Veggie Lasagna with Tofu Ricotta

Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food! This veggie lasagna is easy and versatile! You can use any veggies for the veggie layer and the tofu ricotta is very simple to make with only a few ingredients. I used steamed kale in this version, but you can use any other pre-cooked veggies like spinach, mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini peppers, onions, etc. If you prefer to make it gluten-free (like myself!), you can use brown rice pasta lasagna noodles and it will turn out just as well!
Note: This recipe makes an 8″x8″ lasagna, but can be easily doubled  for a 9″x13″ pan.

Ingredients:
1 package lasagna noodles, cooked according to directions
3 cups (or 26 oz. jar) tomato or marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
2 cups pre-cooked veggies
1 batch tofu ricotta (see below)
1 Tblsp nutritional yeast (to sprinkle on top)

Tofu ricotta:
1/2 block tofu, firm or extra-firm, drained
1 T lemon juice (approx 1/2 lemon)
1 T plant-based milk/creamer
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp garlic powder

To make tofu ricotta:
– First, press as much moisture out of the tofu as you can. I usually slice the tofu in 1/2″ slices and then press them all together over a bowl or sink, using even pressure to get out as much water.
– Combine tofu and other ingredients in a blender, food processor, or you can mash together with a fork. (I use my magic-bullet-style smoothie blender.)

To make lasagna:
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– Spoon a little sauce in bottom of pan.
– Add 1st layer of noodles.
– Spread 1/3 tofu ricotta over noodles.
– Spread 1/3 cooked veggies over ricotta.
– Spread 1/4 tomato sauce over veggies.

– Repeat steps for 2nd layer (noodles-ricotta-veggies-sauce)
– Repeat steps for 3nd layer (noodles-ricotta-veggies-sauce)
– Add top layer of noodles.
– Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 min. (or until heated through)
– Let sit 5 min. before cutting.

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

Baked Kale Chips

Kale chips are a delicious snack and very easy to make at home! The are a healthy, crunchy and delicious snack and you can add any type of seasoning! I would say that this recipe is for lightly salted and seasoned chips … but you can add as much flavoring as you like! The only problem with these kale chips is that they don’t last very long in our house! 🙂

HCV_BakedKaleChips - 1For this recipe, I used:
1 large bunch kale
2 Tblsp olive oil
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp nutitritional yeast
(you could also use garlic powder, onion powder, hot pepper, or other spices and herbs)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degreesHCV_BakedKaleChips - 1 (1)

Wash kale and trim out all of the ribs (they will be tough and inedible if you leave them in)
Cut kale into bite-size pieces (1-2″ pieces)
Put kale in a salad spinner to remove all excess moisture or dry off with towel (it’s important to start with dry pieces)

 

HCV_BakedKaleChips - 1 (2)– Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or use some cooking spray
– I had enough kale pieces to fill two cookie sheet when spread out in a single layer, so I tossed my kale in two batches.
– For each cookie sheet’s worth of kale, I mixed 1 Tblsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp seasoned salt and 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast, and then added kale and tossed with my hands to coat each piece
– Spread kale evenly on cookie sheet in a single layer
– Repeat with other half of ingredients and spread on cookie sheet

HCV_BakedKaleChips - 1 (3)Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes
Remove from oven and toss kale and spread out again
Bake another 7-8 min until dry and crispy
*Keep a close eye on the kale to make sure it doesn’t start to burn
*I baked mine for a total of 16 min

Enjoy this nutritious snack!

