Kim’s Lasagna, Lactose-Free but still cheesy and flavourful!

I’ve been avoiding making lasagna for years because I can’t eat cheese, and a non-cheesy lasagna just doesn’t seem right – but now there are all these great lactose-free cheeses out there, and my whole lactose-intolerant world is changing! I’m not talking about those horrible soy cheeses – I’m talking about real cheese that happens to have no lactose.  It tastes like cheese and melts like cheese – because it IS cheese.  I also added some of my tofu ricotta, which is as creamy as the real thing… try it and see.

Yes, this recipe is a bit of work, or a lot of work.  But it’s soooo good!  There’s the tomato sauce, a ricotta layer, mushrooms, pesto, and a white sauce.  Lots of flavour!

What you need:

1 & 1/2 to 2 recipes of tomato sauce (recipe here!)

tofu spinach ricotta (recipe here!)

1 lb mushrooms, fried

pesto (recipe here!)

9-12 lasagna noodles (I used the no-boil ones for this)

1 cup lactose-free mozzarella, grated

white sauce: -2 tablespoons butter/soy butter

-2 tablespoons flour

-3/4 – 1 cup soy milk (regular if you’re not concerned about lactose)

-1/2 of a  227 gram tub  of soy cream cheese

-salt and pepper

What you do:

1.  To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a small pot. then whisk in the flour.  Cook for about a minute, stirring constantly.  Don’t let it brown!  Very gradually add the soy milk, a little at a time so it boils.  Mix it in so it has no lumps, then add a bit more until it has a runny-pudding consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

2.  You have all the parts ready to assemble the lasagna, so now you just have to build it.  This is the layering I did – of course you can experiment with this to make it your own.  If you are using no-boil noodles you just have to make sure you have enough moisture to cook them, or they will be a little crunchy around the edges. Use a 9×12 pan for this amount of lasagna.

– spread about 1/3 of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan, then lay down some noodles

– sprinkle the tofu ricotta. then the mushrooms, then another layer of noodles

– spread on another 1/3 of the tomato sauce, then the pesto, then another layer of noodles

– the final layer consists of the remaining tomato sauce, the white sauce, and the mozzarella cheese

3.  Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for about 15 more minutes.  For the last minute I switched to broil so it would brown on top – since real cheese actually browns, I like to take advantage of this feature!

4.  Allow the lasagna to rest for 15 minutes before cutting it.  This will increase the chances that the pieces can be cut and stay together as you serve them.  And it won’t be too hot to eat.

Enjoy!

Note: if you’re one of the many people who can’t eat wheat, try out the brown rice, kamut or quinoa noodles – they’re great!  So great that they are all I usually eat.

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