Its cold and snowy here in northern Michigan and I’m craving comfort food!  In fact, our oldest son turned 8 on Sunday and he requested that I make his favorite meal- Dairy Free Lasagna Florentine of course.  Many of my friends and followers have been asking me lately for my recipe which I have tweaked many times over the last 7 years.  I would like to say it’s near perfection as everyone in my family loves it!  You will have to try it for yourself.

I think you’ll find this dish to not only be delicious but healthy as well!

Enjoy!

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Erika’s Dairy Free Lasagna Florentine

Please note you can use whatever kind of protein you prefer or even leave it out completely.  I prefer to use either organic ground turkey or ground venison, of which I have an entire freezer full of, from the doe I harvested during our recent whitetail deer hunting season.

Also, you can certainly make homemade sauce from scratch.  I do sometimes.  However, I’m usually in a crunch for time and I have found several brands of dairy free good-quality store bought tomato sauce.

Tomato Sauce:

If using store bought tomato sauce I doctor it up with the following:

2-3 large jars of marinara sauce or 8 cups homemade sauce

1 tsp good quality extra virgin olive oil

2 lbs ground meat of your choice (I made venison lasagna yesterday)

1 tsp dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh

1 tsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

4 cloves of fresh garlic

2 cups fresh organic spinach- you can either add it directly into the pasta sauce or add as another layer on top of the ricotta mixture when building your lasagna.

Salt & Pepper to taste

Dairy Free Ricotta Layer:

2 packages Organic Firm Tofu, drained well and dried with paper towel

2 Tbsp dried or fresh parsley

1 tsp garlic powder

Salt & pepper to taste

For Lasagna Assembling/Layering:

2 packages Daiya Mozzarella Shreds – 1 pkg for ricotta, 1 for top layer

1/2 pkg lasagna noodles (Spartan brand & Hodgson Mill Organic are egg free)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray the bottom and edges of and 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish with “safe” cooking spray. I use Pam.

Fill a large stock pot with water, add a fair amount of salt  (your pasta water should taste like the “sea”) and place on range under high heat.  Once water is boiling, add lasagna noodles and cook for about 8 minutes until al dente.  Do not over cook! 

Drain, add a little olive oil to noodles to prevent sticking and set aside.

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Tomato Sauce Method:

To make sauce, heat large skillet on medium high and add 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Add a pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper plus 2 cloves garlic

When hot, add ground protein of your choice (venison for me) and continually chop up using the back of a wooden spoon.  Once meat is cooked through and browned then add your tomato sauce of choice.  Next add additional 2 cloves of garlic and all remaining ingredients from “tomato sauce” above.  Simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Dairy Free Ricotta Method:

Mix all ricotta ingredients including 1 package of Daiya shreds in a medium bowl.  It’s important you crumble up the tofu by hand and do not use a mixer.  This will ensure for the best consistency to maintain the layers in your final product.  Set aside for now.

Layering Method:

Ladle 1/3 cup tomato sauce onto bottom of lasagna pan.  Add cooked lasagna noodles.  Layer Dairy Free Ricotta Mixture on top of sheets.  Then a layer of fresh spinach and top with tomato sauce/meat mixture.  Repeat this step again ending with a top layer of tomato sauce.

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Cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Place lasagna pan on top of a cookie sheet to prevent any overspill/mess in the oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes of baking and lasagna is bubbling, remove from oven.  Remove foil and sprinkle 1/2 cup Daiya shreds on top.  Switch oven to “Broil” and broil for 2 minutes to melt Daiya shreds.  Daiya should be bubbling as well when done.

Remove lasagna from oven, let dish settle for 10-15 minutes and serve hot.

Leftovers of this lasagna freeze extremely well.  This dish can also be made up to 2 days in advance if kept in the refrigerator and then baked.

My 2 boys and husband absolutely love my Dairy Free Lasagna Florentine and I hope you will too!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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