Sunday, April 25, 2010


Wade and I went to a potluck hosted by one of my coworkers in honour of Earth Day. There was a symbolic prize for the person who got there in the most earth-friendly manner. The winner was one person who bicycled 40 km (which took her about 2 hours) to get here. Dedication. (Her husband drove, bringing out their contribution. And they drove home together. But still - impressive.)

I brought out a "soy meat" lasagna. People seemed to like it, and a couple people's jaws dropped when I said it was "Earth friendly" and vegetarian. (The vegetarian part was why they were shocked.) I didn't follow a recipe. I basically cooked the lasagna noodles according to the instructions, cooked the "soy meat" with pasta sauce (Ragu) and spices (oregano and whatever else I thought would mix well). I then put a layer of noodles, a layer of "meat", a layer of noodles, a layer of Ragu, and a layer of cheese. A lot of shredded cheese (a pre-shredded mix of cheddar and mozarrella).

I realize lasagna usually has more layers, including ricotta (or cottage cheese as an excellent substitute). My mom does a great lasagna with cottage chese. I think having cottage cheese (or ricotta) would have completed the lasagna. But it was a "meaty" (in texture) lasagna, which is probably why the men liked it. (I personally always preferred a lasagna that was semi-meaty and semi-cheesy. I don't like the lasagna to be overwhelmed by meat or cheese, which I find they often are.)

I'll have to ask my mom if she has a recipe for her lasagna. My mom doesn't do a lot from scratch, but when she does, many of her regulars don't have recipes (her amazing potato salad, for example, is just done by "feel"). She follows recipes for baking, mostly, but she's definitely not afraid to make substitutions when she thinks they're logical.

If she doesn't have a recipe, I'll have to follow her "approximations" and maybe read a few different recipes on All Recipes. I'll read at least four or five, or sometimes more recipes to find one I like, or maybe combine two or three based on each recipe's comments.

Note that I've mastered my Mom's most amazing potato salad based on her directions, but it took about 2-dozen phone calls over two potato salads to get it right. With a few phone calls and some ideas from All Recipes I should be able to figure something out for lasagna.

Does anyone have any tips for lasagna? I kinda like my approach to cooking the noodles and "meat" separately, then combining them, then just putting it in the oven long enough to warm it up and melt the cheese. It seemed easy. But maybe using the "no boil" lasagna noodles and just assembling and baking (as if it's a casserole) would be easy, too? I don't know! Yesterday was my first lasagna. I think I'll add the cottage cheese. I also think using parmesan and mozzarella (instead of cheddar) would have been better.

Any thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. Use this recipe:

    Seriously. It was my very first time making lasagna, and it was delicious. And it's no-meat, and low-cal. You could add meat to the pasta sauce, but it truly doesn't need it. Soooooooooo good!