Thank you for looking around my new website. I am really excited about being able to share my knowledge and passion for food, nutrition and exercise with you.
I have had a few questions asking about my beliefs on plant-based diets. Let me be clear, this website is not to solely promote veganism or vegetariansim. Yes, I follow these diets myself, but my goal as a dietitian is to help YOU find what works for you. In posting recipes that don’t contain animal products, I hope you will try them, but I don’t expect anyone to completely convert to this way of eating. My hope is that you find new ways to use tofu, tempeh, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and include these items in your diet each week. By substituting even a few meatless meals you will experience some of the benefits of a low-fat vegetarian diet (proven to be helpful to individuals with high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, ect). Now, onto the cooking…
I recently made this lasagna for a dinner party of meat-eaters and everyone loved it! Spicy, creamy, saucy, this lasagna is definitely one you are going to want to make over and over again.
Spicy Italian Lasagna
*We couldn’t wait to devour this! Sorry for the sloppy photo, but I assure you it smelled so good, no one could wait for me to find the camera.
Lasagna noodles (I used whole wheat ones)
Marinara sauce (jar or make your own, recipe below)
Tofu Ricotta (recipe below)
4 large zucchini, sliced thin
1/2 onion, sliced into half moons
3 peppers (I used anaheim and jalapeno), chopped very fine
1 japanese eggplant, sliced thin
1 package meatless or regular Italian sausage, prepared
Daiya cheese, to sprinkle on top, optional
1 pound firm tofu, pressed
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic (or more!), minced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
handful basil leaves, chopped
handful parsley, chopped
small handful chopped oregano , or 1 tsp dried oregano
salt, pepper to taste
Mash tofu with fork or potato masher until crumbled. Add remaining ingredients and mix completely to combine. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
DK’s Spaghetti Sauce:
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce (I love Hunt’s plain)
1 small can tomato paste
Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until translucent. Add green pepper and allow to cook together for 5-10 minutes, until soft. Add remaining ingredients and let simmer over low heat for 2-3 hours. Added bonus? Your house will smell just delicious
Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil or vegetable broth over medium heat. Add onion and stir until translucent. Add zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and 1 tsp. salt. Cook over medium heat 20-30 minutes until vegetables are soft.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Add sausage to sauce and let cook together for 10 minutes. In a large pan, ladle sauce into pan to fully cover the bottom. Top with 1 layer of noodles, another layer of sauce, vegetables, and tofu ricotta. Continue to layer in this order: noodles, sauce, vegetables, ricotta until you have three layers, ending with noodles ontop. Add another layer of sauce and lightly cover with cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook and additional 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted. (Save the foil for later use). Enjoy! I served this with a large arugula salad and garlic-rubbed bread.