Since The Kid has a dairy allergy, we often need to get creative with our meals that traditionally would have cheese in a “normal” house. Thankfully there are plenty of options that we can use and most things have quick substitutes. Even ones that pass the test of a dairy eater like me.
The other night The Kid asked for lasagna so I played around a bit with a recipe that I had that was originally a tomato-based lasagna. I wanted to try lasgana with a white sauce just for a change of pace. Typically I don’t have a lot of soy in my diet because I try to avoid it for the most part, but this recipe does have a couple forms of soy.
In my experience, tofu is one of the few things that can substitute for ricotta cheese in both texture and flavor. Like anything, having a little bit of soy won’t end the world so I went ahead and used it in this recipe. If you like, you can use 3 oz of part skim ricotta cheese or low fat cream cheese in place of the tofu.
You can also use almond milk in place of the soy milk if you like. I accidentally got the wrong brand of soy milk and The Kid refused to drink it. (Teenagers!) So to use it up, I went with that instead of my usual almond milk. You can also use 2% milk. I wouldn’t use skim milk since that is a bit too watery to thicken the white sauce.
Finally nutritional yeast. I’m sure some of you are scratching your head at that one. This stuff is yellowy beige and subs nicely in place of parmesan cheese. You can get it in health food stores or online. It’s wonderful sprinkled on popcorn, baked potatoes, and anywhere you’d use parmesan cheese. It’s also a great way for vegetarians and vegans to bump up their protein. Feel free to use parmesan to top your lasagna.
Dairy Free White Mushroom Lasagna
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/3 oz (10g) dried mushrooms
- 1 cup (110g) diced onion
- 8 oz (228g) sliced white mushrooms
- 4 oz lean ground beef
- 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon OR 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 oz (85g) firm tofu
- 2 cups unsweetened soy milk, divided
- 1/4 cup (30g) all purpose flour
- 9 oven ready lasagna noodles
- 2 heaping Tbsp (16g) nutritional yeast
Soak the dried mushrooms in the boiling water for about 30 minutes until softened. I used a dried stir fry mix that I got at Walmart. Remove the mushrooms and chop them lightly into pieces. Keep the mushroom water for later. Don’t dump it out!
Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the onions, mushrooms, and ground beef. Saute for about 5 minutes until the beef is cooked thoroughly and the mushrooms and onions are softened. Break the beef up into chunks as you cook it. Add the tarragon, garlic, and wine and bring to a boil.
Cook for a few minutes until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat and stir in the re-hydrated dried mushrooms and tofu. Mash the tofu up as you stir it in until blended. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the all purpose flour and 1/4 cup of the soy milk and whisk to combine.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a pot, combine the mushroom water and remaining 1 3/4 soy milk. Heat over medium heat until it begins to boil. Stir in the flour mixture and whisk constantly for about 1 – 2 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat.
Pour 1/2 cup of the white sauce into an 11×7 baking dish and spread it around. Top with 3 lasagna noodles and spread the noodles with half of the mushroom mixture. Pour on 1/2 cup of the white sauce. Repeat the layers with the remaining noodles, mushroom, mixture and sauce, ending with the remaining sauce on top of the last noodle layer.
Sprinkle the nutritional yeast on top and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it sit covered for about 10 minutes. Slice into 6 servings.
Makes 6 servings at approximately 289 calories each – 16g protein, 45g carbs, and 5g fat.
I loved that this made a bunch of leftovers so we are set for a couple days for lunches with no extra effort. It does take a little bit of time to put the lasagna together and bake, but you can do that on a weekend when you have time and just reheat it during the week.
To make this vegetarian or vegan, leave out the ground beef and use an extra 4 oz of mushrooms. Feel free to mix up the varieties of mushrooms too. You can use a bunch of different types instead of all of one kind. There are tons of options at most grocery stores now.
Enjoy your lasagna with a big side salad. You can beat those calories and macros!