Recipe: Veggie Crockpot Lasagna

I've been meaning to share this recipe for a while now... It's fairly quick, decently healthy, and incredibly delicious. Usually, Donnie and I make it together -- one of us makes the sauce and cooks the veggies (Donnie), and one of use throws together the "ricotta" mixture and layers the lasagna. We usually refrigerate it over night, plug it in in the morning/early afternoon, and then by dinnertime, we have a hearty lasagna. The recipe is from (possibly our most-used) cookbook Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson (ooh, it's on sale right now! buy it!). We've made a few modifications (really, there's no recipe that we don't modify), and I've listed them here... I make it in our oval shaped 6 quart slow cooker, but I expect it would be just fine in a 4 quart crock pot too.

2 tbsp olive oil 1 small yellow onion, minced (we tend to use a giant onion, and we'll shred it in the food processor) 1large zucchini, shredded 8 oz white mushrooms, sliced 2 garlic cloves (ha, we usually use at least ... 8?) 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano (we usually use fresh herbs -- and we mix it in fresh with the ricotta mixture instead of cooking it with the vegetables) 1 roasted red bell pepper (we don't always have this, so sometimes we omit) 1 pound firm tofu, drained 1 pound soft tofu, drained 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley 3 cups tomato sauce (Donnie makes this from canned tomatoes, and cooks it with wine. It might be perfect.) 8 ounces no-boil lasagna noodles 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (we also add about half a brick of cream cheese in with the ricotta mixture... making it way less healthy, but about 20 times more tasty)

1. Heat oil and cook onion until softened; then add zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, dried herbs if you're using them, and cook until the vegetables are softened. Stir in the roasted bell pepper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mash together both tofus with the Parmesan, parsley, and cream cheese if you're using it. Add sautéed vegetables, and stir to combine well. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Then, build your lasagna in the crock pot. Start with a thin layer of sauce. Then add a layer of noodes. You may have to break the noodles and put them together like a puzzle to create an even layer. Then, add: layer of tofu/veggie mixture, cheese, noodles, sauce, tofu/veggies, cheese, noodles, sauce, and a final layer of cheese on top. I'm including a picture of the visual representation I made of this in our cookbook, because I always get stressed out with the order of things!

Vegetarian crock pot lasagna

4. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Remove lid and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Let me know if you try it! It's so good, and fairly easy to throw together. And it makes lunches so easy for the whole week. :) Oh, and I meant to have a photo of the lasagna from the last time we made it a week or two ago, but... we ate it too fast. Alas... you'll just have to make it yourself to see how it looks!