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Vegetable lasagna #358168
01/17/11 10:52 PM
01/17/11 10:52 PM
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theophan Online content OP
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Does anyone have a recipe for vegetable lasagna that meets the requirements of the fasting rules and does not have tomato sauce in it?

I had a thought about starting with a vegetable stock instead of a tomato sauce and thickening it before using it as the sauce.

Bob

Last edited by theophan; 01/17/11 11:00 PM.
Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: theophan] #358170
01/17/11 11:29 PM
01/17/11 11:29 PM
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I would probably add about a half to a whole tablespoon of miso per cup of vegetable stock, and thicken with flour. The miso will give the sauce a fuller-bodied, richer flavor than stock alone. You could start with a roux of oil and flour (if you're not fasting from oil), and then add the veggie stock and miso. Simmer to thicken. The oil can certainly be left out if your fast specifies no oil. (Best not to boil the miso, if you don't want to lose some of the health benefits, but it won't hurt the flavor). I used to make "miso gravy" all the time when I was a vegetarian. It's quite good, and can be varied by using different flavors of miso.

(For those not familiar with it, miso is a traditional Japanese fermented soybean paste, but nowadays you can get it at places like Whole Foods Market and other such stores. I knew a woman from Japan who felt a day wasn't complete without miso in some form or other. It's a very common ingredient in Japan, as I understand. It probably sounds terrible-tasting from my description of it, but it actually has a nice rich flavor. It's on the salty side, so best not to add salt to the gravy if you use it)

Last edited by Jaya; 01/17/11 11:34 PM. Reason: additional info
Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: theophan] #358171
01/17/11 11:58 PM
01/17/11 11:58 PM
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Vegetable lasagna is popular with white bechamel sauce...(beware though, because it is more rich and calorie laden)Here are two different recipes (one includes mozzarella cheese, the other doesn't)

http://www.food.com/recipe/vegetable-lasagna-with-bechamel-50274

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1835,156161-240193,00.html

Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: theophan] #358172
01/17/11 11:59 PM
01/17/11 11:59 PM
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This is fun to think about, as I enjoy cooking without recipes. Miso gravy goes great with winter veggies like greens (collards, kale, spinach, etc) and squashes like butternut, acorn, kabocha. I would cook the lasagne noodles, make the miso gravy, steam some spinach or kale, steam or bake some winter squash, and layer it all up, throwing in some onion and/or pressed garlic (steam the onion with the greens to be efficient), and maybe add some roasted or boiled chestnuts. Toasted sesame seeds would be good in it, too. I might even toss in a little grated ginger root.

Or, for more standard fare, just use the lasagne noodles, miso gravy, and a more conventional choice of veggies, and throw in some herbs (parsley, thyme, or maybe some sage and/or rosemary). I think it'll be hard to go wrong. There are so many possibilities!

Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: Alice] #358173
01/18/11 12:04 AM
01/18/11 12:04 AM
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Oh, I thought you needed non-meat, non-dairy, and maybe non-oil. If you're not fasting from dairy, then the possibilities are truly endless smile

Let us know what you come up with!

Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: Jaya] #358174
01/18/11 12:14 AM
01/18/11 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaya
Oh, I thought you needed non-meat, non-dairy, and maybe non-oil. If you're not fasting from dairy, then the possibilities are truly endless smile

Let us know what you come up with!


I am not sure what Bob meant--the vegan/Lenten fast or simply a meatless fast?

I have had vegan lasagna with spinach and a tofu concoction which substitutes for ricotta cheese, but it had tomato sauce. A good rich vegetable stock used as a sauce is an interesting idea, however!

Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: Alice] #358188
01/18/11 01:33 AM
01/18/11 01:33 AM
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What started me to thinking along this line was a recipe my daughter had that included butternut or acorn squash and a number of other vegetables steamed and wilted, then tossed with angel hair pasta and olive oil. It's filling but, like Chinese food, does not lie heavily in the stomach. I was impressed because my daughter is a very picky eater.

I'd seen a recipe that included a red sauce made from cooked vegetables that had roasted red peppers as the base, and was intrigued.

I recently tried a couple layers of regular lasagna with frozen spinach that I'd thawed in boiling water, then pressed out and layered--sauce, noodles, meat sauce, ricotta/egg mixture, spinach, noodles, etc. It was a hit. Now I'd like to try an all vegetable lasagna that would not have meat or dairy or red sauce and was just thinking out loud. Thought I could come up with something that would work for fasting periods, too. Something along the lines: thickened stock, noodles, spinach, ??

Another question: can you cook hummus? I thought one might use some sort of bean paste in place of the lost protein of the meat sauce. Or does someone have other thoughts?

BTW, I use the non-cook noodles. Takes out a whole step of extra work. They end up just like the ones I used to have to cook but not over-cook so I don't think I'll ever cook another lasagna noodle.

Bob

Last edited by theophan; 01/18/11 01:34 AM.
Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: theophan] #358201
01/18/11 03:29 AM
01/18/11 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by theophan

BTW, I use the non-cook noodles. Takes out a whole step of extra work. They end up just like the ones I used to have to cook but not over-cook so I don't think I'll ever cook another lasagna noodle.

Bob


I love the non-cook noodles too! Indeed it makes it so much easier to make a lasagna without having to cook all those lasagna noodles, which tended to stick together....

The tofu is probably the best protein substitute I can think of...
This is how one recipe online does it for the lasagna:

Quote
Place the tofu blocks in a large bowl. Add the garlic, basil and parsley. Add the salt and pepper, and mash all the ingredients together by squeezing pieces of tofu through your fingers. Mix well.

Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: Alice] #358202
01/18/11 04:47 AM
01/18/11 04:47 AM
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Tempeh is another possibility - it's high protein, too. I prefer it to tofu because it's heavier and meatier, and, as someone with hypoglycemia, I find tempeh "holds" me longer than tofu. I also like the taste better.

Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: theophan] #358204
01/18/11 05:00 AM
01/18/11 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by theophan

I'd seen a recipe that included a red sauce made from cooked vegetables that had roasted red peppers as the base, and was intrigued.


When I lived in Bulgaria, I learned to make a thick sauce called "lyutenitsa." The base is equal parts by weight of red peppers and tomatoes. There you run both the tomatoes and the peppers through a meat grinder, but I guess here you could use a food processor smile You cook the tomatoes down by about half, then add the red peppers and cook a bit longer. Then you add a good amount of oil (of course!), and some sugar and salt, and cook a little more to blend the flavors. I can't remember if we ground up the peppers raw, or if we roasted them first. I have it written down somewhere...

It was so yummy!

Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: Jaya] #358231
01/18/11 06:00 PM
01/18/11 06:00 PM
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Jaya:

I imagine that your meat grinder would make your sauce a bit more coarse than the use of a food processor--unless you used the pulse feature just a couple times. Sounds like you would want to end with a sauce that is thick but not totally pureed. This one intrigues me and I'd like to try it. Can you find it and send it to us?

Bob

Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: theophan] #358241
01/18/11 08:00 PM
01/18/11 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by theophan
Does anyone have a recipe for vegetable lasagna that meets the requirements of the fasting rules and does not have tomato sauce in it?


Oh. When I saw the thread title, I thought you might be talking about the Seinfeld character. (I forget what his real name was.)

Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: Peter J] #358271
01/19/11 01:58 AM
01/19/11 01:58 AM
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PeterJ:

Now I'm wondering. What character reminded you of vegetable lasagna?

Help me out. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. grin

Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: theophan] #358272
01/19/11 02:10 AM
01/19/11 02:10 AM
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Consider using this recipe for Mushroom Lasagna as a starting point:

Quote
Serves 6 to 8 (more as a first course)

Salt
Olive oil
3/4 pound dried lasagna noodles
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used less, because this seemed like a lot)
1 1/2 pounds cremini or portobello mushrooms
1 cup freshly grated parmesan

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Bring a large, wide (if you use a wide one, you can save a dish later and saute your mushrooms in the bottom of it) of water to boil with salt and a splash of oil, that will help keep your noodles from sticking together as they drain. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Make béchamel: Bring the milk and garlic to simmer in a saucepan, or heat it in your microwave, and set it aside. Melt 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons or 1 stick) butter in a large saucepan. If your name is Deb, you will probably brown this butter, too. Add the flour and cook for one minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon. Pour in the hot milk, a little at a time at first and stirring until combined. Once you’ve added half of it, you can add the second half all at once, along with 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring or whisking frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until thick. Set aside.

Prepare mushrooms: Discard portobello mushroom stems and/or trim the ends of the cremini stems. Slice mushrooms 1/4-inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium in the bottom of the large, wide pot you used to cook the noodles earlier, or in a large sauté pan. Cook half the mushrooms with a couple pinches of salt for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender and release some of their juices, tossing to make sure they cook evenly. Repeat with additional oil and butter, and remaining mushrooms.

Assemble lasagna: Spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8 x 12 or 9 x 13 baking dish. (Ina recommends the former, I only had the latter; if you’d like to freeze or give this dish as a gift, remember to use a foil pan). Arrange a layer of noodles on top*, then more sauce (about 1/4 of what remains), 1/3 of the mushrooms and 1/4 cup grated parmesan. Repeat two more times then top with a final layer of noodles, your remaning sauce and last 1/4 cup of parmesan.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. To freeze for future use, allow it to cool completely and wrap two to three times in plastic wrap before freezing.

* Burning question: Do you overlap your lasagna noodles on each layer? I think that’s the way it is usually done, but it has been so long since I made lasagna, I couldn’t remember. I decided to line mine up, and ended up with three neat rows down my 9 x 13 pan (I trimmed the ends of the noodles, because I can occasionally be a neat freak) and found it exceptionally neat and pretty to serve, as each piece could have two ruffly edges. This meant I only used 12 noodles total, or about 2/3 of a one-pound box.

Now it does use dairy products, so experimentation to figure out what to replace the dairy with will be necessary. One could create a thick non-dairy mushroom soup as the binder, but that might just be too much mushroom. Or one might take a bland vegetable like potato, eggplant or zucchini and puree it with garlic and onions into a very thick sauce.

Also, 1 clove garlic seems pretty scrawny. Maybe it's ok, but I know for my regular home made tomato sauce (5 qt) I use 4 or 5 cloves minimum, and for chicken soup I use 5 or 6 cloves.

Re: Vegetable lasagna [Re: theophan] #358279
01/19/11 04:08 AM
01/19/11 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by theophan
Jaya:

I imagine that your meat grinder would make your sauce a bit more coarse than the use of a food processor--unless you used the pulse feature just a couple times. Sounds like you would want to end with a sauce that is thick but not totally pureed. This one intrigues me and I'd like to try it. Can you find it and send it to us?

Bob


Bob,

I've actually never used a food processor, I was just guessing that it would be the logical way in this country to do it smile Everyone in Bulgaria makes it a bit differently. Sometimes it's very pureed looking, other times more coarse. Ingredients vary a little, but it's always based on the tomatoes and red peppers. It's thick, and can be used as a spread, too, commonly put on bread. Also you can drop a few spoonfuls into this or that dish when you're cooking. I'll look for the recipe - I know I have it, but it might take me a day or 2.

Jaya

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