Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sharing at family gatherings.

Went to a family shindig yesterday (to celebrate 2 birthdays) and it was a great opportunity for me to bring a dish to share. I usually freak out a little when something like this comes up because I want to impress them with my vegan cooking skills and show them that I still eat great tasting food with lots of flavor and variety. I also didn't want to scare them away with 'weird' ingredients (like tempeh or any kind of fake meat) so I decided on a vegetable lasagna. Something familiar and comforting yet a little different from the usual. This one had a creamy white sauce instead of the usual marinara. To put this together, I used two compenents of two different lasagna recipes. I took the spinach white sauce preparation from the Florentine Lasagna in 'The Vegan Family Cookbook' and the creamy herbed tofu and soy cream cheese filling from the Cheesy Lasagna recipe over at vegweb. I thought it was ok for me to use tofu in this dish (which to some people is still weird) since it was going to be hiding inside the layers of lasagna.

Some of the ingredients. Cremini mushrooms, zucchini and carrots, tofu and soy cream cheese for the filling. Onions, garlic and a bag of spinach for the white sauce.

This is what the filling looked like as it bubbled away. See, you can't see the tofu!

After boiling the noodles and making the spinach white sauce (forgot to get a photo of this), it was just a matter of layering it all together. I had this idea to peel thin slices of zucchini to decorate the top. I think it worked well.

Before going into the oven...

And just out of the oven. How beautiful it looks in the dappled sunlight!

I also made Thai coleslaw which was really good except probably not that great as a potluck dish. Because it was sitting out most of the day, it got warm and wilty and lost it's crispness.

So the verdict? Everyone loved the lasagna and I was happy to see pieces missing as the day turned into night. The coleslaw, not so much but that's ok. The cookie dough brownies I made were a hit with the kids.

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