Okay, what’s the absolute polar opposite of RAW cuisine? I’d say it’s the equally enticing, ever comforting, ooey-gooey goodness of a steaming hot lasagna!
I mentioned this creation over on one of my favorite food blogs, and an interested reader dropped by to ask if I wouldn’t mind posting the recipe. Well of course not! I love this supper when I’m needing an über hearty, home-cookin’ kind of meal. The polenta just compliments the hot messy magnificence of a proper lasagna, while also making this a gluten-free dish. Bonus!
1 25 oz. jar of vegan marinara
1 18 oz. tube of polenta or 1 1/2 cups of dry polenta
1/2 cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups spinach
1 cup vegan cream cheese
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
small handful fresh basil, roughly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoons marjoram
salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 tsp each)
handful (about 4 oz) vegan shredded cheese
handful black olives, sliced
medium tomato, sliced
Preheat oven to 400º.
In an oiled skillet, sauté the onion over medium low-heat, until translucent. Add the spinach and garlic, continuing to sauté until flavors come out. Remove from heat.
In a mixing bowl bowl, combine the cream cheese, spinach-onion mixture, nutritional yeast, basil, and spices.
If using a tube of polenta (like I did here), slice it into thin discs – you will need 27 slices. If using dry polenta (which is much better), prepare it as instructed on package, making vegan substitutions as needed. When it has cooked and cooled, slice it into 25 flat squares, or perhaps 9 strips.
Spread half of the marinara sauce in the bottom of an 8×8-inch pan. Place a layer of polenta over the sauce, followed by half of the spinach filling.
Cover with another layer of polenta discs and then spread the remaining spinach-cheese mixture over them. Top with a final layer of polenta, and pour on the remaining sauce. Sprinkle a thin layer of extra nutritional yeast, and then add the shredded vegan cheese.
Cover the dish tightly with foil, and bake for 30-45 minutes at 400º. Then remove the foil and spread sliced tomatoes and olives across the top, baking uncovered for another 10-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh basil.
Enjoy it piping hot, paired with a nice organic Chianti!