Low-Fat Spinach Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta & Spinach
Who said that being vegan means you have to skip out on your favorite Italian? This lasagna recipe is not only highly customizable (I sauteed some mushrooms and added them right under the spinach in mine!), but the handful of olives across the top gives this dish the right amount of salty kick without kicking up the amount of sodium in a serving.
One serving of this lasagna (1/6 of the recipe) is only 300 calories, but switch that standard pasta out for something whole wheat, and you've got the ultimate diet recipe!
Lasagna with Roasted Cauliflower Ricotta & Spinach
To Make Ricotta:
1 medium-size head cauliflower (1 1/2 to 2 pounds), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
For the Red Sauce:
One (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces lasagna noodles, broken in half, cooked in salted water
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1. First, we’ll roast the cauliflower. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; that way the cauliflower won’t stick. Place the cauliflower on the sheet and drizzle the oil over it. Spray it with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Toss it with your hands to make sure everything is salted. Spread the cauliflower in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes, then flip it with a spatula. You don’t have to flip each and every one, so don’t get OCD about it. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned, tender, and toasty.
2. In the meantime, crumble the tofu into a mixing bowl. Use your hands to mash the tofu, squeezing it between your fingers, until it has the consistency of ricotta cheese. Add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, pepper, and remaining salt. Use a fork to mix well.
3. When the cauliflower is done, transfer it to the mixing bowl with the tofu mixture. Use a potato masher to mash it really well, for a minute or so. If it doesn’t seem to be mashing enough with the potato masher, a few pulses in the food processor should get it nice and crumbly. Set aside.
4. To prepare the sauce, mix all its ingredients together and set aside.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour a thin layer of red sauce on the bottom of an 8-inch square casserole. Line with a layer of noodles. Spread with one-third of the cauliflower ricotta. Layer with 3/4 cup of spinach leaves. Pour on about a cup of sauce.
6. Repeat the process one more time, creating another identical layer, starting with the noodles. For the top layer it’s just a little different: Layer with noodles, pour the sauce on first, then layer with ricotta. This layer doesn’t get any spinach. Sprinkle with a layer of olives and press it into the the tofu.
7. Bake for 40 minutes, until the top is browned. Let it cool down before serving.