Tasty delights and Tasty Lasagna

I’ll start off with our lovely Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop treats from yesterday.  We visited my family and on the way I picked up a few things on request to split with them.  Mister Nice Guy has changed the recipe for his cinnamon buns and they are softer but just as delicious.  The peanut butter cheesecake was again delicious and the walnut brownie was a hit too:

mngbrownie

mngbunscheesecake

Now every once in a while I am sharply reminded that I don’t know half as much about cooking as I thought I did.  Before going vegan, I fancied myself as quite knowledgeable about cooking and I was a bit of a gourmet foodie pre-kids.

While I was still an omnivore, a vegan friend introduced me to eating raw.  I was blown away by kale chips (kale, what’s that?) and the nut cheeses she made.  There were ingredients I’d never heard of, like nutritional yeast and Irish moss (not that I use the latter but it’s still fascinating).  Now of course you don’t have to be vegan to know about these things and cook with them, but I had I not become vegan I don’t know if I would have ever learnt about nutritional powerhouses available to us all.

Another thing that blew me away was how to use nuts and veggies in different ways.  I would never ever have imagined finely processing a raw parsnip to make ‘rice’.  Or making meatless balls with nuts or amazing sausage rolls.  Becoming vegan is what exposed me to all these different ways of using plants.

So when I came across this recipe for meatless meaty lasagna using cauliflower and walnuts as the ‘meat’, I jumped up and down then bookmarked it for a later day.  And that day was today!

Now, there’s potentially a fair bit of work here but as the recipe says you can reduce prep time by using bottled pasta sauce and pesto.

Here’s the ground walnuts-cauliflower ‘meat’ mixture all cooked nicely:

lasagnaa

Here’s the tofu ‘ricotta’ with pesto:

lasagnab

The ricotta and pesto mixed together:

lasagnac

And the finished product (which sort of plopped on to the plate in an undignified fashion):

lasagna2

lasagna1

I made my own pesto as I had the ingredients to use up today but the sauce was a bottled mix.  I did like this dish but the family wouldn’t go near it so now I’m stuck with a big load to freeze.  If I make this again I’ll use pecans as I can taste the walnuts.  I like walnuts but more if they’re in a maple syrup banana bread concoction.  Pecans are my nut of choice for ‘meaty’ things.

I can definitely see myself making the cauliflower-nut mix again to use in a bolognese sauce.  In fact, I might use a cauli-pecan mix for another version of sausage rolls.  Which could mean another cooking disaster that I would feel obligated to blog about.

If you have a link to a favourite nutty kind of ‘meaty’ meal, please share in the comments!

UPDATE: this tasted even better a day or two later and the walnutty taste didn’t bother me at all then so in the future I’ll probably stick with the walnut-cauli mix.  I think I just had to get over the fact this was a walnuts dish in a non-dessert presentation  🙂  I gave a bit to some other family members and they’ve bookmarked the recipe too.  Husband did try some the day after I made it and declared it was better than he expected (he’s a big non-vegan-version-of-lasagna fan).  I’m glad the kids didn’t take to it because I have the frozen leftovers all for myself  🙂

Thanks folks, see you back here soon  🙂

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8 thoughts on “Tasty delights and Tasty Lasagna

  1. Yum, your lasagna looks lovely! I’ve made Ricki’s cauliflower “meat” a few times and have found the walnut flavour to be strong at times but it’s depended on the recipe it’s been used in. I’ve made the “meat” with half pecans, half walnuts as well and am sure that 100% pecans would do the job nicely too. It’s a great recipe but it does take a while to prepare.

    I need to try one of those cinnamon buns one day, they look divine!

  2. That actually looks really good!

    I’m always amazed at the inventive ways people do things in the raw food cuisine, just as much as omnivores are as astounded after asking me “what do you use for eggs?!” in cakes, etc, ha ha.

    That’s funny you should say that about the walnuts not being “meaty” enough – I guess it depends on how and what you use them in – I often find pecans quite buttery and insubstantial. You can often still taste them all, though – you’d need a *lot* of seasoning and processing. Bryanna Clark Grogan has an excellent recipe in her book “Nonna’s Italian Kitchen” for a ligurian walnut pasta sauce, with nondairy milk. It sounds highly implausible – but it’s absolutely delicious!

    • Thanks! Yep, I love seeing omni reactions like “you mean this has no eggs???” 🙂 Thanks for the tip about the cookbook, I was planning on placing an order at Book Depo today and might add that book too 🙂 Now that I think of it, I’ve always seen walnuts as something more ‘sweet’, walnuts are used in lots of Greek desserts and looking back I don’t think I ever had them in a savoury dish. I wonder if that’s why I find the flavour strong in savoury dishes? Time to test!

  3. Your photos are gorgeous! (That brownie. . . . ). 😉 And thanks so much for the shout-out about the meaty crumbles and lasagna. Your lasagna looks terrific (not at all undignified!–LOL!). Funny, I don’t find walnuts all that strong of a flavor, but pecans also sound like they’d work really well–something for me to try next time.

    • Thanks Ricki 🙂 The lasagna got the thumbs up from other family members and it tastes even better after a day or two in the fridge AND the walnut flavour wasn’t as obvious to me then. So I might end up sticking with walnuts!

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