Monday, November 16, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

The ingredients in this recipe are not for the faint of heart......this meal is some hardcore, healthy cooking. But, trust me- please, please trust on this - this "lasagna" is absolutely, completely, 100% deliciousness!!!! You really need to try it for yourself to believe me. It is tasty, filling, comfort food at its best. My 9-year old son DEVOURED it and then begged for more. He asked me if I could put it in his lunch tomorrow, too! And there was no trickery here.....he asked me exactly what was in it and of course, I told him. My husband loved it also (I added shredded rotisserie chicken to his) and had two giant servings.

This recipe comes from one of my absolute favorite blogs on earth, Minimalist Baker. I know I re-post her stuff constantly - I can't help myself. She's just amazing!

Here is her recipe verbatim:

  • 2 large spaghetti squash (~3-4 pounds each) <I only used one squash and it fed three people, plus left overs>
  • 3-4 Tbsp (45-60 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for squash
  • Sea salt + black pepper, to taste (~1/2 tsp each), plus more for squash
  • 2 lemons, juiced (~1/3 cup or 80 ml)
  • 12 ounces (340 g) extra firm tofu, drained and pressed dry for 10 minutes
  • 3 Tbsp (9 g) nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) fresh basil, packed
  • 1 Tbsp (3 g) dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese, plus more for serving <I used REAL Parmesan>
  • Vegan Parmesan cheese <I used REAL Parmesan>
  • 25 ounces (708 g) favorite marinara/red sauce <I only ever buy Rao's Marinara>
  • optional: Fresh basil, chopped
  • optional: Red pepper flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil.
  2. Carefully halve your spaghetti squash lengthwise using a sharp knife. I find the best way is to pierce the skin with the very tip of the knife and push it all the way through to the other side. Rock the knife back and forth to cut one half all the way through, then repeat on the other side.
  3. Use an ice cream scoop (or sharp spoon) to scrape out the seeds and most of the stringy parts. It should appear pretty clean.
  4. Brush the interior with oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces the skin and flesh. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Also reduce oven heat to 375 degrees F.
  5. In the meantime, add all tofu filling ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed. You are looking for a semi-pureed mixture with bits of basil still intact.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper for flavor, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, and lemon juice for brightness.
  7. Once fully baked and slightly cooled, use a fork to scoop out spaghetti squash into fine strings. Set aside.
  8. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch (or similar size) baking dish and lay down 1/3 of the squash. Top with several spoonfuls of tofu ricotta, then pour on a layer of marinara sauce. Repeat until all ricotta filling and marinara is used up - about 3 layers. Make sure the top layer is sauce.
  9. Loosely cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. Then remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the top is golden brown. Cover with foil if the squash is browning too quickly.
  10. Let cool briefly, then serve with desired toppings (listed above).
  11. Best when fresh. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in a 350 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until completely warmed through. 

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