This vegetable lasagna is an absolute Clean kitchen staple and a definite favorite of each Clean Chef. The greatest thing is that we can make this recipe with anything we have on hand, seasonal and local vegetables at any time of year, with lots of flavor possibilities. When we’re no longer cleansing, we can always re-introduce tomatoes or eggplants or stick to the Clean version of the vegetable lasagna, trying mushrooms, parsnips, olives, carrots or spinach. We can make any version of a nut or seed cheese (walnuts, macadamia, pumpkin or sesame seeds), or we can try it with feta post-cleanse. There are so many possibilities and all are amazing. Let us know what you come up with. . ..
Vegetable Lasagna Ingredients:
2 medium sized summer squash OR zucchini, cut into wide strips that are roughly ¼ inch thick (sliced lengthwise)*
sea salt, a few sprinkles
freshly ground black pepper
2 portobello mushrooms, gills scooped out with a spoon, sliced into ½ inch thick strips
2 cups crimini (or white) mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, cut into ¼ inch thick rounds
1 leek, the bottom white part only, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 bunch of swiss chard, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
1 cup cashews
juice of 1 lemon
1 heaping tablespoon miso paste
1 teaspoon garlic granules
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
*To make the noodles, we like using a knife to slice the squash since these are being steamed. The slices need to be slightly thicker than if you were to use a vegetable peeler. If you do use a vegetable peeler or mandoline, be careful when moving the papery-thin noodles, since steaming will make them very delicate and they’ll tear easily.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Place the long summer squash slices into a bowl and toss with a fair amount of sea salt and black pepper, enough to coat.
- Transfer to a saute pan with a ¼ cup of water.
- Cover the pan and gently steam until just tender (when you can lightly pierce with a fork). Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, uncovered.
- In another saute pan, melt a tablespoon of coconut oil over medium high heat.
- Add the leeks and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the sliced mushrooms and zucchini.
- Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes then add the garlic and chard.
- Use tongs to gently swirl in the pan so the chard wilts without browning.
- Season with sea salt (to taste) and set aside.
- For the sauce, place the cashews in a high speed blender with the other sauce ingredients (lemon juice, miso, garlic powder, and sea salt).
- Slowly drizzle in up to ½ cup of water as needed to create a smooth, creamy, cheese-like sauce. It’s best to keep it on the thicker side so it stays put between the layers when baking.
- Use a medium (a square 8×8 works well) sized pan (anything you’d normally make lasagna in).
- Now create your layers.
- Spread a small amount of sauce on the bottom of the pan.
- Lay out a layer of long steamed squash pieces, side by side.
- Spread some cashew cheese sauce over those pieces as consistent as you can and thick as you like.
- Sprinkle the vegetable mixture over the cheese layer.
- Add another layer of cashew cheese.
- Repeat until all the ingredients are used up. There’s really no wrong way, some people layer the long squash “noodles” first, it’s up to you really; any way you do it will turn out delicious!
To finish: bake in the oven for 30 minutes, check for cashew cheese browning on the top, and all layers softening and melting together. Let it cool until you can slice it with a sharp knife (serrated steak knives often work best for this) into squares and then lift onto plates with a spatula. Don’t be alarmed if it falls apart a bit. . .it’ll still taste incredible!
Recipe: Frank Giglio
Photos: Jenny Nelson