Sometimes I get a little excited when I have an idea that’s just dumb enough to be mine.
Jk. I get really excited.
Cue stop motion video instructions!
A Lasagna Loaf was my initial intention when I dreamed the impossible dream of this glorious thing. But it was soon apparent that my vision was evolving into something much bigger than you or I. Or lasagna. That and its lack of even the vaguest of similarities to actual lasagna. That too.
The only remotely lasagna qualities that survived the Big Vegan Ricotta Veggie Loaf Bang is that it’s layered (so is a Big Mac) and that it utilizes vegan ricotta (cheese-less cheese, classic lasagna move…). Apaaaarently when you replace noodles with sweet potatoes you are no longer in lasagna territory and all future bets are off. So I stuck some kale and mushrooms in there because I am not a gambler and bets were off and I’m not really even sure what that saying means. Basically, this isn’t a lasagna loaf because fuck that bullshit. It’s a Vegan Ricotta Veggie Loaf and it’s no joke. This is the real something-I-made-up-on-the-fly deal so you know it’s legit. Actually maybe just trust me on that. Or make it and sing its praises from your Eco-friendly solar paneled roof top. Because just like this bastardized yet greatly improved lasagna loaf turned vegan ricotta veggie loaf, you too are fatherlessly making the world a better place.
(I fed this to friends and one proposed to me and we’re both heterosexual ladies so now we’re registered at Crate & Barrel and Sur La Table. It tastes sexual-preference-reconsideration good.)
VEGAN RICOTTA VEGGIE LOAF
makes 6 absurdly large never-going-to-finish servings
*for the portion size, this is a very low cal/low net carb meal. It’s a lot of food.
- 1 big or two small sweet potatoes
- 2 tomatoes (the video shows three but I ate one…), sliced thin
- 1 bushel of kale, leaves ripped from the ribs
- 2 large portobello mushroom caps, sliced and then halved
- ½ vidalia onion, sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 ¼ cups pasta sauce (rao’s vegetable sauce is life altering in a pasta sauce way)
- ½ cup vegan shredded mozzarella (just veggie shreds kinda stole my daiya loving heart)
- ½ tablespoon vegan butter, divided into 3 pats
- 1 batch of vegan ricotta
- Ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- 4 oz cashews, soaked overnight in water covering an inch or so above the nuts
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- A few squeezed from half a lemon
- Some onion powder to taste
Make some cheese-less cheese! Fun! Right? Maybe!
Drain and rinse your cashews. Put them in a food processor, add some fresh water (start with a little, add more for texture as you see fit) and the garlic and chop that shit up. When it’s a coarse consistency (one might say that of ricotta), add your remaining ingredients. Adjust to taste until you’re happy. Add more water if you think it needs it. Refrigerate that goodness.
You mean that video wasn’t enough instruction? Didn’t I tell you to chop faster? You pussy?
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Put your sweet potatoes in a roasting pan and roast for about an hour or until they’re soft.
While your potatoes are roasting, toss your sliced onions with one teaspoon of oil and some shakes of salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, and garlic powder. Throw the seasoned onions in another roasting pan (you have multiple roasting pans and I am using a motherfucking pie tin over here) with the cloves of garlic. Add them to your oven with the potatoes at around 30 minutes left of potato time. When the potatoes are done, allow them to cool and then remove the skin. Slice them into thin disks and season with salt and pepper and oregano and paprika and garlic and onion powders. (Every time I mention these seasonings, you only need a few shakes – let’s not get crazy.)
While this is all roasting and whatevers, heat up a skillet or a wok over medium heat and throw a couple tablespoons of water in there. Toss your kale (so much tossing!) with the last teaspoon of oil. As it’s cooking, add salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders to taste. Cook until wilted. Remove from heat.
Get your mushrooms in that pan and let them cook for about 5 or so minutes, until their juices are flowing and absorbing again and the mushrooms are browning and softening. As they cook, add salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders, and oregano to taste. Remove from the heat.
LET’S TOSS MORE THINGS. This time tomatoes. Get those suckers seasoned. You maybe know the drill by now. If not, ughhhhhhh.
In a loaf pan (may I suggest a silicone loaf pan? it’s the greatest invention since sliced straight-from-the-silicone-loaf-pan bread.) start with a layer of sweet potato. Next comes mushrooms. Then ½ cup of the pasta sauce. Top with a layer of half the kale. Spread half the vegan ricotta on top of the kale. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of the shredded not-really-cheese. Add a layer of tomatoes. Then onions. Then another ½ cup of the pasta sauce. Now comes kale flayer #2, using up all the remaining kale. (Can’t you just watch the video? Jesus.) One more layer of sweet potatoes. Then the other half of the ricotta. Tomato layer #2, using up the rest of the tomatoes. Fill in any gaps with whatever remaining veggies you have (I had some leftover mushrooms). Further fill in gaps with the last ¼ cup of pasta sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of the shredded kinda-cheese. Add the pats of butter on top. Bake for 40 or so minutes or until the “cheese” has turned golden and it smells like fucking heaven in there. Sauce splattered all willy nilly along the edge of the pan.
If you’re crazy like me, you will let the veggie loaf cool a bit and then release it from its silicone pan by flipping it upside down against a plate. It will actually hold its shape. It’s hard to cut but shut up. It’s glorious. Like the hanging gardens of babylon if I could remember what the hanging gardens of babylon were. Otherwise, just cut it into slices from it’s pan (especially if you’re using a normal bread pan) and serve massive quantities to your friends and loved ones.
Seriously, this is a shit ton of food. Get excited.