Saturday, February 11, 2012

Meatless Dinners: Chef AJ's Disappearing Lasagna

I'm a solid two weeks into this new plant based challenge and there have been some hits and misses.  This one was a real big hit!  Ladybug asked for thirds.  This was delicious and probably my favorite thing I've tried thus far. Nick too.

Delicious dishes high in fat, sugar, and salt are easy to make.  It takes mad skills to make things this healthy this tasty and I am IMPRESSED by the creator of this recipe, Chef AJ.

Video presentation of Chef AJ's Disappearing Lasagna

If you'd like to see a written version of the recipe you can see it here.

My favorite part of this dish was the creamy "ricotta" and spinach layer.  Oh, WOW!  The cashews made this dish so creamy and flavorful.  I ALMOST got a guilty feeling.  The cool thing is that I was able to use the garden basil I froze last year in place of the fresh basil and it really came through.  Nothing beats the taste of "fresh" garden herbs in your pasta dishes.  YUM!

Now that I've tried the recipe I think the mushroom and onion layer is the place where you can really make it personal.  Say you don't like mushrooms or maybe something else is cheap and in season.  Why not pick another vegetable that's good at caramelizing and pairs well with a tomato based dish?   Maybe some roasted eggplant and onions or fresh summer squash and onions?  The variations are endless.  Season the veggies with tamari and roast/saute the veggies until most of the liquid is gone like Chef AJ did and layer it on!

This dish made a HUGE amount of food.  I divided my lasagna into two 8x8 pans in lieu of one 9x13 and froze the other half for later.  It was a hearty meal.  I served it alongside a salad and asparagus.  With the sides, we still had plenty left over even after halving it.  I also didn't need two boxes of noodles.  I used one box of regular 100% whole wheat noodles from Kroger.  I boiled two but only needed one.   I couldn't find no boil whole wheat at my super market and I opted for the $2 box of 100% whole wheat over the $6 box of brown rice noodles.  I'm not sure why it called for two boxes of noodles except maybe the brand of noodles they used was a smaller box.   I also didn't make the faux parmesan.  I just sprinkled nutritional yeast.  Maybe next time I won't be so lazy.  I also messed up one of the layers and forgot to add the layer of mushrooms the second time so I just added it on top.  The mistake was really no big deal.

Nutritional Facts:

Servings Per Recipe: 12
Calories: 309.0
Total Fat: 8.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 674.5 mg
Total Carbs: 46.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.9 g
Protein: 14.9 g

Cost Analysis:
Mushrooms $6
Cashews $1
Spinach $2
Tofu $2
2 jars Marinara Sauce $3
onion $.50
lasagna noodles $2.50
misc. vegan pantry staples $1 (miso, tamari, nutritional yeast)
garlic $.25
1/2 lemon $.25
generic vegetable side to round out meal $2
$20.50/8=$2.56 a serving (it probably would work out to less as it makes very generous portions)



Blogger Cherry C said...

Gotta try this today!

February 13, 2012 at 11:54 AM  

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