Saturday, July 31, 2010
Wild Mushroom and Corn Lasagna and Miscellaneous Stuff
Since it is the weekend that means a mid-day meal with my elderly parents today. I have noticed that they seem to prefer cooked food to raw. Dan loves lasagna and because the weather was somewhat cool today I decided we could crank the oven up. Lasagna is a meal that everyone enjoys. I wanted to make a different version of lasagna for the one Dan loves which is posted here. I decided a simple mushroom and corn version would be good today. I wish I had taken the time to let this cool longer before I sliced it. I am not happy with the photo above. But the taste is good which is more important. I am working on not being so much of a perfectionist. ;-) Here is what I made this afternoon:
Wild Mushroom and Corn Lasagna
2 cups mixed dried mushrooms
3 cups water
1 red onion, thinly sliced (allow to stand 10 minutes before cooking)
6 cloves garlic, finely minced (allow to stand 10 minutes before cooking)
6 whole wheat pasta noodles
14 ounces extra firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons brown rice flour (any flour will do)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ tablespoon dehydrated minced onions
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
½ cup oats, ground into flour
strained mushroom soaking liquid from above
½ teaspoon thyme, dried
black pepper, to taste
Combine the mushrooms and water and microwave until the water is hot. Allow the mushrooms to soak for 30 minutes. Then strain the mushrooms and cooking liquid. You want to make certain to capture any sediment from the dried mushrooms. You can use a strainer lined with two of three layers or cheesecloth, or damp paper towel. You can also use a chinois. Make certain the mushrooms are bite-sized pieces.
Cook the onions and garlic in a little mushroom cooking liquid (start with ¼ cup) until they are soft and starting to get brown. You may need to add a tablespoon of liquid while they cook if the water evaporates.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a slice of aluminum foil across the longest sides of the loaf pan and bottom. You will use this foil as a sling to lift the lasagna out of the pan. The aluminum foil is optional but will make things easier.
Cook the pasta noodles until they are approximately 75% done. You want them underdone so they absorb some of the mushroom sauce and provide additional structure to the lasagna.
In the food processor combine the tofu, flour, nutritional yeast and minced onions and process until mostly smooth. You will still have little bits of onions in the tofu filling. Stir the corn into the filling by hand so it remains whole.
In your blender grind the oats into flour, add the raw cashews and half of the mushroom cooking liquid. Process until everything is completely smooth. Pour this into the pot with the onions. Place the rest of the mushroom liquid in your blender to clean out the remaining ingredients. Pour this into the pot with the onions and simmer until you have a thick sauce. It should look like a thick béchamel, like you would use to make croquettes (the consistency of mayonnaise). It needs to be this thick so the lasagna will have some structure.
To assemble start with a little of the mushroom sauce about a ¼ cup spread across the base of a loaf pan. Layer in noodles, tofu with corn, mushrooms, sauce, noodles …… etc. I ended with tofu filling topped with mushrooms. Cover the loaf pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Test the lasagna with a paring knife inserted in the center to confirm the noodles are fully cooked.
Cool for at least 15-20 minutes to make it easier to serve. Otherwise it will slide apart like mine did. My timing today wasn’t good so there wasn’t sufficient time to cool the lasagna before I needed to plate. But it still tasted good. ;-)
Amount Per Serving
Calories From Fat (30%) - 92.07
Total Fat - 10.07g
Saturated Fat - 1.3g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 18.87mg
Potassium - 393.04mg
Total Carbohydrates - 37.75g
Fiber - 4.99g
Sugar - 1.35g
Protein - 15.78g
I intentionally kept the components of this on the light side (flavor wise) so that the mushrooms would be the star of the dish. This lasagna has a big mushroom flavor. If you like mushrooms you should enjoy this lasagna. My father really seemed to like this and didn’t even grab for the salt shaker. I would say this was a success. Dan and I would absolutely have this again.
Mexican Zucchini Salad:
To start the meal I made a quick salad as follows: Spiralized zucchini, thinly sliced red bell peppers, diced tomatoes, defrosted sweet corn, salsa, avocado, parsley and cashew crème fraiche. This was a start to our meal.
My spiral slicer:
I get a lot of questions about my spiral slicer. I don’t have a separate slicer mine is an attachment to my mandoline. I bought this a few years ago at Williams Sonoma. But have not seen it there since. It is a DeBuyer mandoline with a spiral cutting attachment if you want to look for one.
Breakfast this morning:
We had a bowl of tropical fruit salad this morning for breakfast which included fresh pineapple, kiwi and dragon fruit. Dan also had a bowl of oatmeal with wild blueberries, flaxseeds and walnuts.
I am posting the dragon fruit separately because I got an email asking how to open the dragon fruit. I cut the fruit in half top to bottom,pictured above.
Then you can peel the skin from the fruit and cut it into chunks. It has a very mild flavor. I buy it more for the color; I like the white flesh with black seeds. The tastes reminds me of a kiwi with the flesh being more firm
Dan and I were just chatting about dinner. At the moment we have no idea what we are going to do. The weather is gorgeous and we are considering a little al fresco dining but with such a late lunch we won’t be hungry for hours.
The weather has been so beautiful the last few days. We have been enjoying the fresh air in the house. It is such a treat to have the windows open in July. Typically the weather this time of the year is hot and humid.
Since I doubt you read the comments on the blog, I wanted to point out what great success Lolly is having with E2L. I am so thrilled for her. You can read her comments here. She is going to be updating her blog with results soon. I for one can’t wait to read the details. However having her blood pressure drop significantly and quickly is fantastic news. Go Lolly! I am so thrilled for you! For those of you on the fence on the health benefits of E2L Lolly is regaining her health and fast. I am so impressed with her results so far and wanted to share the great news.
Time for me to get a few things done around here and figure out what we are doing for dinner. I also need to make a list for the farmers’ market tomorrow. Talk to you all again soon.