Guest Author - Jason Hodge
Lasagna can be as versatile as is the food on the planet. Why not dress it up for your holiday season?
In keeping with the Thanksgiving theme I've replaced the noodles with glazed pumpkin and butternut squash and added a few other ingredients that would satisfy even the most die-hard meat eaters.
Here's what you're going to need to pull this off:
1 large [preferably - stick resistant] deep skillet/frying pan
1 large roasting pan
1 large mixing bowl
1 large spatula
A powerful blender/food processor [VitaMix/Cuisinart, etc.] or a lot of elbow grease to mix by hand
Refrigerated Storage Space
Pumpkin/Butternut Squash Mixture:
8 cups pumpkin - raw, cubed [1 inch pieces]
8 cups butternut squash - raw, cubed [1 inch pieces]
2-4 tsp Olive Oil - extra virgin
Sea Salt [to taste]
4 pinches pumpkin pie spice
4 tsp Poultry Grill & Broil seasonings
4 tbsp Maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat skillet and add enough oil to keep squash from sticking. Toss in squash and salt, sear, sprinkle on a pinch of pumpkin pie spice, toss, shake on 1 tsp poultry grill & broil seasoning and transfer to baking pan. Repeat this process until you have transferred it all. Distribute evenly in pan, drizzle on maple syrup and bake until cooked all the way through - slightly shriveled. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4 tbsp yellow mustard
4 tsp tomato paste
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups maple syrup [organic, grade b]
2 tsp liquid smoke - mesquite [optional]
2 tsp liquid smoke - hickory [optional]
In mixing bowl whisk together all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Meat:
4 blocks tofu - extra firm, organic, frozen, thawed & squeezed
6 cups onion - yellow/brown
Sea Salt [to taste] - Celtic, Hawaiian, etc.
Divide list by four and heat skillet, add oil and onions and a pinch of salt. Saute your onions until translucent. Add your seasonings and tofu [cooking 1 block at a time], by crumbling it into skillet and sauteing until it is the consistency and texture of ground meat. Add more seasonings [no more than 1/4 of the total amount of seasonings you've made up for this recipe.
[When cooking the last block of tofu and onions, etc., once it's to your desired consistency, add the two jars of marinara sauce to it and let simmer until the sauce is warmed through and at the right thickness.]
Seasonings - 8tsp of the following [Trader Joe's Brand]:
8tsp Steak & Chop Grill & Broil
8tsp Poultry Grill & Broil
8tsp Barbecue Grill & Broil
4 tsp Chipotle Powder [I prefer Los Chileros Bros. brand]
4 tsp fennel seed - whole
8 tsp dill seed - whole
4 tbsp mint - fresh & chopped
2 tbsp oregano - fresh & chopped
4 tsp sage - fresh & chopped
2 tbsp Olive oil - extra virgin
2 cups Onions - yellow/brown
2 Garlic cloves - minced
Sea Salt [to taste]
2 tbsp glaze
Saute onions, garlic and greens until bright green and softened add glaze, toss and set aside for later.
1 cup Onion - yellow/brown
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Basil - fresh, chopped
1 block Tofu - soft
Sea Salt [to taste]
2 tbsp Lemon juice - fresh
3 tbsp Garlic Spread
2 cups Soy Cheese - shredded
Combine tofu, lemon juice, garlic spread and soy cheese in a food processor. Process until fairly smooth. In a mixing bowl fold in the remaining ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.
2 32oz. Jars Marinara Sauce - vegetarian
4 cups Soy Cheese - shredded
Fresh herbs - chopped [basil, mint, dill, parsley, etc. your choice for garnishment and accent flavor]
[It's best to prepare a day in advance for the best flavor development.]
In a deep dish lasagna pan, layer ingredients like this: 1) squash; 2) soy cheese [appr. 2 cups]; 3) glazed tofu; 4) greens; 5) meaty marinara sauce; 6) mid-layer filling; 7) meaty marinara sauce; 8) greens; 9) glazed tofu; 10) soy cheese; 11) squash; 12) meaty marinara sauce; and lastly) soy cheese [to be added at the very end of the cooking process - appr. 15 minutes before serving]. Bake for 30 - 45 minutes or until heated all the way through and bubbly. Add last application of cheese, let melt and serve. Bon Apetite!
For more information or to have one of your questions answered, drop me a line, stop by my forum, join my Vegetarian Resource Newsletter and definitely stay tuned in as I bring you more articles to help you effortlessly achieve your best, health, well being and wholeness throughout the life of your diet and your holiday season.
As always... It's been my heartfelt pleasure to share with you. Happy holidays and many returns.
Until next time...