You know what happens when you run off to Italy RIGHT before you start competition prep? You get home and suddenly become a mad macro scientist in the kitchen, creating slimmer versions of the amazing Italian dishes to fill the void.
I’m working on compiling all the photos from the trip into a dreamy vegan guide to Italy. Once you see the photos you’ll understand why it’s taking me some time to get this up: i.e. I have to mop up drool from my computer every time I sort through the photos of the cuisine.
I’ve had so much fun in the kitchen since I got home. If you followed my Instagram stories while I was abroad, you saw that I attended an Italian vegan immersion cooking school outside of Venice. It was incredible! This course, along with eating my way through the country, I was proven wrong in thinking that true Italian cuisine was far from vegan. Everything was FRESH, HOMEMADE, and contrary to popular belief, NOT doused in 7 different types of cheese.
One of the dishes I was inspired to create was “Lasagne Verdi”. True lasagne verdi is made with spinach noodles, but my version uses a protein-packed green lentil version. Fret not, there is still plenty of spinach in this dish. Keeping with the green theme, I even throw in a savory layer of roasted courgette (zucchini).
This lasagna is SO filling and savory, you won’t feel like you’re eating a healthy spin on a decedent entree. It’s packed full of fiber and plant-based protein. Most importantly, it’s free of processed junk and saturated fats.
I’ve been preparing a few servings of this each week during my meal prep and I’m STILL not tired of it. The best part? It’s super easy to make and keeps well in the refrigerator for the week.
Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself this week and let me know what you think! Tag me in your photos on Instagram (@kileigh_branae) and use the hashtag “#fitwellthy”.
Prep Time: 20 mins | Total Time: 60 mins | Author: Kileigh Branae | Cuisine Type: Vegan, Fitness, Gluten Free | Serves: 2
- 6 sheets (112 g) Explore Cuisine Organic Green Lentil Lasagne
- 10 ounces (250 g) spinach, washed and dried
- 1 medium courgette (zucchini)
- 2 tablespoons vegan parmesan (store bought is fine, but I like to make this one)
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 (28 ounce) can Italian plum or San Marzano tomatoes in sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) red wine vinegar (you can sub apple cider vinegar if needed)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium shallot, diced
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 (12.3 ounce) package firm silken tofu, drained but not pressed
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or basil, chopped
- 2 teaspoons (10 g) light miso (optional)
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Additional sauce, if desired
- Fresh basil
- Vegan parmesan
- Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C and get out a baking sheet and a baking dish suitable to the width of 2 lasagne sheets (I use a 9×9 glass baking dish).
- Cut the zucchini lengthwise into thin (~1/4″) slices. Place on parchment paper onto the baking sheet, salt and pepper to taste, and roast in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, flipping halfway between. If you have an air fryer, simply air-fry the zucchini at 400°F for 10 minutes, flipping halfway between.
- While the zucchini is roasting, begin preparing the sauce by warming the red wine vinegar in a cast iron skillet over medium-low. Once warm, add the parsley, garlic, and shallot, stirring often to avoid overcooking the garlic. Feel free to add more red wine vinegar as needed. Once fragrant, add the can of tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer while preparing the spinach and ricotta.
- If time is limited, you can purchase a frozen, steamer friendly bag of chopped spinach. If using fresh spinach, fill a saucepan with a small amount of water and a steamer basket (water should not be above the steamer basket) and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the spinach, cover with lid, and reduce heat to low. Steam spinach for 2-3 minutes then remove from heat, rinse, and drain (I use a paper towel to help remove water from the leaves). Chop spinach once it is cooled and drained.
- Place all of the ricotta ingredients in a medium bowl and mash together using a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon. You want to reach a fairly smooth, ricotta-like texture.
- Remove the sauce from heat. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of sauce. Next, place two lasagne sheets side by side on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Begin layering the lasagna as follows: noodles, ricotta, roasted zucchini, steamed spinach, sauce, vegan parmesan, and repeat once more. After the third layer of lasagna sheets, cover with a healthy amount of sauce and some more parmesan.
- Loosely cover the baking dish with foil and place in oven. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and reduce the oven temperature to 400°F/200°C, roasting for an additional 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Plate, top with more sauce (if you like it saucy), fresh basil, and more vegan parmesan as desired. Enjoy!!
Per Serving – Calories: 414 | Protein: 32g | Carbohydrates: 60g | Fat: 7.5g