Sunday, May 23, 2010

Why Bother Lasagna?

This title is kindof a joke based on a guy in a coffee hut once calling my sugar free decaf soy mocha a "Why Bother?" It turned out this was quite worth the bother. I couldn't get over how good it was! It did take alot of work to prepare the eggplant, but I wanted it to be low carb as well. I think there are gluten free lasagna noodles out there, so use them by all means if you don't care about carbs. However, I really think the eggplant added something marvelous to the flavor. My husband told me they used to dehydrate eggplant for this purpose, so I think I may try that next time. You could also save time by just cutting the eggplant in circles, but it wouldn't have the same look as lasagna then. Also, I simmered the sauce a looong time, because I started it then ran out to the store. That may have been part of why the flavor was so good as well.

Vegan Gluten Free Low Carb Lasagna!

Ingredients

1/2 cup tomato sauce

"Noodles":
2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch strips lengthwise
Cooking Spray
Salt and Pepper.

"Cheese":
14 ounces extra firm tofu
1/4 cup soymilk
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, minced
2 cups spinach, chopped

Sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 medium carrots, sliced very thin
2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
1/2 cup water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Spray cookie sheet, arrange eggplant slices on it and season with salt and pepper.
3. Cook slices 5 minutes on each side.
4. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
5. In a food processor, combine the tofu, soy milk, oregano, basil, salt, lemon juice, garlic, and onion. Blend until the mixture has the consistency of ricotta cheese.
6. Add the spinach and give it a few more pulses to blend it in.
7. In a large saucepan, saute the red pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots in the oil until crisp-tender. (Feel free to add any other veggies that you like. I just use the ones listed.)
8. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce and water.
9. Bring to boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or more, stirring occasionally. (If you find that the veggie mix is too thin, uncover for last 5 minutes.).
10. Cover bottom of lasagna pan with 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Layer with eggplant strips. Cover with a layer of 1/2 the tofu mixture, then layer of eggplant, then layer of 1/2 the veggie mixture, then layer of eggplant, then remaining tofu mixture, another layer of eggplant, and then top with the remaining veggie mixture.
11. Bake, uncovered for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Chickpea and Apple Curry Casserole

I could not believe how good this was! Akasha totally gobbled it up too! It has almost like a sweet and sour tang to it, I think because I used a Granny Smith apple, so I would suggest sticking to that or using another tart variety.

Chickpea and Apple Curry Casserole

Ingredients

* 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas
* 1 cup coconut milk
* 3/4 cup water
* 1 small red onion, chopped
* 1 -2 large sweet potatoes, diced ( I used the 12 oz bag from Trader Joes)
* 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 teaspoon ginger
* 1 tablespoon curry
* 1 teaspoon dried mustard
* 1 teaspoon cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
* 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
* 1/8 teaspoon allspice

Directions

1. Mix all of the ingredients into a casserole dish. Cover.
2. Bake, covered, for 60-70 minutes at 375 degrees, stirring occasionally.
3. Alternative: slow cook for 6 hours on low instead of baking.
4. Alternative: add two cups of water. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes instead of baking. Puree 3/4 of mixture with a hand blender and serve as a bisque.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Caribbean Red Bean Stew

Caribbean Red Bean Stew

Ingredients:

* 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 cups sliced baby carrots
* 3 scallions, chopped
* 1 sweet potato, diced
* 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
* 2 ts curry powder
* 1/2 ts dried thyme
* 1/4 ts red pepper flakes
* 1/4 ts ground allspice
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 (16 oz) cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 (14 oz) can unsweetened light coconut milk
* 1 - 2 cups vegetable broth or water

Instructions:

1. Pour the oil into a 4-quart slow crockpot and set the cooker on high. Add the garlic and put the lid on the cooker while you prepare the rest of the ingredients
2. Add the carrots, scallions, sweet potato, and tomatoes to the crockpot.
3. Stir in the curry powder, thyme, red pepper flakes, allspice, and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add the beans, coconut milk, and broth.
5. Reduce heat, cover, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.