Whenever I want to indulge in ooey-gooey Italian goodness, this is my go-to. And I go all out: cashew ‘ricotta’, homemade marinara with our garden tomatoes, lentils, mushrooms and – guilty! – fake mozzarella. I admit that I sometimes indulge in the tapioca-based, naturally flavoured, shredded product that surprisingly tastes good! Be warned that this recipe requires some preparation in terms of soaking, but you can always do it in the morning before work if you know you’ll be making it in the evening. Also! I highly recommend arming yourself with a mandolin. It’s the only way I’ve ever made zucchini lasagna.
1 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 handful spinach
1 handful pepitas
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup red lentils
2L marinara sauce
4 big button mushrooms
2 handfuls of shredded fake ‘cheese’
- Soak your cashews and your lentils in two separate bowls and set aside for 6-8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Start prepping your sauce: put the marinara in a sauce pan and add the lentils. Bring to boil and let simmer on medium-low.
- While the sauce simmers, start the cashew ‘ricotta’. Throw the cashews in the food processor with lemon juice, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, spinach and pepitas. Process until you reach a creamy, ricotta texture.
- Check your sauce – how are the lentils? Throughout this process you should periodically check on the sauce and turn off the heat when the lentils are cooked through.*
- Slice your zucchinis lengthwise – as thin as possible – with a mandolin.**
- Slice your mushrooms lengthwise.
- Make your first thin layer of sauce. Place the ribboned zucchini on top. Another thin layer of sauce. Zucchini. Sauce. Cashew ‘ricotta’. Zucchini. Sauce. Zucchini. Sauce. Mushrooms. Zucchini and sauce and on and on until you run out of stuff.
- Spread the mozzarella ‘cheese’ on top.
- Bake for 50 minutes, then change the temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for another 10 minutes.
- Take out the lasagna and let it rest for 10 mimutes before cutting into it.
*It shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes since you soaked the lentils beforehand.
**The thicker you slice, the more annoying it is to cut through the zucchini while eating. This is why the mandolin in important. It was the first time I tried the lasagna with the most thinly sliced zucchini possible, and it was phenomenal.