Easy Vegan Lasagna (Overnight)

Easy Vegan Lasagna Overnight PinThis overnight Easy Vegan Lasagna was inspired by our other overnight Vegan Gluten Free Lasagna recipe, but with a few changes to make things easier and cheaper. However, you can mix and match the main ingredients depending on your taste preferences and the amount of work you want to put into it.

Lentil Ground “Beef”

Let’s start with the “meat” mixture. Our original recipe uses Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles as the meat substitute. This meat sub is tasty, but it’s not available everywhere and it’s also a processed food with added canola and sunflower oil. If you’re an oil-free eater, this won’t do.

Amelia made us a delicious Vegan Lentil Loaf awhile back, so that gave me the idea to use lentils as the ground beef substitute. And they work great! I cook them in our pressure cooker, but you can also boil them on the stove.

Our pressure cooker instructions say to cook them for 9 minutes, but we’re at high altitude so I cook them for 12 minutes. They need to be slightly overcooked and a little mushy so you can mash them into a ground beef texture. Then I stir fry them without oil or liquid in a large skillet to smash them up more and dry them out a bit to give them more of a ground beef look.

Our pressure cooker instructions also call for 1 tbsp of vegetable oil to keep the lentils from frothing too much and clogging the steam vent, but we never do this and haven’t had any issues. To keep this recipe oil-free, we recommend skipping the oil. You just may need to clean your pressure cooker steam vent more often.

Tofu Ricotta

Now for the Tofu Ricotta. Our original recipe uses Cashew Ricotta made from our Vegan Cashew Cream recipe. While this is less processed than tofu, cashews are also a lot more expensive. You can buy a package of organic tofu for less than $2, but it’ll cost you about $8 to buy enough cashews for this recipe. If you’re soy-free, you can swap the Tofu Ricotta with the Cashew Ricotta.

This recipe has quite a bit of salt so if you have heart disease or high blood pressure, please omit the salt. Salt substitutes are also best to be avoided if you have these health issues or kidney disease.

Tomato Sauce

Now for the sauce. Our original lasagna recipe uses our homemade spaghetti sauce for the lasagna sauce. This sauce is delicious, but it also takes quite a bit of extra ingredients and time to prepare. To keep things cheap and easy, we’re using jarred of spaghetti sauce in this new recipe. We recommend using a fat-free variety like Prego’s Lower Calorie Light Smart Traditional sauce. But you can always make your own sauce from scratch if you want to.

The Easy Vegan Lasagna Part

Finally, we made our original recipe gluten-free by using rice lasagna noodles, but we just used regular wheat noodles for this recipe. We prefer a whole-grain noodle, but those options are limited here in Ecuador. To make it gluten-free, just swap the noodles for your favorite gluten-free variety.

Since this recipe doesn’t use vegan cheese (which is mostly oil), it has more than 100 fewer calories per serving than our original recipe. It’s also oil-free since we’re using lentils instead of the beefy crumbles.

Easy Vegan Lasagna

Like our original recipe, this one is also “overnight” so you don’t have to cook the noodles. It only takes about 15 to 20 minutes of actual work to prepare this Easy Vegan Lasagna, which is nothing compared to a conventional, non-overnight lasagna. It makes 8 servings so you’ll have lots of leftovers (unless you’re feeding the whole family).

It’s also a great option to take to a friend’s house since you prepare it the day before and just pop it in the oven for about an hour before you’re ready to eat.

Enjoy with a simple side salad and some Vegan Garlic Bread. Save some sauce and heat it up on the stove to pour over the lasagna just before you serve it. We didn’t do that this time, but we will the next time we make it.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant based eating.

JP’s Italian Salad Dressing

Italian Salad Dressing Pin After realizing the store bought salad dressings are loaded with added sugar and oil, I decided to invent my own Italian salad dressing without sugar or oil. As you can see from the picture, I still use the old glass container that I’ve always used, just without the accompanying packet of mystery ingredients.

When I was a kid, I didn’t like salads. At least not the ones my mom made. But when we went to Villa Capri in Overland Park, KS, I loved their salads. The difference was their house-made Italian salad dressing, which my parents eventually bought so I would eat salads at home.

It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I realized why I liked their salad dressing so much…enough to get me to eat salad as a kid. Their Italian salad dressing has two ingredients that make all the difference: red wine vinegar and crushed fennel seeds. I think these two ingredients are what makes my dressing almost as good.

Like most Italian salad dressings, Villa Capri’s has a lot of oil, but I’ve omitted it. To be honest, I like it better without the oil. It doesn’t leave that oily, filmy residue in my mouth and I can taste the seasoning’s much better. Plus, skipping the oil took this recipe from 90 calories per serving all the way down to 5 CALORIES PER SERVING!