HCV_BakedKaleChips - 1 (4)

Veggie Chili with Lentils and Kale

I’m always looking for new ways to make veggie chili! Veggie chili one of those meals that’s so versatile and it’s really hard to mess it up. This time, I wanted to incorporate greens, so I came up with a version that includes steamed kale. You could also use spinach, collards or chard instead of the kale. Also, red lentils are smaller than other lentils and cook quickly with no soaking required! To me, this is a perfect way to get plenty of protein and vitamins in one pot! It’s also super-yummy! 🙂

HCV_ChiliWithLentilsAndKale - 1 (4)2 cups veggie broth/water
1 small can tomato sauce
1/2 cup red lentils, dry
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can cannellini (or navy) beans, drained
1-2 carrots, diced small
1/2-1 cup steamed/cooked chopped kale (or other leafy greens)
1/2 pack chili seasoning (or your own blend)
Salt, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsleyHCV_ChiliWithLentilsAndKale - 1

 

Bring broth/water and tomato sauce to a boil.
Add chili seasoning and other spices and herbs.
Add lentils and carrots and simmer for about 10 min.

 

HCV_ChiliWithLentilsAndKale - 1 (1)Add both cans of beans and simmer 5 more min.

Add steamed kale (or other cooked greens)
Adjust seasonings and add a little more broth/water if needed!

 

 

HCV_ChiliWithLentilsAndKale - 1 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

Serve over rice or noodles, or just eat by itself!
You can also top with vegan cheese, vegan sour cream or fresh herbs!

HCV_ChiliWithLentilsAndKale - 1 (3)

White Bean, Mushroom & Kale Soup

I was trying to come up with a soup with bold, deep flavors, and this fits the bill! The combination of the white beans, mushrooms and kale lends a rustic earthiness to this soup. Plus this soup is loaded with protein, B vitamins and minerals. I used a wild rice blend in my version, but any grain (like white rice, brown rice or barley) can be substituted. Also, you can add any dried herbs that you like… Italian herbs, parsley, thyme, sage, etc instead. This recipe serves four, but can be easily doubled!

HCV_WhiteBeanAndKaleSoup - 1 (1)2 cups veggie broth + 2 cups water
2 cups cremini (babybella) mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cups kale, tough stems removed, and chopped
1 can navy beans (or cannellini beans)
1/2 cup wild rice blend (or white/brown rice, or barley)
2 Tblsp tamari or soy sauce
Onion powder, garlic powder, powdered ginger
Dried herbs

HCV_WhiteBeanAndKaleSoup - 1 (2)Saute mushrooms in 1 Tblsp olive oil or vegan margarine.
Saute 5 -10 min.

Start cooking rice (or any other grain you like) according to directions.

In soup pot, add broth, water and tamari/soy sauce.
Bring to boil.
Add chopped kale.
Add navy beans.
Add sauteed mushrooms.
Add spices and herbs.
HCV_WhiteBeanAndKaleSoup - 1 (3)Simmer 10-12 min until kale is tender
Add cooked rice and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Simmer a few more min.

 

Enjoy!

This soup is great served with a green salad and some crusty bread!

HCV_WhiteBeanAndKaleSoup - 1 (4)

Sweet Potato, Carrot and Kale Stew with Peanut Sauce

This recipe is so delicious! It has the sweetness of the sweet potato and carrots, offset by the earthiness of the kale, plus the creaminess of the peanut butter. There are only three vegetables and only three main ingredients in the sauce!! This recipe is high in nutrients, such as beta-carotine, Vitamin A, and calcium to name only a few!HCV - 1 (10)

1-2 sweet potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, chopped
1 small bunch of kale, rough cut with tough stems removed
(or you can substitute fresh/frozen spinach)

Sauce:
1 cup vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes (incl juice)
3 Tblsp peanut butter

Optional: Crushed peanuts to sprinkle on topHCV - 1 (11)

Start to cook vegetables. I like to boil sweet potatoes and carrots (until tender, approx. 15 min.) You can add kale to the same pot to make it easy, or I like to saute kale separately in a little olive oil and then steam with a little added water or broth.

To make the sauce: Add veg broth and diced tomatoes to a large skillet. Bring to boil and add peanut butter and spices (I used salt, garlic powder, onion powder and a little curry powder).

When vegetables are cooked, add to skillet and simmer a few more minute (Add more broth if needed). Serve with crushed peanuts sprinkled on top!