Friday, February 24, 2012

Kale Tofu Lasagna Recipe

A gallon bag of fresh, nutritious curly kale came to me from the Coastal Farms online local food cooperative today. Joining has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. I didn't order apples from Saunders Brothers this week, for example, so I tried some that Don had bought at the local supermarket. They were nearly tasteless! They were watery and had a very slight apple flavor. I immediately missed my Saunders Brothers apples.

Studies show that the taste of our produce correlates to nutrition, so I know those supermarket apples aren't as nutritious as the coop apples, either. I told Don we're increasing our weekly order to at least 10 lbs. for as long as we can get them.

Did I mention Don has a voracious appetite for apples? The idea is to try to get through the week without buying from the supermarket.

 Don didn't argue. He can taste the difference, too.

The kale is tasty too, and a great source of Vitamin C. You can use it in lots of recipes where you'd use spinach. Here's my original recipe for a kale-tofu lasagna. It came out tasting as good as the picture looks above. I didn't have quite enough noodles, so I am estimating the number needed. It might be a little high.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


8 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions, drained. I suggest you get the water boiling while you are preparing the other ingredients, and then cook the noodles when the sauce is almost done.

Tofu filling:

  • 14 oz. organic soft tofu, drained and patted dry, then crumbled in a bowl with a fork
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. dried lemon peel
  • leaves from 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed


  • 1/2 large watermelon radish, peeled and diced
  • 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups clean kale leaves, tough stems removed, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced no-salt-added tomatoes
  • 2 8-oz. cans low-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 sprig thyme and 3 small sprigs fresh oregano, tied into a "bouquet garni."
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sunflower or other oil
  • 1/4 cup Chardonnay wine

While the water is heating up for the lasagna noodles, mix all ingredients for the tofu filling. Set aside. While you are making the sauce, cook the lasagna noodles and drain. Allow to cool slightly .

Make the sauce in a separate saucepan. Heat up the sunflower oil over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic, radish, and onion, and saute until the onion begins to soften. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the wine and the kale leaves and cover, stirring occasionally, until the kale leaves turn bright green and begin to turn tender. Add the other ingredients, lower heat back to medium, and heat through, stirring occasionally, until hot and bubbly. Remove from heat. Remove the bouquet garni and discard.

Spoon a little of the tomato sauce  into a 9x9" baking panvand spread it to cover the bottom. Line the bottom of the pan with a layer of lasagna noodles--I used kitchen scissors to cut them down to size. Layer half the tofu mixture, then more noodles, then sauce. Then layer the other half of the tofu mixture, then the noodles, then the remaining sauce. 

Put the casserole in the oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 2-4.

Update: I made a variation of this recipe that used a combination of swiss chard and sliced button mushrooms instead of the kale. It came out pretty good, too. I had some excess moisture from the mushrooms that I was too impatient to cook off, so I strained it into some vegetable broth I am planning to use this week. The juices look flavorful.

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