Sunday, November 24, 2013

A vegan lasagna by any other name...

I tried calling it 'vegetables with pasta' when she asked me what was for dinner.
My daughter asked if I could put the vegetables on the side.
"No, it's more of a casserole", I said.
 My son said, "oh, it's a Lasagna".
I said, 'yeah, something like that'.
I didn't want to set expectations that it was the cheesy lasagna that Garfield and my family love. But, despite my careful wording, it still disappointed.

It looked lovely when I removed it from the oven. But, alas, that was the best of it. My daughter tried to pick all the vegetables out, actually scraping the noodles so she could eat them plain. My husband said it 'smelled like a 4 when it was cooking, but tastes like a 2.' They also disagreed on which parts they didn't like. My husband liked the sweet potatoes layer, my daughter the broccoli, my son the mushrooms - each of them didn't like the other parts.  I thought the spinach was too strong, which was surprising since spinach is usually pretty mild.   Interestingly enough, no one remarked on the tofu. So, it's not like I can just make it again and leave out the corn, or some other easy mod.

On the plus side, the dish includes an incredible variety and amount of vegetables, and the cashew topping was liked by everybody. My son did actually have a second helping. I served it with some grilled bread left over from lunch. Until I asked for ratings, no one complained.  They just ate the parts they liked and ate lots of bread dipped in extra sauce.

The recipe is here on the Engine 2 Diet blog.
Raise-the-Roof Sweet Potato-Vegetable Lasagna

Modifications or Notes: 
I had only a few modifications.  Left out the bell peppers. Used regular lasagna noodles (not whole wheat), used homemade sauce (not jarred), left off the extra roma tomatoes off the top.  Also, cooked it for 45 minutes covered at 400 degrees on convect, then took it out after 8 minutes uncovered because the cashews were already brown.  The bottom had burnt a bit too - unfortunately my daughter got that piece.  It might have been different if I used a jarred sauce - it probably would have had more salt - which might have appealed to some.  However, no body asked for additional salt so I'm not sure that was it.

Kid-friendly: no
Kid-rating: 2
Husband-rating: 2 - would almost have been a 3 without the strong spinach
My rating: 3
Ease of prep: Long - not hard, but it took me at least an hour before it went in the oven.
Cleanup: Long
Nutrition: A : tons of veggies; lots of variety
Overall Rating: 2 - I will try varying the recipe.  I'm sure I will post about other lasagnas soon enough.

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