Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vegan Vursday Success Story

spinning 013Okay, there is no way to take a picture of lasagna and have it look delectable… at least not with my camera.

There was a round of groaning back on Monday, when everybody saw “lasagna” written in on the food plan for Thursday, aka Vegan Vursday.  “Vegan LASAGNA????” 

They said everything short of yuck, because if they complain about the food, they don’t eat – that’s my rule.  So they HINT and WHINE without exactly complaining, and they have kept it up all #$!% week.

So today I said, “I’ll show them.”

We already had tomato sauce here, but I shlepped (in today’s snow, it wasn’t easy) to the little grocery store and found a really nice-looking jarred marinara sauce.  Bought lasagna noodles and some silken tofu to go with the herbed tofu I’d already bought.  Red, orange, and yellow peppers.

Brought it all home and cooked the lasagna noodles in Elisheva’s Fasta Pasta microwave pasta cooker – no tearing, no stirring; the easiest way to cook lasagna noodles EVER!  Mushed up the two kinds of tofu together.  Fried an onion, added veggie “ground beef” from the freezer, garlic and the marinara sauce, roasted the peppers and added those… and then layered the whole mess together. 

I kind of based mine on this recipe, except I don’t really need a recipe for lasagna.  I baked it at 375 for about half an hour to 45 minutes (I lost track).  Because there was no cheese, there was no way to tell if it was done, but everything was precooked, so I figured it was just personal preference.  (the recipe says to cover it, but I don’t love mushy-all-the-way-through lasagna)

Lasagna definitely looks naked without cheese, but once you bit into it, it was fine… no, not fine – GREAT lasagna.  I was scared that the tofu layer would taste bitter or bland or “off” somehow, but (I did salt it generously when I mixed the two tofus) it filled the ricotta slot perfectly. 

Originally, I wasn’t going to use the veggie ground beef, but as with last week’s chili, I find it gives the food a more defined texture.  You could probably accomplish something similar, along with thickening the sauce, by using lightly mashed kidney beans.

So we won’t be having ONLY vegan lasagnas from now on… but it is definitely a new tool in the arsenal and one I am actually looking forward to eating again.

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