NO Sauce. Zucchini Lasagna al Fresco

Zucchini Lasagna al Fresco
Zucchini Lasagna al Fresco

Before we begin, allow me to apologize for the yellow-y-ness of the pictures. That’s what I get for cooking at night (yes!) and allowing artificial light photobombs. Not intentional. Promise.

I almost wanted to call this “Lasagna al Fresco.” Oh wait, I just did.

We ate this tonight. It was yum. So yum that the husband had a second serving. Oh yeah. It happened.

This recipe would be REALLY good with fresh basil laced throughout the zucchini layer. Something to think about if you happen to have a handful lying around. Or, if you like basil.

Weird fact to insert here, but I’ve read that basil actually helps digestion. Do your colon a favor and eat this (with basil). Now.

Zucchini Lasagna al Fresco
Zucchini Lasagna al Fresco

Zucchini Lasagna al Fresco

9 oven ready lasagna noodles (or use the Cook-Then-Oven kind)
3/4 cup Tofu-Cashew Ricotta
6 Tablespoons “milk
4 medium sized zucchini, VERY thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil (or another type of oil: avocado, canola, etc. Coconut might leave a weird taste; as much as I love it.)
1 large (or 2 regular size) plum tomato, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Make Tofu-Cashew Ricotta (recipe at end of post) first to allow it time to chill in the fridge while you do everything else.

Next, preheat oven to 375 degrees. The process will go by pretty fast, and it’s better to cook it right away (even if you don’t plan on eating it right away) just so that the flavors have time to meld. In the kitchen, melding is a good thing. At parties, not so much. In beer… eh.

In a large mixing bowl, combine zucchini and 1 Tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine tomato and 1 teaspoon oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl (I know, I’m out of order!), combine Tofu-Cashew Ricotta and “milk.” Stir until smooth. And, yep – you guessed it – SET ASIDE.

Time to assemble! In an 8″ x 8″ baking pan, place one layer of sliced zucchini. Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Top THAT with (or – Spread a layer of) 1/3 Tofu-Cashew Ricotta mixture. So good. Next, add another layer of zucchini. Then 3 noodles. Then ricotta. Then: zucchini, noodles, ricotta, zucchini. So – in total, you’ll need: 4 portions zucchini, 3 portions noodles (hence the 9 noodles required), and 3 portions ricotta. Yes! You’re finished. Almost.

Top the entire *lasagna* with the tomatoes (from the small mixing bowl). Sprinkle evenly.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove. Allow to cool. And, if possible (WHAT!?!) eat tomorrow.

Zucchini Lasagna al Fresco
Zucchini Lasagna al Fresco
Zucchini Lasagna al Fresco
Zucchini Lasagna al Fresco

Tofu-Cashew Ricotta

1 cup raw cashews
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic
3 Tablespoons “milk”
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon ground chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon probiotic liquid – think: cultured soy but not yogurt – (optional)
1/2 block extra firm tofu (try to get organic) – squeeze out the water, but draining well isn’t super important.

Directions: Put everything in blender (add tofu as the last ingredient. It’s heavy, so it will help alleviate having to stop blending to scrape the sides. Gravity is awesome. And now: Blend until smooth. Use in Zucchini Lasagna al Fresco. Not as toothpaste.

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