Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lasagna - two ways

Every Christmas we have lasagna for dinner. I do a nice meal on Christmas eve and while preparing that meal I prep a lasagna for eating on Christmas. That way we don't have to worry about cooking or being in the kitchen on Christmas and can just enjoy present opening and kids playing and general holiday goodness. Then about an hour before I think people will be starving after eating only candy and cookies, I pop it in the oven. 

This year my mom being gluten and dairy free with her finally diagnosed allergies, I made two lasagnas. One with the cheesy goodness for me and the kids and one with daiya and rice noodles for my mom and husband (who is also dairy free). They came out okay. The gluten free noodles, which were no boil (I never buy these, but it was all I could find), sort of evaporated into the whole thing, so next year we will try a different brand, hopefully that I have to boil. My husband vetoed the daiya for next year. He said it was too distracting and made everything else less yummy. I wouldn't know as my cheesy one was good, not my greatest, but definitely good. 

Also, although my method is the same every year, my execution this year was hampered by a killer cold that we all came down with right before Christmas. It was so debilitating that we actually had takeout on Christmas eve, but it was yummy takeout. The cold did however made me not so agile in the kitchen as I couldn't see, taste, or smell much. So without further ado our easy Christmas dinner tradition, which can actually be quite good when the stars are not all out of whack like this year.

either buy a jar of good sauce, or cook down
a large jar of home canned tomatoes, garlic confit, oregano, basil, bay, and oil

prep your layers - ricotta w/parsley and egg, tofu ricotta w/onion,
sauteed spinach and mushrooms, roasted squash and onions

once your sauce has cooked down a good inch,
remove herbs and blend, then salt and pepper to taste

while the gluten pasta boils, make your gluten free lasagna

layers: sauce, noodles, tofu ricotta, noodles, sauce,
1/2 spinach/mushroom - 1/2 squash/onion, daiya, noodles, sauce, daiya

once your regular noodles are done make the cheesy one in the same order

the cheese on top of the filling should be just a quick bind, not a full cheesy layer

once assembled, cover with foil and refrigerate,
or in our case put in the 20 degree mudroom overnight,
also note on this one I have an extra layer of noodles, sauce, cheese
as there were more noodles in the regular box

bake about an hour until cheese starts to brown and sauce bubbles
let it rest 15 minutes before serving

this is the almost vegan version, looks pretty authentic right

this is the cheese bomb version - mmm kid so sick he can't even muster a real smile


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