Vegan Lasagna Recipe

Help yourself to this delicious dish from Help Yourself Café in Key West, Fla.

by John D. Ivanko


photo by John Ivanko

The lasagna at Help Yourself Café is healthy and tasty.

John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist, Urban Farm contributors and co-authors of Farmstead Chef (New Society Publishers, 2011), feature Help Yourself Café in the July/August 2013 issue of Urban Farm. This Key West, Fla., establishment is headed up by Chef Charlotte (“Charlie”) Wilson, who is transforming this tropical location into a culinary paradise. Her version of lasagna is raw and vegan and tastes wonderful!

Vegan Lasagna

Servings: 2 to 4


  • 4 medium white mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons nama shoyu (an unpasteurized Japanese soy sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup brazil nuts
  • 4 sundried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped up
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced into 3-inch lengths
  • 1 tomato, sliced

Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 cup parsley
  • 3 cups basil
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • a little water, if needed, to blend

Pesto Preparation

Place everything into a food processor or blender and mix.

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Lasagna Preparation

In a bowl, mix mushrooms with nama shoyu and balsamic vinegar. Let marinate while you prepare the rest of the meal. 

In a food processor, process the pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, sundried tomatoes and garlic until everything is ground up. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the mushrooms to the ground nuts, and mix really well so that everything is incorporated. Add salt and pepper, if desired. 

Lay 2 to 3 pieces of zucchini on a plate, overlapping slightly. Next, spread with pesto, and lay a couple of slices of tomato on top. Take a small scoop of the nut meat, and flatten out to a thin patty the size of your lasagna; lay this on top of the tomatoes. Lay another 2 to 3 slices of zucchini on top of the nut meat, and repeat the process, finishing with a top layer of zucchini. Garnish with a tomato slice and basil leaf.

Join John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist as they share recipes and tips for using your garden abundance to eat seasonally in their Farmstead Chef blog for our sister publication, Hobby Farms. From creative ways to cook up zucchini to making homemade pantry staples, John and Lisa make it fun and easy to create a more self-sufficient, sustainable farmstead kitchen and save money in the process. Plus, this husband-and-wife duo share inspiring “kitchen-table talks” with farmstead chefs across the country, complete with recipes.

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