With the little time I’ve managed to have in the kitchen lately, everything I’ve made has been with pumpkin. How could it not be? I always try to take advantage of this time of year as much as possible. I’ve been going crazy on Amazon.com buying cookbooks left and right and then feel guilty for not having the time to use them. One of the latest greatest ones I’ve received is Yellow Rose Recipes. Vegan, simple, delicious, easy-to-prepare meals with a mix of different cuisines. I love it! I honestly believe it is one of the best vegan cookbooks out there. Last night I adapted a recipe to make Whole Wheat Pumpkin Lasagna and it turned out INCREDIBLE. The pumpkin sauce was perfect and didn’t miss the ricotta at all by using crumbled tofu instead! Simple, streamlined ingredients that made a healthy, wholesome, heart warming autumn meal (that can feed an army, as well!). Do yourself and your friends a favor by making this and sharing it for everyone to devour. And make it with a friend. That’s even better!
Vegan Pumpkin Whole Wheat Lasagna – adapted from the Yellow Rose Recipes cookbook “Butternut Squash Lasagna”
1 15 oz & 1 28 oz (larger) can of pure pumpkin puree
1 lb firm tofu, drained
12 whole grain lasagna noodles (we used the no-boil version–SO EASY!)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs fresh sage, chopped
1/8 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper
1 recipe Bechamel sauce (as follows)
1 cup shredded vegan mozzarella (we used real mozzarella)
2 Tbs vegan parmesean
Bechamel Sauce (makes 2 cups)
2 Tbs non-hydrogenated margarine
1/4 cup shallots, minced
3 Tbs unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups soymilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground white pepper (optional)
For the sauce:
Melt margarine in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and saute 2-4 minutes, until tender. Add flour 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk until there are no lumps. Reduce heat to low and briskly whisk for one minute. Slowly whisk in soymilk and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking for 10 seconds out of every minute as sauce thickens.
Whisk in salt, nutmeg, and pepper and take sauce off the heat. Allow to cool while you are preparing the lasagna.
For the lasagna:
In a large bowl, crumble and squoosh the tofu with your hands until it resembles ricotta and set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is tender, 6-8 minutes. Scoop out the canned pumpkin into the skillet. Add sage, nutmeg, and pinch each of salt and pepper. Saute for 4-6 minutes and then remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles (or not) according to package directions.
Take out 1 cup of the pumpkin sauce and set aside. Add the crumbled tofu into the skillet with the remaining pumpkin sauce and mix gently–this is your filling.
Add bechamel sauce to remaining cup of pumpkin mixture and blend until smooth–this is your sauce.
Ladle a small amount of sauce into bottom of 9×13″ pan. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles on top. Distribute half the filling in an even layer. Do another layer of noodles. Add the rest of the filling and then another layer of noodles. Pour the remainder of the sauce over the top. If using the mozzarella and parmesan, distribute evenly on top of the sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes!