Vegan Lasagna Extravaganza

I am in the mood for Italian food and so I turned to one of my favorite comfort foods of all time.  Let's get this Vegan Lasagna Extravaganza underway!  I present....

Vegan Roasted Vegetable & "Beef" Lasagna

1 package lasagna noodles

1 jar tomato basil marinara sauce

1 yellow onion
6 cloves fresh garlic
3 zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
1 tub of vegan cream cheese
1 bag vegan mozzarella shredded
1 block vegan teese mozzarella cheese
1 small package of silken tofu
1 cup fresh parsley (flat leaf or curly or a combination)
1 cup fresh basil
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Juice of 1 lemon (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.  Put a large pot of water on to boil the lasagna noodles.

Begin by cleaning and chopping uniformly the onion, zucchini, bell pepper and garlic and and put into a large casserole dish.  Coat vegetables and aromatics with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes tossing occasionally to ensure even cooking.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

In a new medium mixing bowl prepare "ricotta" cheese filling by combining cream cheese, silken tofu (mashed with fork) and about half of the parsley and basil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Mixture should look and taste like ricotta.  If you want it more tangy add a squeeze of lemon juice and set mixture aside.

Is your water boiling yet?  Put your noodles in with a heavy pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil and set timer for 12 minutes.

In a small mixing bowl prepare the "meat" sauce by adding the TVP to one cup of bowling water and allow to hydrate.  Once hydrated mix "meat" with marinara sauce.  

Grate Teese cheese block and toss with bag of pre-grated mozzarella.  You do not have to use both types of cheese if you only have one variety available.  I just really like the way the Teese cheese melts.

To assemble lasagna (no hard rules here) put last tablespoon of olive oil in a casserole dish and coat the dish for easy serving.  Layer noodles, veggies, meat sauce, cheese mixture, grated cheese.  I like to alternate a pure cheese layer, then a veggie meat layer but again there is no perfect way.  Top final layer with any remaining sauce and a sprinkle of grated cheese and nutritional yeast.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for at least 45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.  Allow lasagna to cool at least 10-15 minutes before serving.  Garnish with additional fresh herbs.

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