sauce with water and soak overnight in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.
  2. For the tofu ricotta filling, add tofu, lemon juice, salt, nutritional yeast, and basil to a food processor or blender and pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed. You want a semi-pureed mixture with bits of basil still intact. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. For the pesto, add basil, walnuts, nutritional yeast, garlic, olive oil, and salt to a food processor and pulse to combine into a semi-pureed mixture with bits of walnuts and basil still intact. Taste and adjust seasonings. We like the intense taste of garlic, but you can pick the flavors you like best. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to thin pesto, if needed.
  4. To make the béchamel sauce, drain the soaked cashews, setting aside the liquid. Add the cashews along with the nutritional yeast, garlic, and salt to a blender or food processor, along with ½ cup soaking liquid. Puree, adding more soaking liquid a tablespoon at a time until you have a smooth sauce about the consistency of custard (not runny, but thick and spreadable).
  5. To make the nut parmesan, add nuts, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder to a food processor and mix/pulse into a fine meal.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  7. Toss the sliced vegetables with the olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat evenly.
  8. Spread the coated vegetables onto baking sheets in a single layer (you’ll probably need four sheets). Roast the vegetables until they’re cooked through and just starting to brown (10 to 15 minutes).
  9. Take the baking sheets out of the oven and lower the temperature to 350F.
  10. To assemble the lasagna, divide the vegetables, tomato sauce, and pesto into four parts each, and divide the tofu ricotta into three parts.
  11. Cover the bottom of a 10-inch dish with a layer of tomato sauce and then place a quarter of the vegetables in a single layer on top of the sauce, overlapping them slightly. Top with a third of the tofu ricotta, spreading with a spatula, and then drizzle a quarter of the pesto over that. Repeat this again with layers of tomato sauce, vegetables, tofu ricotta, and pesto for four total layers. Leave a quarter of the pesto for garnish at the end.
  12. The top layer should be vegetables. Spread the béchamel sauce over this top layer, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 5 minutes to brown slightly.
  13. Let lasagna cool slightly before serving.
  14. Top the entire lasagna with the remaining pesto.
  15. NOTES: You can adjust the seasonings as needed, adding nutritional yeast for more cheesiness and lemon juice for more brightness. This lasagna can be frozen for up to three weeks.
http://teamsherzai.com/brain-loving-sweet-potato-lasagna/


Mind Kind recipes are developed by Dr. Ayesha Sherzai, a practicing neurologist with a culinary and nutrition background. Each recipe is crafted to provide optimum taste, convenience, and health benefits.

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