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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Plant-Based Eggplant Lasagna with Chickpeas, Marinara, and Tofu-Cashew Ricotta

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Plant-Based Eggplant Lasagna with Chickpeas, Marinara, and Tofu-Cashew Ricotta

You might never want to go back to regular lasagna after this plant-based version. The creamy tofu-cashew ricotta with lemon zest is the perfect foil to juicy eggplant cooked with a minimal amount of oil. You should probably make two trays and freeze one for later. Or at least make a double batch of the ricotta for a high-protein snack on crackers or carrots the next day.

Allergen-friendly tip

If you’re avoiding cashews or soy, use cooked or canned and drained chickpeas or sunflower seeds and coconut amino or nectar in place of miso.


Marinara sauce 

1 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, diced

3 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed with flat side of knife and thinly sliced

1 large handful fresh parsley (about 1/2 cup/125 mL), finely chopped

28 oz (796 mL) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained (either drink the juice or reserve it for your next soup)

1 tsp (5 mL) cane or demerara sugar (optional)

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper

Tofu-cashew ricotta 

1/2 cup (125 mL) cashews, soaked in 2 cups (500 mL) water for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight

350 g block of firm tofu, drained and roughly chopped

1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp (2 mL) lemon zest

1 tsp (5 mL) miso paste

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper

Eggplant lasagna  

2 large purple eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/4 in (0.6 cm) rounds

1 Tbsp (15 mL) salt

1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup (250 mL) fresh basil leaves

2 cups (500 mL) cooked chickpeas, or 19oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, drained


In large pot over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add shallots. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes. Add garlic and parsley, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add a splash of water, if needed,  and simmer sauce, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Add drained tomatoes, sugar (if using), salt, and pepper; bring sauce to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for
30 minutes, stirring occasionally so the sauce doesn’t stick to the pot.

Meanwhile, drain and rinse soaked cashews, then drain again and transfer to food processor or high-powered blender along with tofu, lemon juice, lemon zest, miso paste, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of water, if necessary, to blend. Taste and add more salt or lemon, if desired. Set aside.

In large bowl, sprinkle eggplant slices with salt, then transfer to large colander. Leave for 15 minutes to drain excess water.

Rinse and pat dry eggplant slices, then rub them with olive oil. Transfer to 2 baking sheets and broil one sheet at a time under high for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Reduce oven to 400 F (200 C).

In bottom of 11 x 7 x 2 in (28 x 18 cm x 5 cm) baking dish, pour one-third of marinara sauce. Top with one-third of basil leaves and a layer of broiled eggplant. Spread one-third of tofu-cashew ricotta on top, followed by one-third of chickpeas. Repeat 2 more times with remaining marinara sauce, basil, eggplant slices, tofu-cashew ricotta, and chickpeas.

Bake lasagna in a preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Each serving contains: 265 calories; 14 g protein; 13 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 29 g total carbohydrates (8 g sugars, 10 g fibre); 629 mg sodium

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