Zucchini Lasagna


Zucchini Lasagna

I was inspired to create this recipe because of the abundance of vegetation that spring on Vancouver Island has to offer.  Stinging nettle is everywhere this time of year.  If you lightly cook it, the sting gets taken away and you get to reap all of the health benefits.

Stinging nettle is a health-enhancing food.  It has been known to:

  • aid the liver

  • promote hair growth

  • promote lactation

  • help with seasonal allergies due to its anti-inflammatory/anti-histamine properties

  • stabilize blood sugar levels

  • boost immunity

  • gently cleanse the body of toxins

  • stinging nettle extracts, when applied topically, promote healing, help with acne, and help with wrinkles/age spots

    Other ways to use nettles are by drinking nettle tea, using dehydrated nettle powder in smoothies/salad dressings, and taking nettle supplements.


Ingredients

You will need:

  • a food processor

  • a frying pan

  • a small - medium casserole dish

Dry Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • sea salt/pepper to taste

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchinis, sliced into thin strips using a mandoline

  • 1.5 cups plain tomato sauce

  • 1/2 a brown onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic minced

  • 6 mushrooms, diced

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (stems ok)

  • 1/4 cup cooked nettle leaves, roughly 1.5 - 2 cups fresh nettle leaves, submerged in simmering water for 2 - 3 minutes. Drain the nettles and rinsed in cool water. Drain again and squeeze out any extra water and set aside.

  • 1/4 cup parmeson (if dairy free use 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast instead)

  • 20 grape tomatoes quartered

  • 250 g of extra firm organic tofu

  • 2 lemons

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 1/4 cup olive oil



Directions

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees

For the tomato sauce:

  • Start by making the tomato sauce

  • Add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil to a frying pan on low-medium heat. Add 1 clove of garlic and the diced brown onion, sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent

  • Add the mushroom and diced carrot and cook for a further 2 minutes

  • Add the tomato sauce, 1 tsp oregano, sea salt, and black pepper. Leave the sauce to simmer until both the pesto and tofu ricotta are finished being prepared.

  • While the sauce is simmering, lightly boil your nettles for 2 - 3 minutes, drain, rinse in cool water and set aside

For the pesto:  

  • In a food processor (I used the mini processor attachment from my Braun) lightly pulse your sunflower seeds

  • Add 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 cup parmesan (nutritional yeast if you're dairy free), 1/4 of cooked nettles, 1/4 cup basil (stems are ok)

  • Pulse until combined, add salt and pepper to desired taste

  • Set aside

For the tofu ricotta:

  • Add 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 2 cloves garlic, sea salt/pepper to your food processor and pulse until combines

  • Crumble your tofu pieces into the mixture and pulse, I like to leave a crumbly texture. Taste test, adjust salt and pepper to preferred taste

To build:

  • Place 1 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish

  • Layer the thin strips of zucchini over top

  • Layer the pesto on top of the zucchini with 1/2 of the quartered grape tomatoes (I only used 3/4 of the pesto for this recipe, I got to enjoy the rest with sweet potato toast and with crackers!)

  • Add another layer of zucchini strips

  • Layer the ricotta evenly on top of the zucchini strips, place the other 1/2 of the quartered grape tomatoes on top

  • Add another layer of zucchini

  • Top with the remainder of the sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan

Bake at 350 on the middle rack for 30 minutes



Disclaimer: the information provided in this post is for educational purposes only.   It has not been evaluated by the FDA or CFIA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.