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Fights About Lasagna

12 December 2011

The past five years have brought phenomenal change to my life. I made some personal desicions about my health and goals and shortly after that I started dating Markus. A few months into our relationship he went vegetarian and I accepted the challenge (everything is a competition to me). Then last year, after seeing a gluten-free diet work for my celiac family members, we kicked gluten to the curb. I am a hugely emotional eater so each of these transitions have been big when you think about how much emphasis I put on food and certain meals, but actually not a huge deal when I take it a meal at a time and focus on how much better I feel. Now Markus and I are locked in a food battle of epic proportions - that being the battle of cheese.

Markus has cut free from cheese, which means something very important to me is now at risk: lasagna.

Can you make a homemade lasagna for one person? No. What is a lasagna without the cheese? It is nothing. These were the questions running through my head at night (see above re: emotional relationship with food).

When I found this FitSugar recipe for a vegan, gluten-free lasagna on Pinterest I was skeptical but intrigued. Last night we worked on a few afternoon projects at the house before our standing Sunday date-night to look at Christmas lights, so I gave the recipe a whirl.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Lasagna (adapted from FitSugar)

3 zucchinis, cut into strips lengthwise
1 jar marinara sauce
1 can tomato sauce
1 veggie soup cube
1 cup water
3/4 cup quinoa
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 package of extra firm tofu
Fresh or dried parsley

I preheated the oven to 375F and started cutting my zucchini strips. After the strips were cut I laid them out on a baking sheet a sprinkled them with salt and my beloved herbamare to help them "sweat." At the same time I boiled water with the veggie soup cube in it. After the water began to boil I added the quinoa, tomato sauce, onion and parsley. I let this all simmer together for about 10 minutes or until the quinoa had doubled in size. Continue stirring for a minute or two after you remove the sauce from heat, as mine began to thicken. After I had my sauce I crumbled up the tofu until it had the vague appearance of ricotta cheese.

Once all my parts were prepared it was time to layer. I did the marinara first, then zucchini, then tofu crumbles and quinoa sauce, repeating until the casserole dish is full. Then bake for about 25 minutes or until the sauce looks thick and any zucchini you can see poking out looks tender.

The end result was trips to the kitchen for seconds for Markus and I and no fights about cheese. Especially when I decided to put a slice of cheese on my second helping. I am so glad to know I have this dish for when I'm craving something out of my casserole pan that can accommodate all family members. Even Little Child, who jumped into the trash compactor trying to get seconds!

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