La-la-la-lasagna

When my friend Alyssa, popped over the other day with Rizopia’s Gluten-Free Brown Rice Lasagne – I was overjoyed. Not remembering the last time I had lasagna, I instantly began to crave the delicious classic lasagna flavours of rich tomato sauce, spinach and all that cheese.

Mom happened to be in town lending a helpful hand during my recovery from endometriosis excision surgery. To me, this was the perfect time to share with her my version of a childhood classic she made for us many a time.

I grabbed a can of organic diced tomatoes from my pantry, fresh garlic, basil, oregano, turmeric, ginger and a shallot for the base of my first sauce. I made two different tomato sauces, one being thicker to be used as the base layer filling while the second I used to smother the lasagna. Atop the base layer, is lightly cooked baby spinach which was complimented beautifully by my homemade cashew-chèvre.

La-la-la-Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Rizopia’s Gluten-Free Brown Rice Lasagna
  • 2 796 cans organic diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp soy-free butter
  • 1 cup white wine ( I used some leftover Pinot Grigio)
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup plant-based cheese*
  • 2 shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
  • 1/2 inch knob fresh ginger
  • 1/2 inch knob fresh turmeric
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • fresh parsley for topping

Preparation:

Step 1: Base Layer

  1. Dice 1 shallot and 2 garlic cloves.
  2. Meanwhile, in a deep sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1 tbsp of the avocado oil.
  3. Add the diced shallot, garlic, ginger and turmeric to the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes until soft.
  4. Pour in 1/2 cup of white wine and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  5. Combine the 1 can of organic diced tomatoes and 1 tsp of salt. Stir and mix the ingredients well. Once the sauce bubbles reduce heat to a simmer.
  6. Let the sauce reduce for 25-30 minutes or until desired thickness and remove from heat.

Step 2: Smothering Sauce

  1. Heat up 1 tbsp avocado oil in a deep sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the basil and oregano and dice 1 shallot and 2 garlic cloves. Add to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Pour in 1/2 cup of the white wine.
  4. Add in 1 can of organic diced tomatoes and 1 tsp. Stir and mix the ingredients well.
  5. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes before removing from heat.

Step 3: Spinach Filling

  1. Using a deep sauté pan, over medium heat add 1 tbsp of the soy-free butter.
  2. Add all the spinach to the pan.
  3. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until bright green and lightly sautéed.
  4. Remove from heat, place in bowl and set aside until ready for assembly.

Step 4: It’s Lasagna Time!

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Lightly coat the bottom of your oven dish with the smothering sauce.
  3. As the lasagna sheets requires no pre-cooking, be sure to leave the 1/2 inch space between each sheet as the box recommends.
  4. Spread on a healthy amount of the base layer sauce onto the lasagna sheets.
  5. Next up, add that spinach as your second layer.
  6. Top it off with your plant-based cheese before adding the next layer of lasagna sheets.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for at least 4 layers and don’t forget to set aside some smothering sauce and plant-based cheese for the top layer!
  8. As per Rizopia easily to follow instructions, cover with foil and cook for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove the foil and continue cooking for 15 minutes.
  10. As hard as it might be, let stand for about 10 minutes before eating. Top with fresh parsley.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Rizopia makes it insanely easy to cook their delicious gluten-free lasagna. They offer instructions for both stove top and the oven. I followed the Oven Ready Cooking instructions on the back of the box.

For an extra cheesy and saucy lasagna, after removing the foil, add sliced cherry tomatoes, more plant-based cheese and the smothering sauce before placing back in oven for the final 15 minutes. For even more of cheesy flavour whip up a quick batch of Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Parmesan Cheese to sprinkle on top!!!

*If you would like to use shredded non-cultured plant-based cheese, you may want to add more than 1/2 of a cup as the above recipe is based on using a culture plant-based cheese which has a different texture than non-cultured plant-based cheeses.

If you are interested in culturing your own plant-based cheese, I highly recommend The Art of Plant-Based Cheesemaking by Karen McAthy. The book is so well written and explains the science behind creating and maintaining cultures. Her cheese recipes are incredible and range from beginner to more advanced.

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