Sunday, December 26, 2010

Recipe: Christmas 2010 Vegan Lasagna, With Vegan Green Beans and “Pesto”

Greetings all you beautiful beings,

(the picture isn't the best because the light isn't good in my parents' kitchen)

My family gets together for Christmas at my parents’ house, and every year we have lasagna for Christmas dinner. The lasagna is made by all of the younger members of the family, while my parents and Nana relax by the Christmas tree. When I became allergic to dairy I started experimenting with ways of making vegan veggie lasagna.

Here is the recipe for this year’s vegan lasagna

 Uncooked lasagna noodles (I used about six but how many you need will depend on the pan you use)
1 jar pasta sauce (or a bag of frozen if you make your own and freeze instead of can)
1 pound firm tofu
1 package rice “cheese” (or your favorite dairy alternative)
1 summer squash slice thinly
1 clove peeled and crushed garlic
3 TB ground or dried basil
1 medium onion
2 teas salt
1 TB olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To make the tofu filling chop the onion into thin slices and sauté in a large pan with the olive oil. While the onions are cooking drain and pulse chop the tofu in a food processor until crumbly. Add the tofu to the onions and stir the two together. Then add the crushed garlic and basil*. Add salt and the sliced summer squash (I had them pre-sliced and frozen in the freezer from the summer), turn down the heat. Let simmer for about three to five minutes then take off the heat.

Grease a medium size casserole dish (I used  a 5 inch by 10 inch pan which I wouldn’t recommend) pour pasta sauce into the dish until the bottom is covered, then place two uncooked lasagna noodles on top of the sauce or as many as you need to cover the bottom. Put a couple good large spoonfuls of tofu filling on the noodles until they are covered in a thick layer of filling, then sprinkle rice cheese on top. Place more noodles on top of the rice cheese and ladle on more pasta sauce. Repeat until the dish is full. Ladle on the remaining sauce. This kind of lasagna cooks the noodles as it bakes so it needs a lot of sauce. Sprinkle the top with rice cheese and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 min. to an hour. You can test the lasagna to see if it is done by sticking a fork or knife into the center. When the noodles are tender the lasagna is done.

Traditionally we eat this with a crusty Italian bread and sparkling apple cider.  This year we had green beans in the freezer from the summer. So I made these green beans with pesto.


2 cups green beans frozen or if fresh washed and cut in half
1/2 of a good-sized leek
1 clove of garlic
3 TB ground basil 
2 TB olive oil
1/2 tea sail

Chop the leek finely. Pour the olive oil into a medium pan add the leek. Mince garlic finely. When the leek is lightly brown and soft add green beans, garlic, and basil*. Cook until the green beans are tender but not mushy, add the salt and serve.

* I make pesto cubes during the summer months and put them in the freezer for winter meals that need that pesto taste. The cubes are made of basil that’s been ground with olive oil and garlic in a food processor and put into ice-cube trays that have been lined with greased plastic wrap. Once frozen the cubes come right out of the ice-cube tray. I put them in zip-lock bags and stored in the freezer and then use them all year round. So if you do that just add a pesto cube instead of the garlic and basil in either recipe and let it thaw in the pan. You may need to add extra garlic to taste though.

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