Cashew Cheese Lasagna

Makes 12 servings, each about 4 × 2 inches (10 × 5 cm)

Cashews provide a wonderful cheesy-tasting topping for this delicious lasagna. Each serving is rich in protein, iron, zinc, other minerals, and B vitamins. Salt is typically added to canned tomato products, so to lower your sodium intake, try one of the low-sodium tomato sauces that are available. For best flavour in the topping, use freshly squeezed lemon juice; however, good-quality bottled lemon juice also will work.

Lasagna

12 ounces (340 g) lasagna noodles (12 noodles)
3 packages (each 12.3 ounces/349 g) extra-firm silken tofu
2 tablespoons (30 mL) coconut or olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cups (750 mL) chopped mushrooms
2 cups (500 mL) diced celery
1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried basil
1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) black pepper
3 cups (750 mL) tomato sauce
1 large tomato, sliced
Cashew Cheese Topping

Makes 3 cups (750 mL)

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) unsalted raw cashew pieces
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) water
1/3 cup (85 mL) nutritional yeast
1/3 cup (85 mL) lemon juice
4 teaspoons (20 mL) tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons (10 mL) onion powder
1 teaspoon (5 mL) celery seed
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) garlic powder
To prepare the lasagna, cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain in a colander, then immediately plunge into cold water to stop the cooking. Drain the noodles again and then lay them side by side on cookie sheets or trays to prevent them from sticking together. If stacking, place clear film between the layers of noodles.

Place the tofu in a large bowl and mash it well with a masher or fork. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add mushrooms, celery, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until the water from the mushrooms has evaporated. Add the vegetable mixture to the mashed tofu and mix well.

To make the topping, combine the cashews, water, yeast, lemon juice, tamari, onion powder, celery seed, and garlic powder in a blender. Process at high speed for 1 minute or until mixture is smooth.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

To assemble the lasagna, spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 × 13-inch (23 × 33 cm) baking dish to prevent noodles from sticking to the dish. Arrange 3 noodles over the sauce, followed by one-third of the tofu mixture. Spread on another cup of the tomato sauce, followed by 3 noodles and another one-third of the tofu mixture. Repeat this sequence one more time using the remaining ingredients and ending with noodles. Pour the cashew topping evenly over the top layer of noodles. Arrange the tomato slices on top and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the topping has set and the lasagna bubbles along the sides of the dish.

Per serving: calories: 316, protein: 17 g, fat: 13 g, carbohydrate: 37 g (5 g from sugar), dietary fibre: 4 g, calcium: 72 mg, iron: 4 mg, magnesium: 117 mg, phosphorus: 319 mg, potassium: 774 mg, sodium: 582 mg, zinc: 3 mg, thiamin: 2.3 mg, riboflavin: 2.2 mg, niacin: 17 mg, vitamin B6: 2 mg, folate: 129 mcg, pantothenic acid: 0.9 mg, vitamin B12: 1.5 mcg, vitamin A: 12 mcg, vitamin C: 11 mg, vitamin E: 1.4 mg, omega-6 fatty acids: 1.6 g, omega-3 fatty acids: 0 g

Percentage of calories from protein 20%, fat 35%, carbohydrate 45%