RECIPE: A New Take on Lasagna

The best part about changing my food choices is getting creative with cooking.  I still crave the comfort foods or sweets, but have learned healthier ways to prepare them.  The other day I had a major craving for lasagna, and while I can’t take credit for substituting zucchini for noodles, the rest of the recipe is my own.  My husband and I had every intention of eating it raw, but I’ve found that during the winter a warm meal every now and then is very satisfying.

Raw (or baked) Lasagna

5-6 zucchini (depending on their size); thinly sliced lengthwise

Fresh baby spinach leaves

Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced (or diced, if you prefer)

For the “cheese”:

  • 2 cups of raw cashews (or half cashews, half walnuts)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of raw sunflower seeds
  • 3-4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Oregano
  • Water

For the Marinara Sauce:

  • 4 – Roma tomatoes, chopped and seeded
  • 1-2 cups of sun-dried tomatoes (soaked in water for 2hrs)
  • Fresh Basil
  • Oregano (fresh or dried)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Water, if needed

Blend the cashews and sunflower seeds with enough water to get it mixed smoothly.  Then add the seasonings and more water, if needed to get a ricotta cheese texture.  Empty the contents into a bowl and set aside.  Without rinsing the blender, throw in the Roma tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes and blend until smooth.  Add seasonings to taste and olive oil.  If you want a thinner sauce, add more water.

Pour a little marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish – enough to lightly cover the surface.  Then arrange a layer of zucchini slices.  Add a layer of “cheese,” followed with fresh spinach and red bell pepper.  Continue the layers until you’ve filled your baking dish.  I ended up with three layers of zucchini noodles.  Top off your layers with marinara sauce and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast if you’d like.

Then enjoy as is or bake in the oven at 350 for an hour!  We devoured it….so full of flavor and cheesy!