Because everybody needs lasagna once in a while…
I love, love, love using zucchini for noodle type dishes but this was my first time trying a lasagna with zucchini.
I have an abundance of patty pan and yellow straight neck squash so I’ve been looking for ways to use them! This turned out great and I also discovered (accidentally) that it’s easy to make zucchini “chips” at the same time.
The patty pan squash is the flying saucer shaped one, second from the right. Any size or shape summer squash will work as long as you slice it thin and bake it sufficiently.
You should use a mandolin or a “Y” shaped peeler to make this; I think it would be fairly impossible to get a super thin length-wise slice on the zucchini without them.
Recipe adapted from This Rawsome Vegan Life.
yields 1 5×9 inch baking dish, approx 3 servings.
for the layers:
1 large zucchini, or 2-3 patty pan squash
olive oil, salt & pepper to taste
3 c loosely packed baby greens, such as kale, spinach & arugula
1 c cashew cream – recipe below
Preheat your oven to the lowest possible setting. Mine goes down to 170 degrees F. OR use your dehydrator. Mine is not nearly big enough to do all these veggies at once, so using the oven was the obvious option here.
Slice your tomatoes fairly thick, about 1/4-1/2 inch. I like them on the thicker side so that they are easier to handle once cooked.
Slice your zucchini as thin as possible, tissue paper thin.
Line a few trays with parchment paper and either spray with oil or lightly rub with oil.
Lay your tomatoes and squash on separate trays. Try not to overlap. I had to do this in two batches because I didn’t have enough trays.
Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and pepper. I left the zucchini without seasoning because I didn’t want to overdo the saltiness. The cashew cream is seasoned well and the tomatoes will be also.
Bake your veggies for 1-3 hours. The thicker the zucchini slices are, the longer you will have to bake them to achieve a soft but pliable texture.
this is where I *accidentally* discovered the zucchini chips. If you have used a mandolin and gotten SUPER thin slices, bake them for about 3-4 hours (or dehydrate) and you will eventually get them to crisp up! Totally delicious and snack worthy. Sprinkle them with salt & pepper before eating.
For the baby greens, toss them in a steaming basket and steam just until wilted, not mushy.
I stress the importance of baby greens because I think a full grown kale or spinach would be too much texture for this lasagna. It’s a delicate dish.
Leave them on a kitchen towel or paper towel once steamed through to absorb any extra liquid.
Prepare your cashew cream while the veggies are cooking.
If you have a nut allergy, you could substitute the cashews for a silken tofu. Use the same seasonings but omit the extra water & lemon juice and blend them with the tofu. Use 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest instead of lemon juice. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 4 hours so that it hardens back up.
1 c raw cashews, soaked at least 6 hours, drained and rinsed well
1/4 c nutritional yeast (optional, but lends a deliciously cheesy flavor to your cream layer!)
1/4 t salt
juice of 1/2 lemon, about 4 T
2 small cloves of garlic
1/4 t coriander
water as needed
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
You’ll have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times. Add a tablespoon of water at a time if it’s not blending smoothly. That should allow it to start churning.
Should take about 5-10 minutes in total.
I lined my baking dish with parchment paper so that I could pull the entire lasagna out after I assembled it. You don’t have to do this step but if you’re thinking about transfering the whole thing to another dish, then it would make your life easier. 🙂
Start with a layer of squash. Don’t skimp on the squash; they’ll be your most noodle-like layer.
I did not put any fresh herbage into the layers but I chopped a bunch of fresh parsley and cilantro for topping once served.
Use care when slicing! The layers will be soft and tender.
*You could put this back into the over at 170 degrees F to warm up the cashew cream and let everything mesh together. Alternatively, you could leave it in the fridge overnight and it would also become a bit more solid. Of course eating it as is, is perfectly fine too!
I realize that for some, cashew cheese may not be a viable option, whether you are a dairy eater or you just don’t want to delve into the world of nut cheeses [yet]. Try using ricotta cheese in place of the cashew cheese. Also try making your own ricotta! I used to do it back in the days of eating dairy. It’s a simple process and ensures that you know exactly what’s going in your food.