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Vegan Lasagne Bake

What you need: 

1 large eggplant
9 cloves garlic, peeled (1 clove, chopped)
thyme, to taste
rosemary, to taste
basil, to taste
oregano, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 (12 ounce) package lasagne noodles
1 medium onion, chopped
red wine or vegetable broth for sauteing
4 portobello mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces spinach, chopped (thawed)
1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce or homemade sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
vegan mozzarella or parmesan, optional

What you do: 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pierce eggplant with a fork a few times. Spray small baking sheet with nonstick spray and bake for 45 minutes. Turn often to prevent burning. When finished, let cool.
2. At same time, lay out one square of aluminum foil. Place 8 peeled cloves garlic in center of foil, sprinkle with desired amounts of herbs and cover in olive oil. Wrap aluminum packet and place on rack in oven. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes (you can do this along with eggplant).
3. Boil lasagne noodles according to package directions. Drain. Saute onions and chopped garlic clove in vegan wine or broth. When onions are clear, add mushrooms and saute until soft. At last moment, add spinach and 1 tablespoon water if liquid has dried up. Saute for one minute or so and remove from heat.
4. Peel the cool eggplant and dice the pulp. Place pulp in bowl and add mushroom/spinach/onion mixture and garlic packet. Mix Well. Add salt and pepper, if desired. On bottom of 9x12" baking pan, coat with a thin layer of sauce.
5. Layer lasgne noodles, vegetable mixture (and cheese, if desired). Repeat. If no vegan cheese is used, end with vegetables. If cheese is used, end with a layer of noodles and then cheese on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Preparation Time: 
1 1/2 hours
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
6-8

SO HOW'D IT GO?

I had it for a party and it went over quite well! My only concern was that it was VERY liquid-y as I cut into it. I should have done a better job of draining the spinach of excess liquid (I used frozen), or perhaps I should have used dry noodles instead that would have sopped up the liquid as they cooked.

I didn't want to use tofu or vegan cheese so I substituted with a batch of vegan bechamel sauce (smart balance, flour, and unsweetened almond milk).

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good but way, way too much garlic! I should have used my best judgement but nine cloves was sooo overpowering.

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This is a fabulous recipe!  I've been using it for a few years now.  Like some of the others who have reviewed it, I layer everything, including the sauce, just like in a regular lasagne.  The one change I do make is I use *uncooked* rice noodles.  I put the whole thing together, cover with foil, and refrigerate for several hours - or even a whole day.  Cook it per recipe instructions.  Comes out great every time.  I even made it in 'industrial' quantities for a church potluck that fed nearly 400 people.  This was the only vegan offering but even non-vegans took some and kept coming back for more.  There wasn't a crumb left out of the equivalent of 8 batches.  My DH and I barely got any ourselves.  Thanks for a great recipe!

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