Hello! You might remember me from such films as “that blogger who went on holiday”.
I’m here with another post from the archives that I posted as a farewell a few years ago when we took a trip to Japan. I had my very lovely neighbour and blogging powerhouse Nikki from Styling You do a guest spot with a salad she made for me one night when I went over for dinner. I had never had quinoa before, on account of it sounded like hippie food. But then I remembered I actually liked hippie food and she made this and I was converted.
Take it away, Nikki and Stacey of December 12, 2011!
I always want to call this thing a one-pot dinner, totally forgetting that it’s definitely not. It just really seems so easy? Boil pasta, make a simple bechamel, chuck in the oven.
I’m also one of those people who overdo the cheese sauce situation because it’s a pretty devastating affair to have a dry macaroni cheese. I mean, I’ve had it, and I didn’t die – but I’m all about cheese sauce. The saucier, the better.
A few weeks ago after one of our trips to the Collingwood Children’s Farm, we stopped in at Lentil as Anything at the Abbotsford Convent, where you pay whatever you like for what you eat. The food is always great, and is usually different every time you go. I usually get a bit of everything (it’s all vegetarian), and my plate looks like it doesn’t make much sense, but I’ve never walked out of there disappointed. Including my recent trip when they had a huge pot of steaming minestrone soup.
This lasagne is for all y’all who aren’t into layers of vegetables nestled in between pasta and sauce, masquerading as lasagne.
Having said that, I do make a pretty bangin’ vegetable lasagne. A couple of pumpkin ones too, here and here. But I also make a pretty bangin’ vegetarian lasagne with faux mince, for the nostalgic among us who just want some comfort food – and comfort food doesn’t include a green veg.
I’ve dabbled with the sauce, tweaking it here and there over the years, and to be honest I still make it different every time. The last incarnation favoured oregano over basil to see how that went (does anyone else pronounce it like Heather Chandler quietly to themselves when cooking? No? Just me?), and sometimes it’s light, sometimes thick and rich. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how many times I dabble with it, I still can’t get the mince to take on that proper depth of flavour the real thing would have, and sometimes it’s a bit of a disappoinment after the first few seconds of mouth bliss when the flavour doesn’t carry. But hey, if you haven’t had proper lasagne in a while, it’ll be a total party.
I know eggplant has some real devotees and people who would rather stick a fork in their eye than than in the vegetable, but I’m so pro. I’ve had flabby eggplant, I understand the sentiment, it’s just that I’ve had it better than I’ve had it bad.
Note: I’ve republished this recipe from 2010 (one of my first!) with a few updates because it is on HIGH rotation here at VMHQ and I though y’all would like it. One of the few soups I make again and again over the years and am excited to eat every time. Enjoy!
When I first went veg I went to all my favourite recipe sites and typed in “vegetarian”, then hit the search button. I tried so many new flavours, new ingredient combinations, and so many more recipes than I had ever thought existed. Suddenly a whole new world opened to me – and one of those worlds was cuisines from other cultures who took vegetables pretty damn seriously.
So seriously that their vegetables were unlike anything I had ever tasted before. Take this Greek stew for example – it’s not just roast vegetables, people (although they are my favourite!), it’s a mix of slowly braised/roasted veg with loads of garlic, onion, herbs and lemon, cooked for hours until it melds into a delectable, sweet, flavoursome (dare I say unctuous? weird word, but it’s perfect) mix of soft, crispy, chewy vegetable stew-like deliciousness.
I know, I thought the same thing. Why millet when you can arborio? Or even carnaroli? Won’t millet be less creamy than risotto rice? Well, yes and no. But the point is, it’s delicious. It’s even gluten-free, if that’s your thing. If you’re avoiding white rice, then let me assure you, it’s got a great risotto texture. I was both surprised and pleased, then I scarfed the lot.