Life, style & food in the District
Lately, I’ve been really interested in trying a traditional comfort food dish (especially one that is known for being super cheesy and creamy and, thus, comforting) and recreating it without cheese. To my cheese-loving husband, this idea sounds more like a recipe for disaster than a recipe worth eating – After all, what’s macaroni and cheese without the cheese?
After doing some reading and research, I found that most dairy-free cheesey recipes use some type of cashew puree to replace the creaminess. Excuse the pun, but I am less than nuts for nuts. Also, the idea of making an extra trip to the store and then paying $10 for a bag of cashews is less than appealing. I was flipping through some cookbooks the other night and came across a favorite recipe for a white bean hummus – And then it hit me! A variation on pureed white beans could be my creamy factor!
Obviously, pouring hummus over a plate of pasta and calling it “mac & cheese” doesn’t exactly work in this situation…. But with a few additional tweaks and additions, it most definitely works as a creamy layer in a vegetable lasagna.
This lasagna is pretty quick and easy to make and is filled with yummy flavors. Eggplant, fresh spinach (just layered in uncooked!) and the white bean puree give the dish an incredibly fresh-tasting and healthy punch – And the panko breadcrumbs deliver a surprising crunch on top! You will never even notice the absence of bubbling, gooey cheese….
The recipe also calls for marinara sauce. Feel free to make your own or pull-out a jar of your favorite store brand (I promise I won’t tell). I always have sandwich-size bags of sauce in the freezer, so I was just able to defrost one and use it right away – No extra pots and pans!
Let me know if you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
1 box of lasagna noodles
1 bag of fresh spinach, washed
1 can of white beans, rinsed and drained
3 cloves of garlic
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups of panko breadcrumbs
Your favorite marinara sauce
Seasonings: salt, pepper, Italian seasonings (dried basil, oregano, etc.)