REAL Veg, REAL simple !

I dedicate this blog to all those who ask us all the time "What does a vegan/vegetarian eat?" ....
This is it, the food on my plate !

It's not weird, it's not impossible and YES, it is TASTY! .... can't you tell?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Simple pasta, simple salad ... quick lunch

This is about as healthy, tasty and simple as you can get for a mid week lunch. Usually during lunch there is no less running around than any other time of the day with the kids. We get home from preschool, they run and play around while I fix their lunch, feed them while I clean up and get them ready for nap. The usual right? But I don't like to miss out on a tasty lunch, so I try to prepare something quick that I can eat while they are napping.

For this I will cook up some whole wheat pasta or use up some left over from the previous night's dinner. Sautee a portobello cap, toss with pasta, some olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped parsley and basil. Done! Side salad of baby spinach with heirloon tomato and dress that with simple, light dressing of your choice. Not much better than that to make me feel I didn't ruin my morning workout!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mamma mia, la mia lasagna!

I'm not in the mood for writting enticing commentary, just look at the picture and get to it.

Vegan Lasagna
                                                                                                                     Serves 6
For sauce:
1 can crushed tomato
1 can fire roasted diced tomato
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 carrot. diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 cup frozen peas or 1 cup fresh broccoli chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, crushed
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil

1 block of soy mozzarella style cheese
1 water packed, extra-firm tofu block
1 package lasagna noodles, (no boiling required type, like Barilla)
1 package of soy crumbles, like Morningstar or Lightlife
OR  1 package of Italian sausage crumbles, like Match

Preheat oven at 400F.
Heat olive oil and sautee onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. When onion starts to have brown spots, add both cans of tomato and frozen peas. Let cook for 20+ minutes. Pour into blender and blend. You want to aim for a semi-smooth consistency, but be careful not to blend so much that you end up with baby food. If you have chosen to make this meat marinara like, then while the sauce is still in the blender, reuse the same pot you made the sauce in and brown the crumbles. Turn off heat. Add the sauce back to the pot and mix into crumbles. You will only end up using about half of the sauce for the lasagna. The rest I store in a mason jar in the fridge for a week or you can pour into baggies or freezer safe container and store in freezer for months. Don't worry you won't store for that long, the sauce is good and it's so convenient to have ready made sauce for the mid-week hurry as pizza sauce or over pasta.

For tofu-cheese mixture layer first drain water out of tofu container. Cut tofu block into four pieces and with your hands over the sink, squeeze out as much water as you can. Once you have squeezed out water place tofu in medium sized mixing bowl. Crumble tofu with fork. Shred entire block of soy mozzarella cheese on top of tofu mixture, then mix tofu and cheese together.

In a glass dish ladle some sauce at bottom so the first layer of lasagna noddles won't stick. Next place first layer of lasagna noddles Next ladle a layer of sauce, spreading it out so the layer of noddle is completely covered. Next spread a layer of tofu-cheese mixture. Next another layer of noddles, then sauce, then tofu-cheese mixture again. So on until you end up with tofu cheese mixture at very top. At this point I like to add some extra cheese on top for nice melting effect.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until you can see all cheese has melted and sauce is bubbly.