Archive for February, 2009

Classic Spinach Lasagna

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Mmmm… lasagna! Another in a long repertoire of hearty winter meals that last all week long. This recipe makes about 12 servings, but it freezes well if you don’t think you can get through all of that in one go. This is my most basic version, but I believe that it could be made vegan or gluten free with slight alterations. To veganize, try replacing the ricotta with additional tofu and omitting the mozarella. To go gluten free, try replacing the pasta with thinly sliced eggplant.

Classic Spinach Lasagna
Serves 12

1 head garlic
1½ tsp. olive oil, divided
1 lb. lasagne noodles, preferably whole wheat
6 cups marinara sauce (2 – 750 ml jars)
2 cups ricotta cheese (1 pint or 500 ml)
1 cup medium-firm tofu, mashed
10 oz. spinach (thawed if frozen, stemmed and cooked if fresh)
3 roasted red peppers (1 – 16oz. jar), drained and chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. oregano
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1½ cup mozzarella or aged white cheddar

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut the top off the bulb of garlic and peel away any loose layers. Rub with oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tsp. of oil to the water to prevent the pasta from sticking. Boil about 10 minutes, or until cooked, and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, tofu, spinach, herbs and peppers.
  5. Assemble lasagne. Lightly oil a 9×13 pan. Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of the pan. Cover with noodles, and spread  with ½ the ricotta mixture, 1 cup sauce, and ½ cup mozzarella. Repeat with additional noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce and mozzarella. Cover with remaining noodles, sauce and mozzarella.
  6. Cover and bake 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake ten more minutes  to let the cheese get bubbly.
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February 26, 2009 at 11:03 pm Leave a comment

Banana Flaxseed Freezer Waffles

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Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! I don’t know about you, but I feel strongly that almost any holiday is a good excuse for brunch. Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Sunday; all of these are key brunch-eating opportunities. That’s part of what makes this waffle recipe so fabulous – it makes enough waffles for you to eat on all the days, for at least a week, I’d say. I’m a big fan of making a big batch, eating way too many, and then freezing the rest for later. Wait until they are completely cool and then throw them in a freezer-grade zipper bag and they are ready to go in the freezer. Then toast them and eat them later.

This recipe is adapted (beyond recognition, I should think) from my trusty 1975 edition of the Joy of Cooking. I doubled the recipe, used whole wheat flour instead of white and quadrupled the egg replacers for big, fluffy vegan waffles. If you don’t have a waffle maker, you could make some pretty great pancakes from the same batter.

Banana Flaxseed Freezer Waffles

2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups pulp)
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
½ cup canola or safflower oil
3½ cups whole wheat flour
1½ Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
3 cups soymilk
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional – see tip below, if using)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mashed bananas until no large lumps remain.
  2. Add flaxseeds, oil, flour, baking powder, salt and  soymilk. Mix well.
  3. Fold in the walnuts, being careful not to overmix.
  4. Bake in your waffle maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. If freezing, let cool completely and then freeze waffles in a freezer-grade zipper bag.

Tip: This simple method makes chopping walnuts super-easy. Place walnuts in a large zipper bag and seal it. Crush the walnuts into small pieces by rolling a sturdy rolling pin (or unopened wine bottle) over the bag. Done!

February 14, 2009 at 7:27 pm 1 comment


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*All entries tagged "vegan" and "gluten free" meet those dietary requirements to the best of my knowledge as long as the vegan or gluten free instructions are followed (where applicable). It is always wise to double-check ingredients (especially when dealing with packaged foods) and to confirm ingredients and preparation methods at restaurants.