What do you do when your husband is showing signs of becoming a herbivore? He is not a full-blown vegetarian, but he wants to eat mainly a plant based diet. Its not that he wants to protect the cows and its not that vegetarianism kind of a fad, he just really loves veggies and legumes and doesn’t really think its worth it to eat all the calories of meat when he doesn’t really even care for it. Now, don’t get me wrong, we still eat meat. We just don’t have a hunk of meat as the main part of our meals, hardly ever anymore. And every once in a while, I get a craving for a slab of meat and we head over to Five Guys. But don’t worry, we get enough protein. Did you know that if you eat legumes or nuts with grains, rice, or corn you get a complete protein. That’s what we do. Plus we still eat eggs and milk.Oh, and we eat fish and occasionally shredded chicken in a stir-fry. We also eat so many lentils, mushrooms, beans, whole grains, and fish which are all high in iron. I also take iron pills. And guess what! I feel better than ever. My ulcerative colitis has been in remission since we have started eating this way. I certainly don’t know if the way I have been eating has helped my health, but it certainly is not hurting and I feel great! The hardest part of eating a plant heavy diet, is finding new recipes that feel like a complete meal. The other day I stumbled upon a really really great food blog that has all vegetarian recipes. You should really check it out. I made a weeks menu from just a few minutes looking around on his site. It is called Herbivoracious. Go check it out! The original recipe from Michael’s site was Summer Squash and Portobello Mushroom Lasagna. I had zucchini and regular sliced mushrooms on hand and it still turned out to be fabulous. This lasagna was the best lasagna I have ever made. It was better than a regular old meat lasagna. Give it a try. I think you will love it too.
At the request of Michael, I’m not going to put the recipe up on my blog, just a link to it. It’s his original recipe and I would love you to go to his blog and check it out. The only changes I made to his recipe were using zucchini instead of squash and crimini mushrooms instead of portabello.
My notes about this lasagna:
- Sauté the zucchini and mushrooms in olive oil in a large frying pan. Get a nice sear on each side. This prevents the veggie from loosing all their moisture in the lasagna and turning it into a mushy puddle. It also adds a nice tasty roasted flavor. You will probably need to do this in batches.
- The sauce calls for lemon zest. I’m not used to adding lemon zest to tomato sauce, so I thought it was a strange addition. Until I tried it. I really loved it! I noticed that salt balances out the lemon flavor nicely. So sprinkle a little salt in, taste, and sprinkle more if needed. You don’t want to over salt, but if you don’t add enough salt, the lemon will be really prominent. It still yummy and I actually like I that way, but adding enough salt and pepper will make everything blend together.
- You can use cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese. I know ricotta is more sophisticated than cottage cheese, but I tend to keep cottage cheese on hand more than ricotta. While ricotta is suggested, I used cottage cheese (low fat) because I had it and it tasted just fine.
- Let the lasagna sit for 10 minutes after baking so that it can settle before cutting into it.
- Use oven ready no-boil lasagna noodles. They are the way to go! No boiling. Just layer the lasagna with the hard uncooked noodles and the tomato sauce will cook them. Avoid over cooking. You don’t want really mushy noodles.
Recipe from herbivoracious.