Monday, March 25, 2013

On My Hearth: Quick Lasagna Rolls

Good morning, and Happy Monday! What a beautiful Spring day it is here in Florida; after the rainy weekend the day donned clear and bright with just a touch of chill in the air. Perfect!

As I mentioned, Chip and I are packing up the RV and headed north to St Augustine. He has a job project up there which should take most of the month to complete, so we'll be spending some time in a lovely campground. I'm looking forward to the peace & quiet as well as the cooking & dining opportunities of motorhome life!

Last night I two of my favorite Jazzy Vegetarian recipes, Quick Lasagna Rolls and Grandma's Garlic Bread. I've already shared the bread with you here, so I'll stick to the lasagna today.

 Quick Lasagna Rolls

Makes 4 to 6 servings

If you’re in the mood for lasagna but not in the mood to spend over an hour putting it together, try this simplified version. Because no saut√©ing is required, these fancy rolls are ready for the oven in less than thirty minutes.

8 whole-grain lasagna noodles
41⁄2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 jar (about 25 ounces) marinara sauce
14 to 16 ounces firm regular tofu, drained
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1⁄2 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari
5 to 6 large green olives, preferably queen or sevillano, pitted and chopped (optional)
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
2 cups shredded vegan cheese (optional, see note)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the noodles. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are almost tender. Drain and rinse under cool water, then drain well. Transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the oil and gently toss to coat. Allow the noodles to cool.

Meanwhile, stir 3 teaspoons of the oil into 1 cup of the marinara sauce. Spread the mixture in the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking pan. Put the tofu, 1⁄2 cup of the basil, and the parsley, tamari, and remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon of oil in a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher until the mixture has the consistency of ricotta cheese. Add the optional olives and the garlic and stir until thoroughly combined.
Lay a noodle on a large cutting board. Spoon about 1⁄4 cup of the tofu mixture along the length of the noodle, spreading it evenly with the back of the spoon. Gently roll into a spiral shape. Set the roll in the baking pan seam-side down. Continue with the remaining noodles and filling, arranging them snugly in the pan.

Set aside 3⁄4 cup of the remaining marinara sauce. Spoon the remainder over the rolls, distributing it evenly. Sprinkle 1⁄4 cup of the basil over the top.

Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven but do not turn the oven off. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the rolls, then sprinkle with the wheat germ, vegan cheese (if using), and remaining 1⁄4 cup of basil. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the top is slightly browned.
Put the pan on a wire rack. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve 1 to 2 rolls per person, spooning the sauce from the bottom of the pan over top of the rolls.

NOTE: If you do not want to use the vegan cheese, just add a bit more wheat germ to the top of the casserole.

The Verdict: This is the second time I've made these rolls and I adore them! However, I've tried two different types of vegan Mozzarella and don't care for the consistency of either. Next time I will leave it off and use the wheat germ as she suggests.  Otherwise, delicious!!

Better get packing, will check in later from lovely St Augustine, Florida!


  1. Just made these last night. One thing I like to do is use slices of eggplant in place of the noodles. Slice the eggplant thinly, bake for about 10-20 min to soften. I don't use the cheeze either - just wheat germ or nutritional yeast.

  2. Ilene, that's an awesome idea, thank you for sharing!

  3. Yum, ! Can't wait to make these! I don't like any of the vegan mozzarella either, so I'll probably use nutritional yeast in place of both the cheese and wheat germ. And maybe I'll do half with eggplant- that sounds great too! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Laura, I found one mozzarella I like. It's almond-based: