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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Vegan Klutz



Holy Cow!! After I started this blog yesterday, I thought I would have an EPIC FAIL on my hands last night.  You see, I finally got all the ingredients together for a Cauliflower Artichoke Lasagna recipe someone forwarded the other day  (http://www.veganricha.com/2014/05/cauliflower-alfredo-spinach-artichoke.html) This recipe also has an embedded recipe for a cauliflower Alfredo sauce for some of the layers. The sauce is easy to make and absolutely delicious!! I had enough left over to use for another pasta dish…probably using shiritaki noodles of some kind.

The recipe also uses No Boil lasagna noodles that I FINALLY found at the local Kroger. I dutifully read the ingredients on the box to make sure there was no egg and stuck it in my basket. La di da…

After making (and taste testing the cauliflower Alfredo—yum!) and pre-heating the oven, I got all my stuffs together to begin layering the lasagna. It occurred to me after the first layer that the noodles seemed to be pretty stiff for ‘no boil’ noodles. I had picked up the wrong box and had accidentally gotten the boil kind. What a dumbass. So, rather than dismantle (or better yet dis-mangle) the lasagna, I plunged ahead using the ‘hard’ noodles. I had read once that using the raw/unboiled noodles worked just fine, so I trusted that latent guidance. Threw some Daiya mozzarella shreds on top. Covered it and placed it lovingly and with a hopeful heart in the oven.

WHEW!! About 50 minutes later, I pulled a great smelling, great looking lasagna from the oven. Let it sit for a bit to firm up and then we dove in. Now, Big Solid is NOT a fan of casseroles or lasagna, so when I asked if he liked it…he said “It’s ok.” Not a rousing endorsement but at least he tried it. I, on the other hand, thought it was delicious. So, please, forge ahead and buy the right noodles.

Old friend Oster
Cooking the ‘V-Way’ can lead you down two paths…sometimes simultaneously. One path is seeing many recipes as labor intensive with what appear to be a million ingredients, many of which can be hard to find especially in the south or small towns.

The other path is that of seeing this way of cooking as a fun-filled challenge to be met fully equipped with patience, a clean apron, a really well seasoned iron skillet, lots of wooden spoons and dozens of bowls. Am saving my pennies for a Vita-Mix which I’m sure will change my life. This Oster has been an amazing little machine for OH SO MANY YEARS…time to relax and find a nice place on the shelf. Maybe an occasional blender driven toddy.

Today’s featured resource is one I use a LOT and that’s The Gentle Chef (http://www.thegentlechef.com/). I have both of Chef Skye’s cookbooks (downloaded to my PC instead of hard copy). The pictures of his creations make you want to dive right into the screen.  I’ve made his ‘better butter’ and several of his seitan sausage recipes and been really pleased with how easy and delicious they are. He’s very accessible via email in the event you have questions.

Hope you've enjoyed today's post. Tomorrow or the next day, I want to talk a bit about eating out as a vegan. Sometimes it's a good thing and sometimes it's WAY challenging.

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