#TastyThursday – Chef Z’s Vegan Zucchini Lasagna

We’re in the heart of “Florida Winter,” which means that every week or so we have one day when it’s definitely cold outside, followed shortly thereafter by warm days that make us wonder where the cold air went.

If we’re lucky, we can squeeze in a couple cold weather meals – meals that warm us up from the inside out.

This week, Chef Zelicious offers up one of these such meals – “Z” VEGAN ZUCCHINI LASAGNA!

INGREDIENTS:

Marinara Sauce:
1 Large red onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Pack frozen organic spinach
8 Ounces mushrooms chopped
4 Garlic cloves, minced
4 Teaspoon tomato paste
2 Teaspoon dried basil
2 Teaspoons dried oregano
1 Teaspoon dried thyme
1⁄3 Teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 Cups cooked red lentils
1 Can organic crushed fire roasted tomatoes
1⁄2 Cup dry red wine

ZUCCHINI LASAGNA:
4 Medium zucchini-sliced thin
1⁄2 Cup panko crumbs
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
fresh basil for topping
2 Package miyoko’s or Kite hill ricotta cheese

DIRECTIONS:

To make the marinara: warm one tablespoon olive oil in a large
saucepan/skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt & pepper, stir together and cook for another 3 minutes. Pour in red wine and turn the heat up slightly so that the wine simmers for about 5 minutes.

Next add the dried herbs, spinach, both cans of tomatoes and their juices and the tomato paste. Cover the pan and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Then stir in the cooked lentils and simmer for another 10
minutes.

Assemble the Lasagna: Preheat the oven to 415°F then lightly grease an 8 x 8′′ baking dish.

Arrange 4 zucchini slices along the bottom. Depending on the width of your zucchini, you may have to cut one piece in half lengthwise to make them fit.

Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture on top of the zucchini then top with 1/3 of the lentil mushroom marinara. Layer another 4 slices of zucchini on top and repeat the same steps twice more, until you have three layers total.

Combine the breadcrumbs and the nutritional yeast in a small bowl. Sprinkle it on top of the lasagna, cover with foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into separate pieces. Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!

Recipes courtesy of Zainab Fisher, a professional chef who specializes in raw and vegan cuisine. She was the former Chef at the Raw Kitchen. She was a guest chef for Fox 29 WFLX, PBS and guest chef for the CBS 12 health and wellness expo, and provides our readers a new and exciting recipe each week for #TastyThursday.

For more information on Chef Zainab’s services, please contact her at [email protected] or by phone at  561-629-0593.