10/11/11

Vegan Mofo: Skills III: Vegan Lasagna

S-Y, enjoying the latest Vegan Mofo skill
Hey guys, isn't Vegan Mofo great? I'm loving the chance to find so many cool blogs I never heard of before, all cooking up gorgeous treats on the reg. My blogroll is going to be out of control by the time this month is over.

Any old ways, today I return to my mini-theme, Vegan Skillz. (With a "z", to appeal to the kidz.) That is, the stuff that all old-school vegans know how to do, and everybody else should learn. Today's skill is: Make a kick-ass lasagna.

Vegan Skill 3: Make a Kick-Ass Lasagna!
When asked, 99% of people would agree with the following statement: "Lasagna is my favorite food. It is the thing I like to eat on my birthday." Why? The answer is simple: layers of carbs draped in toothy tomato sauce with your choice of fillings in between. Its like eating several pizzas in every bite. (And who doesn't like that?)

However, when you go vegan you quickly realize that your favorite food is kinda gross. All that ricotta (with eggs in it? Why?) and greasy meat juice soaking it, and not enough sauce and too much mozzerella... it can go very wrong. That is why it is incumbent on you, my little friend, to create your own no-fail lasagna. It should be the ideal thing to bring to potlucks, to pull out of the oven on a rainy day,  to serve to your in-laws when your girlfriend comes out of the closet. (Happy National Coming Out Day, btw!)

So here's my favorite recipe, layers of crunchy baked eggplant with a fruity sauce, but look around the blogosphere for you favorite ideas- some have pinenut-cream stuffed inside, others are layered with spinach or artichoke, still others have faux sausage crumbles inside. Just make sure you have one recipe down, so you can always be sure to have in your repertoire something that pleases all of the people all of the time.
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T's Famous Eggplant-Parma-sagna!

Sauce
-Glug of olive oil
-1 large white onion, diced
-4 cloves garlic, diced
-T. balsamic vinegar
-2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
-2 tsp. brown sugar
-1/2 tsp each marjoram and oregano
-crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

The Rest
-2 large eggplants, cut into 1/2" round slices
-1 cup bread crumbs
-olive oil or other oil
-1 package no-bake (eggless) lasagna noodles
-Nutritional Yeast or shredded vegan cheese

1.) First, get your eggplant station set up. Take your eggplant rounds and layer them, sprinkled with salt, in a large colander. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (200 C) and layer two cookie sheets with baking paper. Beside them on work-space, place a bowl or dish filled with bread crumbs, and a small glass with olive oil  and a basting brush.

2.) Next make the sauce. In a pot on the stove, heat some olive oil over medium low. When oil is hot add in onions and a pinch of salt. After 2-3 minutes, add in garlic and cook together until soft and starting to brown. The add in balsamic vinegar to de-glaze. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, then add in rest of ingredients and raise heat to a boil. Cover, and lower to a simmer and let cook while you prepare the eggplants.

3.) Rinse the salt off eggplants and take them over to the bread crumbs. For each slice, pat dry with a kitchen towel, brush with oil, and dip both sides in bread crumbs.  Layer on cookie sheet and when they are all dipped, place both in oven and cook until golden brown and crispy.  While they cook (about 15-20 minutes), turn off heat under sauce, and if desired, blend with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust spices, then set aside for later use.

4.) Now we put it all together! In an oiled casserole dish, layer lasagna noodles, sauce, and baked eggplant rounds. When you get to the last of your eggplant rounds, put a layer of noodles and the rest of the sauce. On top of that, put a sprinkling of nutritional yeast and dried herbs, if desired, OR a layer of shredded vegan cheese. Cover with a tented piece of aluminum foil and cook 45 minutes at 400 degrees, then an additional 10 minutes with the tent off (you can even broil the top if desired.)

Serves 3-4
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Serve with a side salad w/ creamy faux-caesar dressing and a glass of strong red wine. I really just ate this and I'm dying its so good, seriously.  I have got this skill down.

Song of the Day: Bright Eyes- Four Winds

8 comments:

Brittany Boersma said...

It looks wonderful. Lasagna is my favourite food:)

B.A.D. said...

This looks great! I am another lasagna fan

vegan.in.brighton said...

That looks great, I love lasagne.

Mandee said...

I am still yet to make a vegan lasagne, I think all the effort puts me off but I love the look of this one, so I'll bookmark it and hope I get around to it one day!

veganefreude said...

Haven't made lasagna in a while. Yum eggplant! I'm hungry.

Thought that run through my mind while reading this post.

Also we should meet up in Berlin when I'm there for the next time. I loooove meeting new people!

michelle (meiji) said...

So in the mood for lasagna - and me love me some eggplant so hardcore. Thanks for this post & recipe.

The Rockin' Vegan said...

Fabulous idea, and love your photos. Gotta give this one a whirl sometime soon. Cheers!

celyn said...

Yow! That looks really really good!