Collard Green Lasagna





I'm getting excited for fall. So excited, that I've already started building my Fall Recipe Arsenal even though it's not even September yet. Fall foods are my most favourite. Squashes and casseroles and pumpkin pie spice all over everything.



While it's still way too early (and too hot) for butternut squash soup, I figured there was no harm in sampling a little of the upcoming plethora of comfort food awaiting my stomach over the next couple months. So to start, I picked a cooler, rainier afternoon and made a lasagna!



Lasagnas always seem to be way more work than they actually are. They are pretty much the perfect meal, though, because they can be made in advance and warmed up for dinner. Or they can be made by the truckload and frozen individually for the quick mid-week microwave/toaster-oven dinners that we all succumb to, at least once in awhile.



They also provide the perfect opportunity to up the nutrient value of your dinner. And not only up it, but hide it from particularly picky palates. While I love seeing bright colours on my plate, it's just as easy to puree the greens, beans and tofu and hide them in the tomato sauce for the Picky Mickey in your life.







I used collard greens in this lasagna. I like using them in lieu of other greens from time to time. They end up overshadowed by kale, cabbage and spinach so often that I don't feel they get the proper superfood credit that they deserve. Rich in antioxidants, collard greens are known to help lower cholesterol/provide cardiovascular support and studies have also shown that, by virtue of their antioxidants, they play a role in cancer prevention too. Right off the bat we are looking at two of the major killers connected to the Standard American Diet. Not to mention that collards are a substantial source of calcium, Vitamins A, C & K, folate and dietary fiber. You can learn more about them here.



I'd love for you to try this recipe with the collard greens, but I'm sure spinach or kale would provide delicious subtitutes too.







The lasagna's "heartiness" comes from this - mashed white kidney beans and crumbled firm tofu.








If you're feeling especially ambitious you can go right ahead and make your own tomato sauce. Or you can just use your favourite - this one is mine!







Put it all together and you've got yourself quite the lasagna filling.







And the layering game begins.




The recipe comes from CalciYum, an old plant-based cookbook that no one seems to blog about. I don't think I've ever been able to find a digital copy of any of the recipes and I've tried lots of them (check out the CalciYum tag). I really like this book and its focus on working out nutritionally-balanced meals while providing tons of information on which ingredients provide you with the most bang for your buck calcium. I think it would be a great edition to your cookbook shelf.



That being said, I hope the authors don't mind me sharing this particular recipe. You know me, I never, ever post that which is not mine - but I do think CalciYum needs a spot in the vegan blogosphere and I hope the authors don't mind. They haven't sued me yet so I hope we can keep this trend going!



Lazy Day Lasagna (slightly modified from the original that is found in CalciYum)



10 whole wheat lasagna noodles

1 can white kidney beans, drained

1/2 block tofu, crumbled

1 bunch collard greens, lightly steamed

2 jars tomato sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 1/2 cups mozzarella Daiya (or vegan cheese of your choice)



1) In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook lasagna noodles for 8-10 minutes until tender but firm. Rinse under cold water and set aside.



2) In a large bowl, mash the beans. Add the tofu. Mix well. Stir in collard greens, pasta sauce and garlic.



3) Pour tomato mixture to coat bottom of baking dish. Layer with noodles, then sauce, then Daiya. Repeat layering until ingredients are used up. The top layer should be Daiya.



4) Bake uncovered at 350F for 45 minutes.




And that's it! Pretty simple, and it leaves enough room for you to play with it. Freshly chopped tomatoes, onions, zucchini, grilled eggplant, even broccoli - all of these would be great editions to this already great lasagna.

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