Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Zee's Vegetarian Lasagna

A reader, Zee, has submitted a recipe for what sounds like a great vegetarian lasagna. As some of you know, I myself was a vegetarian for 10 years, until I had a craving for steak 7 years ago to which I just had to give in. I've been happily giving into it ever since. (Though I am very particular about where my meat comes from, what it was fed, and how it was raised.)

But because of my vegetarian roots, I am still a huge fan of faux meat, finding it oddly fascinating and satisfying. And if you read my weekly menu plans, you already know that we eat mostly vegetarian in Casa Dena, simply because it is easier, cheaper, and generally more healthy. That and sometimes I get grossed out when I have to cook meat with my bare hands, so I try to keep it to a minimum. Cooking with meat I can trust does help with the ick factor, though.

So I thank Zee for her submission and hope to get more from readers!

Zee's notes: This recipe isn't quite a veggie lasagna, per se. It's more of a fake meat lasagna. I'm vegetarian, but I missed my mom's lasagna from when I was growing up, so my mom and I came up with this recipe! It's quick and easy and tastes like home.

It's basically your typical lasagna recipe with a few twists. Here are my ingredients:

9 lasagna noodles
Mozzarella (grated) - be sure to save a few thin slices for the top! (something I always forget)
Ricotta
Parmesan
Egg
A jar of your favorite red sauce (I tend to use one with chunks of tomatoes in it to add more texture)
A tube of Gimme Lean(tm) fake sausage (it comes just like tubed sausage - you have to brown it and everything! - can be found where you'd find tofu and other Veggie friendly options)
Parsley
Maple syrup

Cook noodles according to package directions. Brown "sausage" then add red sauce and a little maple syrup (sounds weird, but the syrup gives it a little sweet tang that I love).

Mix grated mozzarella, ricotta, egg, and parsley in a bowl.

Layer thus: smear the bottom of your casserole dish with 1/3 of your "meat" mixture, cover with three noodles, add blobs of cheese mixture on top of noodles. Rinse, repeat until your noodles are gone (three layers). Meat, noodles, cheese.

On the top, along with your little blobs of cheese, add your slices of mozzarella and some grated parmesan, covering noodles as completely as possible to avoid burning.

Cook at 350F for about 30 minutes or until your cheese is all bubbly.

Hope you enjoy!

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