Ever since reading Dr. Sara Gottfried’s book, The Hormone Cure, I have been even more motivated to stick with our family’s Meatless Monday tradition than ever before. And this gluten free/ dairy free Vegetable Lasagna Recipe is my new favorite meatless Monday entree.
The recipe yields plenty of leftovers, so unless you have a family of six or more, you should definitely have enough lasagna left over for Tuesday or Wednesday’s lunch or dinner too. I know different people have different feelings about leftovers, but in my book nothing beats cooking once and eating twice 😉
Meatless Monday Dairy Free Vegetable Lasagna Recipe
If your family is new to Meatless Monday they might not be all that enthused with the whole idea at first. But I promise nobody will complain about the missing meat on Monday if you serve this rib-sticking roasted vegetable lasagna recipe. I know the idea of making lasagna can be a bit intimidating if you have never done it, but it really is such a super simple dish to make. And the roasted vegetables do wonders for giving the dish an incredible depth of flavor. It’s a small extra step to roast them, but so SO worth it!
Making a Dairy Free CLEAN Lasagna
Although there are now some very tasty plant based nut cheeses on the market (I’ve included my line up of the best dairy free cheese brands here), for my dairy free vegetable lasagna recipe I went with the following two plant-based homemade nut cheese alternatives:
- For the creamy white sauce: I made a rich white sauce by pureeing a pasture-raised egg, water, garlic and cashews in my Vitamix. This sauce cooks beautifully and helps hold the lasagna together.
- For the Parmesan crumbled on top: I pulsed pine nuts in a mini food processor to make pine nut “crumbs” as a savory cheese alternative.
Less Meat = Better Hormonal Balance
If you are wondering what the correlation between Dr. Gottfried’s book I mentioned above and meatless Monday might be the answer is estrogen balance. Less meat means less “bad” estrogen and better hormonal balance. Same goes for eating less dairy and adding in more fiber, vegetables and plant protein. And when it comes to pasta and grains, you don’t need to eliminate either one from your diet but rather make it a point to always eat more vegetables than you do pasta/ grain at any one meal. This vegetable lasagna recipe meets all of the hormonal balancing criteria by the way. It’s also good to know the same dietary principles that help balance a woman’s hormones also help balance a man’s.
Although I am not vegan (here is why) and although I do still eat a little grass-fed, organic red meat here and there, reading Dr. Gottfried’s blog post titled “15 Reasons to Rethink Red Meat” will surely get you thinking!
By the way, now that I am almost 43 years old I have recently gotten very interested in learning about women’s hormones. If this is a subject that interests you be sure to check out the blog post I did on DIM, the estrogen balancing supplement HERE.)
For those of you with diet restrictions, food allergies or food sensitivities, it’s good to know this Dairy Free Vegetable Lasagna Recipe meets the following dietary criteria:
Gluten Free / Dairy Free / Vegetarian / Bean Free
- 1 eggplant cut lengthwise into ¼ inch strips
- 2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into ¼ inch strips
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, divided
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 large organic, pasture-raiesed egg
- 1 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews
- 14 ounces organic extra firm tofu, drained, patted dry with paper towels and sliced lengthwise into ¼ inch strips
- 3 cups homemade or good quality store-bought marinara sauce (see notes)
- 9 brown rice lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions, rinsed with cold water and drained well (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange eggplant, zucchini and onions on the parchment paper and brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Season with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Roast vegetables for 20 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Remove vegetables from the oven and set aside to cool. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Add the pine nuts to a mini food processor and pulse into “crumbs”. Set pine nut “crumbs” aside.
- In a high speed blender, add the egg, water, garlic and cashews. Process on high speed until mixture is smooth and creamy. Set cashew cream aside.
- Assemble the lasagna in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish in the following order:
- 1 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish
- Arrange 3 noodles on top of the sauce
- Spread ½ cup of marinara sauce over the noodles
- Arrange ½ of the roasted vegetables on top of the sauce
- Spread ½ of the cashew cream on top of the vegetables
- Arrange all of the tofu on top of the vegetables
- Spread ½ cup of marinara sauce on top of the tofu
- Arrange 3 noodles on top of the sauce
- Spread the remaining cashew cream on top of the roasted vegetables
- Arrange the remaining 3 noodles on top of the cashew cream
- Pour the remaining 1 cup of marinara sauce on top of the noodles
- Scatter the pine nut “crumbs” over the top of everything
- Bake lasagna, uncovered, for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes so that the juices can settle back down. Serve warm. (Note: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Lasagna also freezes beautifully.)
Store-bought Marinara: Nothing beats Rao’s brand!
Gluten-Free Brown Rice Noodles: I like Tinkyada brand brown rice lasagna noodles.