Creamy Mushroom Lasagna from One Part Plant

 Image courtesy of Jessica Murnane.

Image courtesy of Jessica Murnane.

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Do you ever have those days where you just don't know what to make for dinner?  While sometimes I have a complex artistic process of how I create an original recipe, more often my dinner cooking process looks a lot like what I imagine yours does: see what's in the fridge and aimlessly google a bunch of recipes or make something up.

That's why one of my new favorite ways to discover recipes is to go back to getting personal recommendations from friends, like we did in the pre-internet days.  There's something so cool about giving your kitchen a fresh wave of inspiration by dipping into someone else's perspective.

So today I thought I'd share a recipe I'm planning on making this week that's from a talented friend of mine.  Lucky for you, she's a published cookbook author!  Jessica Murnane published her book One Part Plant this year and also has a fabulous website and inspirational podcast.  Jessica adopted a plant-based diet years ago to help with chronic pain and was shocked to discover how much it helped her.  One thing I love about Jessica's approach to cooking is that it's incredibly approachable and not fussy.  The dish I'm sharing today--Creamy Mushroom Lasagna--is usually something laborious but Jessica pares it down to the essentials while also making the recipe dairy- and gluten-free.

You can see my blurb about Jessica's book (and my other favorite cookbooks) on the Resources section of my site.  If you aren't up for making this recipe, I challenge you to ask a friend for their go-to dinner dish or to pass along a favorite one of yours.  Feel free to send me any of your favorite recipes too!  I'd love to see what you guys are cooking!

Creamy Mushroom Lasagna from One Part Plant
serves 8

3 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces mushrooms, chopped (you can use a mix of different mushrooms)
1 tablespoon tamari or coconut aminos
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours (overnight is best), drained
1 cup veggie broth + a little more to sauté garlic and mushrooms
2 big handfuls spinach
10 ounces gluten-free lasagna noodles (I love Tinkyada’s brown rice pasta)
4 cups marinara sauce, store-bought (a 32 oz jar) or homemade
Nutritional yeast (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large skillet, heat a glug of veggie broth over medium. When the pan is hot,
add the garlic and sauté until it becomes fragrant. This will take about a minute.

3. Add the mushrooms, tamari, and thyme. Cook, stirring every minute or so, for 6
to 8 minutes or until the mushrooms release their water and a little broth starts to
form.

4. Combine the cashews and veggie broth in a high-speed blender and blend until
the mixture is completely smooth. This might take up to 5 minutes, depending on
the speed and power of your blender. Pour the cashew sauce into the pan with
the mushrooms. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for a couple
minutes to let the sauce thicken, stirring frequently. Throw in the spinach and stir
for another minute.

5. Prepare the lasagna noodles according to the package instructions. Make sure to
do this after your mushroom sauce is ready to go, so the noodles don’t sit for too
long and start sticking together. Spread a third of the marinara sauce on the
bottom of an 8-by- 11-inch baking dish. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles
with half of the mushroom cream. Add a layer of noodles. Use another third of
the marinara to cover these noodles. Add the remaining mushroom cream. Add
the last layer of noodles and cover it with the remaining marinara sauce. 

6. Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil,
add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast over the top, if you like, and bake for
another 15 minutes. Let the lasagna rest for 5 minutes before serving.