Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vegan kale lasagna

Thanks to a Mother's Day family bbq (and let's face it, laziness), I've been eating leftovers for the past 2 days, therefore no new posts. Now that mom's delicious noodle salad (a post for later when I attempt it) is all gone, I'm back in full force.

This recipe is a variation of Chow's Winter Greens Lasagna. It was such a hit among the non-vegetarians at my friend, Steph's dad's 60th birthday, I had to try to make a non-dairy version. Seriously, her family, much like my own, doesn't consider it a meal unless 4 different kinds of animal are served. They LOVED this dish. And despite being allergic to dairy, I allowed myself one incredible, luscious bite. So worth the pain. One note on that recipe: if you can eat dairy, make the creme fraiche yourself. It's totally worth it.

4 layers worth of lasagna noodles, cooked to package directions
About 8 cups or so Basic tomato sauce. Actually, err on having more sauce. It'll keep for a few days.
6 cups kale (roughly one bunch)
1/2 tub Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1 package Daiya mozzarella flavoured cheese-like substance
400ml can of coconut milk, shaken vigorously
1 tbsp butter, or vegan substitute for butter (I've tricked my body into accepting butter)
Olive oil
Salt to taste

Let's do it!
Rip the kale leaves from the stems and rinse. Chop finely, or chop in a food processor in batches (which is what I did)

Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and throw in the kale. Sautee until dark, roughly 10 minutes. Yes, I like to cook the ever living crap out of kale, when I do decide to cook it. Add butter, cream cheese and a short pour of coconut milk, roughly 1/4 cup. Stir until the cheese melts. Add enough coconut to make the mixture like a thick batter. If you're using the kind of lasagna noodles you don't precook, add enough milk to make it like a thin batter. Add salt until it's really really good. I added almost 1 tsp. Hey, this is vegan, I didn't say it was HEALTHY. Everything in this is fake except for the kale and tomato sauce.

At this point, you should probably preheat your oven to whatever the lasagna package says you need to put it to.

Ladle a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish. Layer with noodles. Ladle 1/2 the kale mixture and spread flat. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the Daiya and top with more tomato sauce. Repeat this once more, then top with tomato sauce, Daiya, and some coconut milk in a criss cross kind of pattern. Bake to lasagna package instructions.

When the lasagna is done, I like to keep enough for one meal for both of us, then freeze the rest in single serving portions, for those (increasingly common) days when I'm too lazy to cook. It reheats pretty well.

Diagnosis: Delicious!
Holy hell, this lasagna is tasty! If you can't have dairy, and enjoy the taste of Daiya cheese, you will lose it over this.

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