Thursday, March 6, 2014

Recipe Thursdays - Vegan Lasagna

I am obsessed with lasagna. Nothing satisfies like layers of tomato sauce, noodles and cheese cooked to perfection.  Making a lasagna without cheese might sound like sacrilege, but I assure you that this lasagna lives up to expectations!
I got invited to a dinner party at my friend and former neighbor, Erika's new house and I told her I would bring a dish.  I spend a lot of time on Pinterest (code for: I am obsessed with Pinterest and have over 1000 recipes pinned - see my Vegan board HERE ) and I very fortunately stumbled upon THIS recipe for vegan lasagna with a "Basil Cheeze" sauce. 

My attempt at being artistic pre-oven.
 I was so excited to make it because I was still riding my mushroom stroganoff cashew sauce high. I was like 95% sure that I had all of the ingredients that I needed. Unfortunately I was very wrong. I had no basil, no zucchini and maybe a cup of spinach. I was pretty close to not making it.

But I had to, I was a superhero. I could do anything. Anything I made was going to turn out phenomenally. I MADE VEGAN CHEESE. I COULD DO ANYTHING.

So I made a risky move, I substituted baby spinach for the basil. I was so scared that it wasn't going to work because after all it is a "Basil 'Cheese'" sauce. And because I didn't have any spinach left to put in the vegetable mix I threw some kale in that beeyotch.

Vegetable mix 1.0


I undercooked it a little bit but other than that it was amazing.  The next time around I used the basil that the recipe actually called for but I kept the kale because I really liked it in there and I added mushrooms.

In the future I think I would use less nutritional yeast.  I've found that in most recipes that call for nutritional yeast, I always wish there was a little less.  So in this recipe I would probably add less yeast and more cashews to get a creamier and less tangy flavor. 

In the recipe it says to be careful to not under-season the vegetables because they will taste bland.  Well let me tell you, my vegetables were so perfectly seasoned that it was ridiculous.  I splashed some balsamic vinegar in there, I twisted my garlic and pepper grinder copious times and I'm pretty sure that I added some red pepper flakes.  It wasn't too much though.

I'd have to say that my favorite part about this dish was the assembly.  Repeating the tomato sauce, noodles, "cheese" sauce and vegetable layers didn't feel like work.  I genuinely enjoyed piecing it all together and it really didn't take long at all. 

And it wasn't ugly at all either

Overall the dish was a success.  My friend Lesly even said that it was very good and I know that if it tasted terrible, she would definitely tell me that it tasted terrible.  I think it could have benefited from a little bit of fake meat.  I think that an Amy's Sonoma burger would have tasted really great in this recipe and I am going to try it in the future.  Also next time I have more time on my hands I'll be using my own tomato sauce! 

All done! So delicious I can't even.
  Dinner at Erika's was great.  She ordered pizza at a place where you can literally get it by the meter.  She got me my own little meter of marinara.  There was so much pizza.  Where at a traditional dinner party there would be a table runner, here there was pizza.

She also flawlessly made martinis for everyone.  At the end of the night after everyone left, Erika, her husband Alessandro, Peter and I had prosecco poured over mango sorbet as dessert and it was delicious.

mmmm prosecco and sorbet
Hey self, looking good.

ciao ciao! -Katelyn

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