First and foremost, if you are reading this blog post in real time I just want to say that I hope you and your family are staying healthy and safe during this crazy time with the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. This has been a time full of anxiety and uncertainty to say the least.
With everything going on, the Governor here in Ohio has done a terrific job of enacting a Stay at Home order until the end of the month. Keeping everyone home has been working to slow the spread of the virus. With everyone at home more, that also means a lot more cooking and even more eating. I have to admit that my eating habits weren't the best for a few weeks. I did a lot more snacking and indulged in a lot more sugar than normal. I blame the anxiety of everything going on coupled with a lot more free time (and my husband's snack drawer tempting me lol).
I had to get my life together...and quick. I did not want to come out of this quarantine with new weight, a new sugar addiction, and crazy hormones. So, I started myself on a Nothing But Plant Based Challenge. I challenged myself to eat nothing by whole food plant based meals for a few weeks. Although I am not a strict vegan 24/7, I LOVE plant based meals. Its a perfect way to cut out the junk and really amp up the good nutrition.
Now when I say whole food plant based that’s a key phrase. Whole foods are plant foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible. Examples of whole foods include whole grains, tubers, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. So a lot of those vegan meat and cheese substitutes don’t make the cut. When eating a plant based diet you really want to fill up with whole foods and not a ton of processed foods just because they’re vegan.
Ive been having a lot of fun trying out some new plant based recipes. I’ve been craving a lasagna like crazy but shy away from recipes that are packed with tons of processed cheese and meat substitutes. But I have a BOMB recipe for you that is whole foods based AND will have you thinking there’s meat in it. Now we get to the good part:
8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms
1 cup Roasted and Salted Cashews
1/2 teaspoon dried Rosemary
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 ounces Baby Spinach
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 25-ounce jars Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce
2 8-ounce cans Tomato Sauce
10 to 13 ounces No Boil Lasagna Noodles*
8-ounce container Garlic Hummus
Dried oregano, for sprinkling
Fresh ground black pepper
*This recipe is made for No Boil noodles. The amount of sauce is specific to this. If you utilize lasagna noodles that have to be boiled first you will have too much sauce.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Make the spinach mushroom filling: Pull out the stems of mushrooms with your fingers. In a food processor or with a large knife, roughly chop the mushrooms, 1/2 cup of the cashews and the rosemary. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a skillet and bring to medium heat. Sauté mushrooms and cashews for 3 minutes until soft but still hold their shape. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Let stand until assembling.
Make the dairy free Parmesan topping: in a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 cup cashews with the garlic powder until it’s ground into about the texture of a shaker can of grated Parmesan.
Mix the sauce: In a large bowl, mix together the pasta sauce and tomato sauce.
Layer the lasagna: In a 9 x 13” baking dish, spread tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then top with 1 layer of noodles, breaking noodles as necessary to fit. Spread with half of the hummus, half of the mushrooms and a tomato sauce layer. Repeat again: 1 layer of noodles, half of the hummus, half of the greens and tomato sauce. Finally, top with noodles, then tomato sauce again. Sprinkle the entire top with the “Parmesan” and dried oregano.
Bake: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, then 10 minutes uncovered. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving (this allows the lasagna to set). Cut into pieces and enjoy.
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. It literally tastes amazing! Even my meat loving husband raved over it. Such a great way to enjoy a classic favorite in a much healthier way. Who says plant based eating cant be delicious :-)
Would you like to join me in the Nothing But Plant Based Challenge? I started this for myself and realizes others may be interested in getting their eating habits back on track as well. The challenge is free and can be done for as long or as short as you’d like. I created a free recipe book with some plant based meals to help get you started. If you’re interested shoot me an email and let me know you’d love a copy :-)