Monday, November 1, 2010

3, 2, 1... Dammit, Already?!?

So November seems to have snuck up on me. It's not that I don't cook almost every day, it's not that I don't blog (okay, you're right, I don't really blog), it's that I don't cook and then blog about it every day for a month. That's intimidating. That said, it's time to toughen up and get this thing rolling.

This Month, I'll be making 30 different things in 30 days, all as a part of the Vegan Month Of Food; I'll provide the food and the mindless banter, my wife, Dallas, will provide the photos and the feedback.

Today, I thought I'd get started with something basic: Spinach Lasagna. And you're probably already thinking what I was thinking when I decided on this. "Spinach Lasagna, how boring is this guy?" Well, there's a bit more to this lasagna.

One of my new favorite kitchen tools is my Imperia Pasta Press, which I've been practicing with for the last couple of months. For this lasagna, I made some fresh lasagna noodles [1] with a twist. I pressed the pasta extra thin, put some fresh basil leaves and chopped roasted red peppers between two noodles, then re-pressed the basil/pepper sanwiches until I got pasta with visible basil in the middle. They're a little misshapen when they come out of the press but they're simple enough to cut down to size when arranging things in the pan.

When making the sauce [2], I decided that I'd like to kick things up a bit. I found some nice dried hot peppers and chopped them up to add. Also, I find just using plain old salt a little boring, I used a bit of veggie broth instead and simmered longer to let the extra moisture out.

For cheese, I used Diaya because, well, it's awesome.

So, After layering the lasagna with the above ingredients, some steamed spinach with a little olive oil added and then baking for a while, here's what we end up with...

... and the Wife's reaction: 4 stars out of 5. The pasta is firm and tasty, but the cheese could use some crumbled tofu or something to give a bit more texture in my mouth. If I ordered lasagna in a restaurant and got this, I'd be happy with what I got.

[1] Grogan, Bryanna. "Vegan Homemade Pasta." Recipe. Nonna's Italian Kitchen: Delicious Home-Style Vegan Cuisine. Summertown, Tennessee: Book Publishing Company, 1998. 77-78

[2] Moskowitz, Isa and Romero, Hope. "Marinara Sauce and Variations." Recipe. Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. New York, New York: Marlowe & Company, 2007. 206-206

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