You don’t need the bottle to make your own seasoning. Just mix the ingredients in any sealable container, shake well and serve. The crushed fennel seeds and red wine vinegar give it an extra Italian-y taste and licorice aroma. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving to allow the seasonings to absorb the liquid.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant based eating.

Vegan Gluten Free Lasagna (Overnight)

Vegan Gluten Free Lasagna PinSimply amazing, guilt-free vegan gluten free lasagna. This lasagna tastes like the real thing without any meat or cheese. The only difference is you won’t have the typical post-lasagna gut bomb. You’ll want to trick your non-vegan friends with this one.

This is the easy way to make lasagna. By assembling everything in a baking dish and placing it in the refrigerator overnight, you don’t have to boil the lasagna noodles. And that saves a lot of time and hassle.

To make it even easier, use two 26 oz jars of marinara sauce instead of making the sauce from scratch. That saves a TON of time! Sometimes, I let the sauce cook down too much and we run short so I make up the difference with a jar of marinara sauce. It’s also good to heat up some marinara on the stove to ladle over the top of the lasagna when you serve it (as shown in the pictures).

We used rice noodles in this recipe to make it gluten free, but you can use whole-wheat lasagna noodles if you like. It works the same either way.

We also used Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles as the ground beef substitute. It adds some good flavor and texture without saturated fat. However, it does contain oil, so you can skip it or try using cooked and mashed brown lentils instead. If you skip the cheese and the Beefy Crumbles, this is an oil-free recipe.

We made another version of this recipe called our Easy Vegan Lasagna using lentils and tofu ricotta. It tastes just as good but it’s a lot cheaper (tofu is much less expensive than 2 cups of cashews) and completely oil-free.

Prepare the Vegan Cashew Cream 2 to 4 hours before you’re ready to assemble the lasagna. You’ll use this to make the Cashew Ricotta Cheese.

This vegan gluten free lasagna recipe was inspired by an old family friend, Helen Breitenstein, who passed away back in 1993. She was a tiny Irish woman with a huge personality. She made this lasagna the typical way with conventional meat and cheese, but I’ve veganized it for your ethical eating pleasure. I’ve included her “hints” below the recipe.

Vegan Gluten Free Lasagna

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant based eating.

Vegan Pizza

Vegan PizzaThere’s nothing like a delicious Vegan Pizza on Friday night to kick off your weekend!

We made the pizza sauce from scratch, but you can always buy ready-made pizza sauce to save time. Of course, then you’ll get all the added sugar that comes with it (and everything else they throw in). When you make your own sauce, you’ll know what every ingredient is, and it only takes a few extra minutes to prepare.

This recipe makes enough for 2 to 3 vegan pizzas depending on how much sauce you like on your pizza. You can cut the ingredients in half by reducing the serving size to 8 slices, or you’ll have leftover sauce.

You can get really creative with vegan pizza toppings. You really can’t go wrong. Some other toppings to consider: tempeh bacon, beefy crumbles, peppers, olives, roasted garlic, sliced tomatoes, etc.

The serving size is based on the traditional pie shaped pizza slice, but Amelia, being from Chicago, likes to cut them into squares. You’ll get about 16 pieces when you do it Chicago-style.

You can make your own pizza crust, too, but that takes a lot of extra time. We chose to buy a pre-made whole wheat crust from Whole Foods. You can buy whatever type you like, but it may change the nutritional facts.

Skip the vegan cheese to make it oil free. Use a gluten free crust to make the recipe gluten free.

Enjoy this with a delicious side salad for a little extra leafy green roughage.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant based eating.

Vegan Spaghetti Sauce on Spaghetti Squash

Vegan Spaghetti SauceI used to be a jarred spaghetti sauce guy. I doctored it up to taste better, but it took less time than making my own. However, once I realized how much added sugar is in a regular jar of spaghetti sauce, I decided it was time to make it from scratch. After lots of trial and error, here’s my delicious Vegan Spaghetti Sauce.

We prefer spaghetti squash since it’s much healthier and lower calorie than regular pasta, and it tastes really good. Just be sure to cook it long enough or it’ll be crunchy. It should be al dente but not crunchy.

You can also substitute Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti for real pasta. This looks and tastes like pasta, but it only has 10 calories and 3 grams of carbs per serving. It’s also gluten free and has been eaten for centuries in Asian countries. You can usually find it in the vegan cold foods section near the tofu. It’s in a plastic bag filled with water and noodles.

Enjoy your Vegan Spaghetti Sauce on Spaghetti Squash with a delicious side salad for some extra leafy green roughage.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant based eating.