As I mentioned in my menu plan for the week, I’ve been experimenting with cashews as a dairy substitute lately. Although we’re not vegan, I try to limit dairy when I can. I love cheese and ice cream, but if I can make a recipe without animal products and get similar results, why not?
The sauce in this recipe is based on the Cashew Alfredo Sauce on VegWeb. I doubled the recipe and added rosemary, one of my favorite herbs. Really, rosemary makes everything taste better. This is a very hearty, rustic dish and the sauce is so creamy and rich, you’d never guess that it’s made with cashews and not dairy. (And, please note, this tastes far better than it looks!)
Mushroom and Kale Lasagna with Rosemary Cashew Sauce [vegan]
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 cup raw cashews
3 cups boiling water, reserved from cooking lasagna noodles
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 pound mushrooms, chopped (any kind you like is fine)
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 pound kale, rinsed thoroughly, stems removed, and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare lasagna noodles according to instructions on package, reserving 3 cups of cooking liquid.
To make sauce, place raw cashews in a food processor and pulse until nuts are very fine–you want them to be a flour-like consistency. Carefully add in reserved water, process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and nutritional yeast. Process again until smooth. Add rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thin, pour it into a small saucepan and simmer until it thickens.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and cook until liquid evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Add kale until softened and wilted.
Spread about 1/2 cup of the cashew sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 11 baking dish. Layer 4 lasagna noodles and top with half of the veggie mixture. Top with 1/3 of remaining cashew sauce, 4 more noodles, remaining veggie mixture, another third of the cashew sauce, and then the rest of the noodles. Spread the last of the cashew sauce over the top of the lasagna. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove foil and bake for 5 minutes more.