It’s time for a redux-inspired recipe! This month was a pretty fun theme:
Stir up some of your earliest culinary recollections. Did you stand at your grandmother’s elbow to learn to cook? Or did you learn by stumbling through a cookbook by yourself? Share a healthy recipe and the accompanying story about one of your first cooking memories.
So my mom isn’t much of a cook. I grew up watching my father’s culinary expertise – he loved nothing better than to be in the kitchen cooking or baking up a storm. But I’ve pulled a lot of his spirit into my cooking already, I wanted to tribute my mom in this post. Although she didn’t cook much, she had one thing she made AMAZING! Lasagna. She would get up early and make the sauce from scratch (including tomatoes grown from our garden that my dad canned himself) and let it simmer for an entire day.
The house would smell amazing. She would carefully cook the noodles, layer on the sauce & cheese (I got the be the cheese shredder) and we would all sit down to a family dinner with garlic bread and salad. My sister worked part time and my dad worked shift work, so we didn’t always have time to sit down to a nice, family dinner. I loved those nights. I wanted to channel my inner mom, so I made my own sauce and simmered it.
I also made my own cheese since I’m vegan now. And I was a picky eater as a kid so mom was nice enough to blend veggies into the sauce so I couldn’t tell (sneaky, sneaky!). I layered veggies in with my cheese & sauce. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t quite as good with gluten-free noodles, the ones I used broke. But it still made for a great meal.
Lasagna (enough for a 9×12 dish)
9 lasagna noodles of your choice (if you find some good gluten-free ones, let me know!)
1 batch of homemade cashew cheese, recipe below (or vegan cheese of choice)
1 batch of homemade tomato sauce, recipe below (or a jar of store bought)
2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 small bunch of spinach, washed, dried & roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 375. Spoon enough sauce to coat the bottom of the lasagna pan. Place 3 noodles on the bottom of the pan, layer on some sauce (I use a few tbsp per noodle – it depends on how saucy you like it), cover the sauce with half of the veggie mixture and spoon on the cheese to cover the sauce & veggies. Layer on 3 more noodles, more sauce, the rest of the veggies and more cheese. Finally, layer the last 3 noodles and the rest of the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the centre is hot. To save on time, you can always just use store bought vegan cheese & sauce. If you have a little more time, try making your own with the recipes below.
1 cup of cashews, soaked for 4-8 hour (the longer you soak, it’ll be easier to blend)
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
the juice of half a lemon
1/4 tsp of salt
Drain and rinse the cashews. Add the cashews, nooch, lemon juice & salt and blend until smooth. You may need a bit of water to get it to blend all the way.
5 medium-sized tomatoes
2 stalks of celery
2 cloves of garlic
1 handful of fresh parsley (or 1 tsp of dried)
3 tbsp of tomato paste
1 tsp each of dried basil, oregano & onion powder
salt & pepper to taste
Put tomatoes, celery, garlic and parsley in the blender and blend until mostly smooth (I like to leave it a little chunky for texture). Pour this mixture into a large pot, add the tomato paste & spices. Simmer as long as you’re able, the longer the better. If you’re short on time, even just 30 minutes will be good. You could easily double this recipe and simmer it in a crock pot.
What’s your favourite childhood cooking memory?