Vegetarian Zucchini Lasagne (Vegan & Gluten free)

Recipe by Renz Alvez

Sustainability

This recipe is sustainable because there are many ways you could alter it depending on how you want the dish to turn out. You can make mini lasagna roll bites, layered lasagna, you can eat this lasagna raw (only with the zucchini), you can also add more vegetables as layers such as thinly sliced pumpkin, or you can swap out the vegetables with any vegetables if they are not in season. In addition, this homemade tomato sauce is an all-around, meaning you can also use this in pizzas or in any red sauce-based pasta meals, make a filling for the tacos and more, so there will be no waste. You can easily find and locate all these ingredients in local supermarkets and veggie stores. Furthermore, not only this meal is plant based but it is also vegan and gluten free.  

Taste

This recipe tastes great because you get this nice acidity from the tomato sauce. The vegan ricotta is very light, rich and creamy, and you get this pungent and sweet smell from the freshness of the basil. The zucchini/eggplant will give a you the veggie vibe and texture to the dish especially if its crisped up. Baking it in the oven will give it a nice toast which gives this meal another different flavour.  

Veggie vibes  

This recipe has a good veggie vibe because not only its meat free, gluten free and vegan, it is still high on protein from the cashew nuts. The Nutrional yeast is also a good source of vitamins and minerals. Zucchini also contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds. You are more than welcome to add more vegetables for more layers and flavour such as carrots, eggplant and pumpkin to even have a healthier meal. 

Serves 4

Ingredients

Vegan Ricotta 

  • 3 cups Cashew nuts  
  • ½ cup Basil  
  • 2tsp Dried oregano  
  • ½ Lemon juice  
  • Sea salt and black pepper 
  • ¼ cup water (or more) 
  • 3 tbsp Nutritional yeast  
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil  
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder (optional) 
  • A bunch of Fresh basil (Optional) 

Tomato Sauce 

  • 4 Onions 
  • 2 Can tinned tomatoes (I prefer the Italian brand) 
  • 6 Garlic cloves 
  • Salt and pepper  
  • 1tsp of dried oregano  
  • Fresh basil  

Pasta’ 

  • Zucchini (alternative eggplant, if making lasagne you could alternate layers) 
  • Rock salt (To draw out the moisture of the zucchini) 

Method

  1. To make the red sauce, firstly chop the onions, get them caramelized in a pot. Add garlic, then the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 2hr to bring out the flavor. Stir occasionally to avoid the sauce sticking into the pot. 
  1. While waiting for the red sauce. Soak cashew in cold water.  
  1. While waiting for the cashews to get soft. Using a mandolin, slice zucchini, and lay them on a wire rack and sprinkle salt on top. We don’t want the zucchini to be watery, so we’ll be draw out the moisture and water in the zucchini. You could pop them in the oven for a little bit to get it a little dry.  
  1. Add cashews in a food processor or in a blender. Add remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust flavour.  
  1. Once the red sauce and vegan ricotta is ready.  
  1. Preheat oven 175 degrees Celsius  
  1. Start assembling.  

If making mini rolled lasagne bites

  1. Start by spreading a generous amount of the ricotta into the zucchini. Then starting from the bottom, roll away from you to the top end.  
  1. Secure with skewers if they loose up. Make more rolls. 
  1. Then on a baking dish, spread a thin amount of red sauce in the bottom so the rolls won’t stick after they bake.  
  1. Place the rolls into the dish (either the spirals facing up or sideways). 
  1. Lightly cover each roll with the red sauce. 
  1. Sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese (optional). 
  1. Bake for around 15mins, until they are nice and golden. 

If making lasagne

  1. Start by putting sheets of zucchini. 
  1. Start by spreading the red sauce. 
  1. 3 more sheets of zucchini. 
  1. Then spread  vegan ricotta.  
  1. Repeat method 1-4, until you get nice layers. 
  1. Finish with the red sauce on to the top. 
  1. Sprinkle vegan cheese (optional). 
  1. Bake in the oven for about 25-35 mins.