Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Mofo Day 2: Lasagna

One of my all-time favorite books is Little woman and when I was 12 the film version starring Winona Ryder, Christian Bale, Kirsten Dunst etc. came out and I was in love! To this day it is one of my favorite movies. I loved everything about it and I vowed that if I were to ever marry I would have the hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth” sung at my wedding.  

In May of this year my partner of nearly 13 years and I did get married and his Aunt who is an exceptional pianist played while my friend’s oldest daughters sang and it was perfect!  One thing we (I) agonized over was the menu, you see our household is vegetarian/vegan but even the vegetarian is 90% vegan and our church is also predominantly vegan however everyone else, all of our family, most of our friends…. Are a bit scared of that word which amazes me since so many of them actually enjoy a great many vegan dishes simply not thinking of them as such.  One thing I’ve made countless times since 2013 when making this change is lasagna and even the most loud and proud meat eaters request that I make this dish, so we had it at our wedding the other main dish we served was Isa’s : Nirvana Enchilada Casserole . Without further Ado here is my lasagna recipe. I hope you enjoy it!!

We didn't take pictures of the food save for our cake at the wedding so this is an at home picture.

This is hands down our favorite lasagna, that includes the many I made before going vegan. I wasn't sure how to go about this recipe at first no meat?! omitting the pounds of cheese?! It couldn't possibly be good right?? Boy was I wrong!! 

All  ingredients are listed separately per component along with method for step:
~Red Sauce
~White Sauce
~Tofu Ricotta 
~Optional Vegetable
~Link to Almond Parmesan recipe

So PLEASE read the whole recipe thoroughly first! :)

For the Red Sauce:
4 Cloves of garlic
1# mushrooms 6 smaller left whole the res quartered and fine diced
2 large carrots peeled and cut into chunks(depending on blender you may need to dice fine OR cook with the onion and mushroom before blending)
1 large Vidalia, or sweet onion fine diced
splash olive oil ( you could also use water or broth to saute if you wish)
14.5oz Muir glen tomato sauce
28 oz can Muir glen ground peeled tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1-2 pinches crushed red pepper
Any extra kale or spinach from the ricotta
Optional-- 1 cup TVP re-hydrated in veg broth)

Into the blender(use high powered or alter for what you have in your home)
garlic, whole mushrooms, both carrots and the can tomato sauce blend till smooth(there should be NO chunks.

In a heavy bottomed pot sauté your onion and mushroom in oil( or alternative) until browning and gets a rich full smell. Add garlic and sauté another minute. I remove 1/2-3/4 of the cooked onion mix and add to the blender and blended till smooth this isn't necessary but my kids have issues with chunky pasta sauce and honestly it's still fairly chunky when done. 

Use a spatula and scrap out into onion/mushroom mix add the spices and can of ground tomatoes, tvp and kale. Mix well and reduce heat, cover and simmer 30-40 min stirring every so often, taste and adjust spice.

While the red sauce is cooking make your white sauce and tofu ricotta. Preheat oven to 400F When you are ready to assemble or a few min before.

Noodles: Use any type you want and follow package instructions.
For the white sauce :( From Isa does it but also in this video)
1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons organic cornstarch(or other starch)
1/2 teaspoon salt( you can omit if you wish, I do.)
Drain soaking cashews if you have a less powerful blender soak overnight for best results you want a
nice thick heavy cream not chunky nut sadness. put into a small zip lock back in the fridge till you're
about to assemble

Tofu Ricotta :

1 lb. extra firm or firm tofu (not silken)
2 Tbsp good extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp mellow miso paste
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped 2 heaping spoonful’s of nutritional yeast(normal cereal spoon)
Spinach or Kale (as much as you like we use 6 uncooked cups finely sliced)
Crumble the tofu into a blender. Add in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic, nutritional
yeast and miso. Process it all up until it's pretty smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Now add in the rosemary and pulse a few more times until it's all integrated. Scrape
out into a bowl and set aside. 

Boil a small pot of water drop the ribboned kale or spinach in and cook 2-5 min
if using kale make sure to remove the larger stem. Strain and fold into the ricotta mix.

I like to steam some carrot slices, smaller broccoli broccoli pieces and diced zucchini to add to my portion(I add it into the sauce layers I will be adding zucchini to all in the future but the broccoli and carrot was a bit intense for the more picky eaters. Feel free to add any vegetables you like here!

This makes a "half hotel pan" and a bead pan( for my dad) 1. Add a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of your dish.
2. Single layer of lasagna noodles.
3. Take out 1/3ish of the tofu ricotta and crumble/spread it all over the noodles.
4. Layer of noodles
5 Layer of sauce and optional veggies
Continue until you layer the last of the noodles, top with red sauce and get your cashew cream, cut a small corner of the bag and pipe the cashew cream all over.  

Sprinkle the top with Vegan Parmesan Cheeze IF you wish. We make this recipe.

Now, you are almost there! Pop your lasagna into the oven for  30  minutes  covered with foil. Remove foil and bake another 15-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit about ten minutes, slice and enjoy. 

1 comment:

  1. The lasagna looks incredible, but I think I'm even more impressed by your love of Little Women! I was probably a similar age when I saw that film, and I still love watching it every Christmas. I haven't reread the book since I was a teen though, I should probably get on that.