Vegetarian Lasagna

I say first attempt because this is just a simple something I threw together for dinner last night. The only thing that doesn’t make this a vegan lasagna is the cheese, and of that I think I used a little too much.

Prep work involved in this lasagna was the cooking of the pasta, which I did in early afternoon to make sure it was cool enough to handle. Also, make marinara – for me it’s a teeny tiny bit of oil (I mean like a 1/4 tsp so the garlic doesn’t burn to the pot) a garlic minced, a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar. Slice up vegetables – here we have a yellow squash, a zucchini, eggplant, and a few basil leaves off the plants out back.

Note to self, buy a mandolin, the veg could have been thinner sliced and a tad more uniform.

So here’s the funny part. I had every intention of making just a small lasagna using a glass 9×9 baking dish. After the first layers of sauce, noodles, and eggplant leveled to the top of the baking dish, I realized my mistake – I was going to need a a bigger pan.

I broke out my 2 1/2 quart casserole. It’s oblong shape; perhaps not the most ideal shape for a lasagna with rectangular noodles, but we’re not in geometry class we’re making dinner here.

Topped the last layer with sauce, some leftover crumbled Mozzarella and diced orange pepper from Calzones over the weekend. This weird photo shows I’ve started the next layer with some lasagna noodles.

Yellow squash – this turned out to be really yummy the next day after it soaked up some sauce. Almost buttery.

A layer of zucchini…my mom gave me some Mozz she wasn’t going to use. I was kind of lazy and just sliced it up rather than dirty my food processor. This turned out to be a mistake because Lily and I got these big chunks of cheese we could chew on for a day. I guess if that sounds appealing to you then by all means…

And finally to the top. I sprinkled a little Italian seasoning mix (basil, oregano, rosemary, blahblah) over the top. This cheese became molten under the broiler for a few minutes so it wasn’t chewy gobs like the other.

I covered this with aluminum foil because putting the casserole lid on because I didn’t feel like scrubbing melted cheese all night. I baked for about an hour, but it could have used maybe another 20 minutes or so because the veg inside was a little al dente. This worked out rather well for leftovers though because they tenderized after soaking up some sauce.

So, this was a nice little experiment just playing with some basics. It turned out to be an excellent dinner and lunch the next day. Except for the cheese there are no animal products or meat. I guess there are some cheese substitutes out there for vegans or you could probably skip the cheese altogether for this one. We probably won’t go as far as ever trying substitute cheese. But on a good note we have almost completely cut our cheese intake.