25 January 2010

Vegan Lasagna Night; Also, Eating With the Bloggers, Part III

We finally achieved a really satisfying vegan lasagna thanks to the people at Tofu for Two, and their amazing cashew-cream béchamel-esque sauce. While their sauce was wonderful, I thought I could improve on their lasagna design a bit.

My Lasagna stratigraphic column:

  1. The Fungus Formation (FF): A large batch of roasted mushrooms made from about two quarts of crimini mushrooms.
  2. The Chard Chert (CC): Two or three bunches of chard dropped for a minute or two into a pot of boiling water, then drained, pressed and chopped.
  3. The Browned Tempeh Conglomerate (BTC): Given all the hard work Jaime puts into making Lalibela Farm's Tempeh stick together in a firm cake, it seems awfully rude to rip it apart in a cheese grater and saute it with garlic and olive oil, but do it anyway. Jaime said so! Also, when sauteing the tempeh there may be an odd smell, but just press on, sauteing very slowly, because the tempeh develops a nice nutty flavor as it browns that makes it all worthwhile.
  4. The Massive Marinara Metapelite (MMM): A tomato sauce made in the usual way from a 28 ounce can of tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, herbs, wine and a whole head of garlic, given a bit of the business with an immersion blender after it's done simmering.
  5. The T42 Till (T42): The full recipe from Tofu For Two linked to above; you will probably have a bit left over, which is just fine. You can roll up any left over lasagna noodles with it and any spare tomato sauce for a quick treat.
  6. The Noodle Group (NG): It takes a couple packages of the only whole wheat lasagna noodles I can find since I'm too lazy to make my own.
Layer those however you like. Ours from the bottom up in an 8.5" by 12.5" oven dish: tomato sauce, noodles, cashew cream, chard, mushrooms, noodles, tomato sauce, tempeh, noodles, cashew cream, chard, mushrooms, noodles, cashew cream and then some whole wheat panko mixed with a bit of melted earth balance.

Eating With The Bloggers, Part III

[Eating With the Bloggers, Part II and Part I.]

I had a week recently where I made a lot of things inspired by recipes on Heidi Swanson's excellent blog, 101 Cookbooks. The real highlights were:
  • I very highly recommend the Bulgur and Spinach Pilaf. I made a number of alterations that I can't quite remember. We omitted the "labneh" certainly, and I think I dropped the spinach in boiling water briefly, drained and pressed it and did not saute it. In any event this is a beautiful dish.
  • Tempeh madness continued at Cornucopasetic HQ with orange glazed tempeh.
  • This pineapple rice would have been really wonderful if I had realized my sunflower oil was a bit off. [N.B.: When the guy that makes the local sunflower oil tells you to refrigerate your sunflower oil, I think he really means it.] I made this with wilted spinach and peas and some other vegetables rather than placing it on a bed of greens, and I served it with the orange glazed tempeh above.
  • Pounded walnut pesto! Not really something you need a recipe for, but it was good to have the suggestion, and the pesto—made in just the mortar, which produced an interesting, less homogeneous texture—was really amazing.


Kate. said...

When I saw the title of this post, I almost freaked out. Whaddya mean you ate with the bloggers and didn't invite me!? And speaking of blogger meeet-ups, email me and I'll email YOU back about hanging out with all of us. (khmccarty@hotmail.com)

Brad said...

Hah! Yes, it was virtual "eating of the bloggers" and even then only in spirit. But I would like to meet the other foodies in town, so thanks.