Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna (GF,CF,SF)

Gluten Free Casein Free Soy Free Spinach Mushroom lasagna
A few weeks ago Gluten Free Mommy called my bluff and asked me to post the Spinach Mushroom Lasagna that was in my menu for that week. I had to sheepishly admit that I hadn’t even come up with the recipe yet.

I gave it some thought and decided to go for a gluten free, soy free, and dairy/casein free lasagna. The main challenge was coming up with a delicious substitute for the ricotta cheese mixture that is standard in lasagna (at least here in the U.S.) My usual trick is to blend tofu, with a whole pantry full of seasonings, into a ricotta-like mixture that is actually really yummy. That wouldn’t work this time since I was eliminating soy, so I decided to try to mimic the creaminess of the ricotta with pureed beans.

I know, I know. If you’re not a vegan this probably sounds gross. But give it a try anyway. We all loved this recipe and will definitely be having it again.

Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna
(yield: 8 servings)

(A note of warning – this took a long time to make. Feel free to be nice to yourself and use your favorite bottled sauce, a food processor, and a glass of wine.)

Sauce:
2 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
1 c. water
1 Tbsp. Better than Bouillon*
2 tsp. honey
2 Tbsp. basil, minced
splash of balsamic vinegar

1. Add tomatoes, water, and bouillon to a stock pot and bring to a simmer. Allow sauce to simmer until it is time to assemble the lasagna. Add the basil and balsamic vinegar right at the end of the simmering so that the flavors don’t dissipate.

Veggie Layer:
1 lb. mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 1/2 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. radishes, grated
1 tsp. salt
16 oz. bag of frozen chopped spinach

2. While your sauce is simmering, prep the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and radishes. Place the mushrooms in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until they release their liquids. Then add the onion, garlic, and radish and saute the vegetables and cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring periodically.

3. While the other veggies are cooking, thaw the bag of spinach and squeeze/drain/beat as much water as possible from it. Add the spinach in with the other veggies, stir, and turn the heat down to low.

4. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Creamy Layer:
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1 can red beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
water
heaping 1/2 tsp of some ingredient that I can not decipher from my notes (hopefully it’s not important)

5. Drain the liquid from the beans, and then dump/pour/throw the beans into your handy-dandy food processor. Pulse about 5 times, and then scrape down the sides of the bowl.

6. Turn the food processor on again, and slowly drizzle 1 to 2 Tbsp. of olive oil into the bowl. Turn the food processor off and test the consistency of the bean puree. If it is not smooth, continue processing as you slowly drizzle water into the bowl. (More oil would make it too rich.) Add water until you get a smooth, spreadable bean puree.

7. Remove the bean puree into a mixing bowl and stir in the nutritional yeast and 1/2 tsp of whatever other mysterious ingredient you would enjoy. (I seriously cannot decipher my notes from that night!)

Pasta:
2 packages of gluten free lasagna noodles

8. There’s nothing to this step. I added dry noodles to the lasagna and it turned out great.

Assembly:

Okay, we’re going for layers here. Specifically three layers each of the creamy bean puree , and spinach and mushroom veggie mixture, and 4 layers of tomato sauce and noodles. You may find it helpful to divide everything into thirds or fourths before you start. I didn’t and I ran out of tomato sauce. (If this should happen to you, I won’t tell anyone if you grab a jar of salsa.)

9. Ladle a thin layer of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Add a layer of noodles (it took 4 for me) on top of the sauce. Dab the bean puree on top of the noodles and spread it out with the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula. Top the bean puree with a layer of the veggie mixture. Repeat this process 3 times. Then top with a fourth layer of noodles, topped with a fourth layer of tomato sauce.

10. Cover the lasagna with tin foil and bake for an hour. if you have to, you can remove the foil about 15 minutes before the lasagna is done and top with cheese of your choice. We didn’t and it was still delicious.

Cook’s Notes:
*This contains soy. If you’re not vegetarian, substitute 1 c. beef consomme for the water and bouillon. If you are vegetarian, use your favorite gluten free, soy free bouillon and add the amount that you would normally use to make 3 c. of stock.

Comments

  1. AllergicToAll says:

    this sounds interesting! i am so free and casein/dairy free as well, and i really want a cheese substitute that isn’t beans! do you have any to recommend?! thanks!

  2. I’m afraid beans are all I have to offer at this point. But they didn’t taste like beans in the lasagna, if that helps. Does anyone else have an idea for a non-dairy, non-soy substitute for lasagna’s creamy layer?

  3. Wow! I am impressed! You should make two next time you do it and freeze one for a night off. I almost always make twp lasagnas when I do it. The second one almost always tastes better, since it feels like I didn’t make it. ;)

    If I have to stay dairy free (I am diet testing right now..), then I will be running back here to try this!

  4. Very creative Mary Frances!! Great use of legumes in place of a cheese like substance! I love it! I will definitely put this on my “to try” list! It’s especially great that it’s dairy free! You go girl! Although I have to admit, I’ll probably cheat and use a bottled sauce! ;-P

    I love using nutritional yeast and I think it has a very “cheesy” type of flavor! We need to come up with some use for it as a “cheese” substitute! I think Karina has a sauce like that!

  5. PS.. do you think the missing ingredient was salt?

  6. This looks awesome. I am a big fan of the bean and marinara sauce pairing. I threw a spicy jalapeno marinara with beans and penne and it was awesome and very frugal. I should post it sometime. Anyway, the point is that is SOLD me on white beans with marinara. :)

  7. It might be salt, that would probably work…it almost looks like I wrote down “mayo”, but surely not.

  8. Yum! This looks delicious, and I love the idea of using the beans in the creamy layer. I’ve been putting canned beans in so many things lately, but I never thought to layer them in lasagna. Great idea. :)

  9. SM, I will definitely take your advice and make two next time. It would be so awesome to come home one night and not cook.

    Carrie, I love nutritional yeast too. I’m trying to stop putting so much butter on things and if I put enough nutritional yeast on my grits, then I don’t need any butter at all =)

    Farmgirl, Thanks for stopping by! My son and I enjoyed looking at the donkeys, sheep, and cats on your website today.

  10. Pureed beans! That’s pretty cool. I’ll have to try that out the next time I’m angling to make a healthier lasagna.

  11. Hello!
    There is a great “cheese” sauce on the following website. I am sure you could change it to make it have an Italian flavor by exchanging an Italian seasoning for the cumin. It is made with nutritional yeast and cashews.

    http://shmooedfood.blogspot.com/2006/10/nacho-cheese-dip.html

    We use it as a Mexican cheese sauce for noodles, nachos, tacos and a dip. The addition of a jar of salsa is very good!

    Thank you for the no-soy, no dairy lasagna link!

  12. Do you think dry mustard could have been your missing ingredient? I pair that with the yeast to umph the cheesy/tangy flavor.

  13. Do you have a preferred lasagna noodle? I fear them. ;-)

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  1. [...] some of the recipes I have made and loved from my favorite blogs . This week I swam around the Gluten Free Cooking School – A LOT! Mary Frances is very wonderful about blogging not only Gluten Free, but Casein (dairy) [...]

  2. [...] some of the recipes I have made and loved from my favorite blogs . This week I swam around the Gluten Free Cooking School – A LOT! Mary Frances is very wonderful about blogging not only Gluten Free, but Casein (dairy) [...]