Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Vegetarian Night

One of my resolutions this year was to cook more vegetarian meals for my family. Admittedly that hasn't really happened much yet other than the occasional veggie pizza. But yesterday I was flipping through older magazines looking for anything to cook for dinner that was a little different. I was in the mood to cook- but I didn't know what. It was in the April 2006 issue of Vegetarian Times that I found my inspiration. Asparagus-Pesto Lasagna caught my eye. As I recall it did a year ago when I first got this magazine. And as I read through the recipe I had almost everything I needed for this dish- including the asparagus. I also recalled that a gentleman who goes by Bob on the CLBB had made this dish and raved about it. (Some things just stick in your head- and Bob has never steered me wrong so I pay attention when he raves.)

I assembled my lasagna before lunchtime actually. I was using no-boil noodles, according to the recipe, and I wanted to make sure they absorbed the sauce and were soft, so I thought making it ahead and allowing it to sit for a few hours would be beneficial. I only made two minor changes to the recipe as it was. The first was to add a handful each of mushrooms and onions to the asparagus as it cooked, and the second change was to use less noodles. The recipe called for 16- and since no-boil noodles swell, I ended up only using 9- and it worked just fine.

The lasagna was fantastic- in a word. It wasn't heavy or cloying like I thought it might be using a milk based sauce. It was just plain delicious. The asparagus worked perfectly and really came through flavor wise. The sauce was soaked right up, and the proportions really were perfect. I could go on and on about how delicious this lasagna was- it was that good. Most definitely company worthy, that's for certain. One of the things I liked best about this lasagna was that it was good and hearty, and it definitely filled me up, but after dinner was done I didn't feel heavy. I felt full and satisfied, but not in a bad way. That's one of the reasons I want to play more with vegetarian cooking. The fullness factor is definitely different after eating a nutritious veggie meal than after a heavy protein based meal. Two thumbs up from Andy and I, Zander enjoyed it, and Abigail just said it was okay, and didn't want to eat more than a few bites. She prefers her asparagus raw. Overall Asparagus-Pesto Lasagna was an instant hit, and will be repeated here.


Anonymous said...

looks great! I would imagine you could also use broccoli, which is another green fave at our house.

this will also use up alot of my freezer stash of pesto!!

do you think this would freeze well?

Erika W. said...

Absolutely Andy! Many of the people on the CLBB did freeze it actually-they froze it already baked and it reheated as good as the first time it was cooked.

Broccoli would be a perfect substitution for the asparagus too.

Julie said...

Hmmmmm. OK. You've convinced me. Veggie lasagna is my next project.
Wish me luck. The last Lasagna made didn't exactly work out....

Erika W. said...

Julie, this really was easy to put together. The only tricky part is the white sacue- but that is just flour and milk cooked until thick. Then it comes off the heat for other ingredients to be added.

It was such a nice alternative to the traditional heavy red sauce and meat lasagna. And it's STILL good as leftovers.