Another Plant-based Lasagna — with Butternut, Onion, Spinach and Cashew “Cheese”

After the butternut tacos, I got to thinking. . .

Now I am on a butternut squash kick. Next on the agenda: Lasagna. Honestly, I probably would not even have tried this, but David and I had a version of it a while back that was to die for. That one was full of ricotta and mozzarella cheese. This one uses cashew “cheese” instead. Because the butternut squash is so smooth and creamy you won’t even miss the cheese.

Be forewarned that this is a many step process. Do not let all the steps scare you off. It looks much harder to do than it really is. Although, I must admit it is pretty labor intensive. Not something I will make often since it takes about 6 hours to create from scratch.  I just happened to have both the squash and the onions leftover so it was really easy to make – about 20 minutes assembly and the rest was baking time. My take away is that if I want to make it from scratch I should at the very least bake the squash and caramelize the onions the day before. Probably prepare the cashew cheese as well.

I have broken those steps out separately and put them right here at the top:

To caramelize  the onions:

  1. Peel and cut 4 onions into slices
  2. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan
  3. Push the onion slices into rings as you put them in the frying pan
  4. Stir the onions and add a little oil if needed
  5. Add garlic to taste
  6. Stir onions constantly until they are starting to get clear and the garlic is starting to brown
  7. Cover the onions in water and add salt (OPTIONAL: use soy sauce instead of salt)
  8. Turn to medium and cook the water off; stirring often

To bake the squash:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Take two butternut squash and cut in half. Scrape out seeds and place face up in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and salt
  3. Bake 1 hour

To prepare the cashew “cheese”:

  1. Combine the following in a food processor
    • 1 cup raw cashews
    • 2 cup water
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • Salt to Taste
    • 1 Tablespoon Onion Salt
    • 1/2 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
    • OPTIONAL – add a small jar of pimento
  2. Puree till smooth

To create the whole Butternut, Onion and Spinach Lasagna

  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Boil 1 lb of Lasagna noodles as the package instructs – boil 2 minutes less than the recipe calls for
  3. While the lasagna is cooking prepare the spinach
    • Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan
    • When the oil is hot add garlic to taste
    • Stir in 1 lb spinach a little at a time
    • Cook until spinach is thoroughly wilted
  4. Puree the baked butternut squash in a food processor or blender adding:
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
    • Up to 1/4 cup water as needed
  5. Prepare the Lasagna pan:
    • Lightly grease a 9×12 baking dish
    • Layer the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of spinach
    • Drizzle 1/4 cup cashew “cheese” over the spinach
  6. Drain the Lasagna noodles and lay a thin layer over the spinach and cheese
  7. Create 3 layers. Each one is assembled by using:
    • 1/3 of the pureed butternut squash
    • 1/4 cup of the cashew “cheese”
    • 1/3 of the spinach mix
    • cover with a layer of lasagna noodles
    • Repeat 2 more times
  8. Cover the final top layer of lasagna noodles with the rest of the cashew “cheese”
  9. Cover and bake for 15 minutes then turn the heat to 350 and continue baking for 45 minutes
  10. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes or put under the broiler for 3 minutes to brown

We were very pleased with the result and you will be too!

About Genene Cote

Genene Coté -- Nutrition Advocate, Counselor and Coach who is also a Whole Food Plant Based Eater (vegetarian/vegan), cook and gardener.
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