Thursday, September 6, 2018

Vegan Month of Food 2018 Day 6 - The Anti-Vegan

This was the ultimate vegan lasagna.
Three kinds of non-dairy cheese from scratch.
Vegan arribiata sauce from scratch.
Or, you can do your thing with premade.
Whatever you choose, it's going to be great!

Today we are tasked with bringing you food for the so-called anti-vegan. Those who say moronic comments like "mmm, bacon," "but cheese," or "I cannot live on salad."

Sigh.... it's all too real.

I spent hours making a from scratch lasagna for you. I mean from scratch. The only component I didn't make from scratch were the noodles but heck if you have one of those hand crank noodle machines (or even a mechanized version) have at it (just substitute aquafaba for the eggs). I made tofu ricotta, cashew mozzarella and use the parm from the other night's tortellini episode. I spent over 2 hours working the red sauce... same arrabiata as the other night, but double the quantity. There's fresh spinach and fresh basil in this too. If you don't want to make all those components from scratch, you can make bad ass lasagna yourself with ZERO dairy using commercially prepared vegan cheeses. Miyoko's makes a line of non-dairy cheese that will blow your mind. Actually, some of her "wheel" varieties were reviewed by some dairy cheese snob chef not too long ago. My recollection is that they made an "A" grade,  he was pretty shocked apparently.

Those of us in the know with non-dairy cheese are already in the know. But, it does take time to make from scratch non-dairy cheeses, unless you're going for simpler things like I did with the parm. Listen, the cashew cheese I made took about 1.5 hours to cook. But no one needs to do that. I'm going to skip the link to that, and give you Miyoko's wet buffalo mozzarella link IF you want to make your own as that one is quite fast, and really great. As far as the ricotta, you know there's even a Tofutti brand ricotta which is off and on carried by the chains down here. That means if I can find it, it's everywhere. But, again, the link to the tofu ricotta I used will be provided. If you aren't for tofu,  you can message me and I can give you a link to a good almond ricotta (trust me, it will be far more labor intensive). For the sauce, we ALL make vegan red sauce at some point in our lives. You can use your own recipe, or the method I gave you a couple days ago. Or.... you can even buy sauce in a jar.

My whole point of this "anti-vegan" post is that you can make things as easy, or as complicated as you want. Good food doesn't have to take all day to make, but it can if you want to work it that way. It's just up to you. When I make lasagna I typically make the cheeses a day or 2 before (I like using the Miyoko recipe I'm providing but trust me.... her premade variety is the best). I almost always use sauce from a jar. I choose vegan marinara. I add things to it. I make it mine. I do not sprinkle dead animals in it, there's simply no need.

If you wanted to add a meat like protein, pick up some Beyond Meat or Gardein crumbles, Treat it as you were using whatever you're used to as far as cooking or seasoning. But here's another great thing, those are already cooked so you can just sprinkle them into your sauce without cooking ahead of time.

Today, I put my fancy sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan, lined with the overlapping lasagna noodles, completely covered the noodles with the ricotta, covered the ricotta completely with sauce, sprinkled fresh spinach and basil over that, then dolloped my cashew mozzarella all over. I sprinkled a bit of nutmeg, salt and pepper, then repeated with the next layer the same way. When I got to the top layer, I smothered the top layer with the rest of the cashew mozzarella, more basil, salt, pepper and nutmeg. I covered the dish and baked at 325 about 40 minutes, removed the covering and baked for about 7 more minutes til the cheese got just brown (a few bits are much darker, you'll see). Let stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting. I swear, it was delicious!!!

Yay! I made lasagna!

Here's the links if you choose to  make your own non-dairy cheeses:

If you want to use pre-made, splurge if you can for the Miyoko's mozzarella. Use the Galaxy brand of VEGAN parm (they have 2 varieties, one is vegan, the other is not.... look for the purple "vegan" label) and for ricotta, try the Tofutti brand, or I think Kite Hill has a version now (pricey most likely) but why not make your own ricotta at least, it takes minutes and is so tasty.

I don't know.... when anyone says a rude or sarcastic comment about veganism I really do what I can to keep love in my heart and respond with ways to help them find what they think they will miss by going vegan.

Honestly, the only thing I regret about being vegan is that I wasn't born vegan. Now, go eat some lasagna with some decadent non-dairy cheese that didn't cause a bit of pain or cruelty to our friends the cows or their babies.

See you tomorrow!


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