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eHow Video: “Butternut Squash Lasagna with Ricotta” (vegan, of course!)

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Need a dish that is guaranteed to impress? This is definitely the one.
I love this recipe because it includes everything we love about lasagna–the warmth, the comfort, and the heartiness. But, unlike traditional lasagna, my version is incredibly healthful. Not only does it leave out all animal products, it’s also made entirely of whole foods! Rather than using pasta noodles made with processed white flour, I instead use very thin slices of butternut squash. This makes the lasagna more healthful, more flavorful, and more colorful!

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     This recipe can be a bit time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. My tip: Make the sausage and the ricotta ahead of time (they can easily be frozen and de-thawed when needed), then all you’ll have to do on the day-of is assemble and bake. If you aren’t able to make the sausage and ricotta ahead of time, it’s really not that big of a deal, and the extra time it takes is still absolutely worth it because this dish is so spectacular. I would just recommend making doubling the sausage and ricotta to freeze and use for next time. This dish is too good to only make once, and the easier it is to prepare, the more likely you are to make it again and again.
     Plus, as those of you who follow Goldhouse Gourmet on Facbeook know, I am a HUGE fan of dishes that can last for several meals. They mean you don’t have to cook every night and/or can have healthful leftovers to bring with you for lunch. This lasagna definitely fits that bill, and is one of those dishes that only gets better day after day. That is, if you manage to have any left 🙂
Ingredients:
1 butternut squash
1 jar marinara sauce (I like Eden Organic’s No Salt Added Spagetti Sauce)
Sausage Ingredients:
1 chopped carrot
1 chopped onion
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 cups cooked lentils
2 tablespoons marjoram
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons fennel
2 tablespoons ground flax
2 tablespoons thyme
4 cloves garlic
Ricotta Ingredients:
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes
1/3 cup nondairy milk (I like soy or almond milk)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon Italian herb blend

1/3 cup fresh basil

1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:
1. To make the sausage: Saute the carrot and onion for 10-15 minutes. Once browned, place vegetables into a food processor along with all the spices and flax. Add cooked quinoa and lentils and pulse just till ingredients begin to stick together (about 10-15 times). Place mixture in a pan and brown.
2. To make the ricotta: Place cashews, nondairy milk, lemon juice, garlic, and maple syrup in a food processor and blend till just smooth (remember, ricotta is somewhat grainy rather than completely whipped). Add in the basil, Italian herb blend, salt and pepper and pulse until blended in.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
4. Spread a thin layer of marinara onto the bottom of a glass dish.
5. Layer the squash on top. Avoid overlapping pieces as much as possible.
6. Place a layer of ricotta on top.
7. Spread a layer of sausage crumbles on top.
8. Add another layer of squash and then another layer of marinara sauce.
9. Start again at step 6 and repeat until near the top of the dish. Top with any remaining ricotta.
10. Cover with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes or until a knife can be easily inserted all the way through.

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