Since January, not only have I been completely vegan but I have also become gluten free for health-related issues (just a note... I do not believe gluten is a bad thing...it just doesn't do well in my body...therefore, many of my recipes are not gluten free because I still cook with gluten for my family).
After a delightful trip to the apple orchard/pumpkin patch last week, I had a beautiful butternut squash to use, loads of fresh kale from my garden and a box of gluten free lasagna noodles just asking to be used. I found a perfect recipe in Chloes's Vegan Italian Kitchen that was a must-try and the results were downright fabulous. I did modify the recipe for a few reasons - I didn't have any spinach so I used kale, I wanted a quick and easy recipe so I used dried minced onions and garlic powder instead of fresh onions and garlic and I eliminated the oil as I do not cook with oil anymore (see the end of this post for a quick blurb on why). Such a perfect fall treat on a breezy, cool day.
White Lasagna With Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach (Kylea's modified version:-) )
12 oz butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
sea salt and pepper
5 oz fresh kale, deveined and chopped
1 T minced dried onion
1 t garlic powder
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
3 cups water
1 T lemon juice
2 t sea salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 lb no boil lasagna noodles
tofu ricotta (recipe follows)
Fill pan half full with water and add squash. Cook until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. Place in food processor with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a food processor, combine onion, garlic, cashews, water, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth and creamy. In a 9x13 baking dish, spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles along the bottom, layer half the ricotta, 4 noodles, sauce, 1/2 the butternut squash, half the kale, sauce, 4 noodles, butternut squash, kale, remaining ricotta, and top with remaining sauce. Bake covered for 50 minutes or until noodles are tender and sauce is bubbly.
Tofu Ricotta (also modified)
1 T dried minced onions
1 t garlic powder
1 14oz package of drained extra firm tofu
2 T lemon juice
2 t sea salt
1 1/2 t black pepper
3/4 cup fresh basil
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until basil is chopped and tofu resembles ricotta cheese consistency. Set aside.
Eliminating Oils From the Diet
by Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D.
The Wellness Forum
I recently heard you speak and you emphasized the importance of eliminating oils from the diet.
I am young, have no signs of cardiovascular disease, it does not run in my family,
and I am wondering if it is ok to use oils in small amounts.
How important is it for someone like me to be totally compliant?
There are some compelling reasons for you to eliminate oils from the diet.
The first is that in my experience, people are more successful in maintaining optimal habits
when they have clear directions on what to do.
"Don't eat oil" is easier to understand and put into practice than "eat less oil."
"Less" is a subjective term, and very difficult to translate into action.
Second, oils are actually easier to eliminate than most people imagine.
Just don't cook with them, read labels, and avoid products containing oil.
Anyone can watch Del Sroufe, Executive chef and co-owner of
Wellness Forum Foods making oil-free stir fry on our website at www.wellnessforum.com,
and members can consult the Wellness 101 curriculum book, which lists substitutions
for oil in cooking, baking, in salad dressings and other common foods that contain oil,
and participate in Chef's Del's monthly calls for advice.
Third, you won't miss the oil. No one does. It does not add flavor to the food;
it just adds fat and calories.
Last but not least, an American dies of cardiovascular disease every 37 seconds,
according to The American Heart Association. This should be a powerful incentive
for people to do everything they can to reduce their risk of developing coronary artery disease.
Since oils have been proven to promote coronary artery disease,
we will continue to recommend eliminating them.
Circulation Volume 119(3)27 January 2009pp e21-e181 Heart Disease and
Stroke Statistics-2009 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association
Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee