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Friday, July 29, 2011

Business....

I've been busy. Just got back from Germany - quite a vacation. I must say, it far exceeded my expectations for the European continent. I can't wait to go back; I'm certainly going to need to brush up on my French as German was completely foriegn to me.
A funny thing about the food there - for a region of tremendously fresh and available fruits and vegetables, meat is astoundingly popular and inexpensive. I had known that the region is more interested in organics than vegetarianism, but I hadn't expected to have Spaetzle-five-ways. That said, the food was always very good. Below are a few images of my German gastronomic exploration!

Airline food: Always Order Vegetarian...
The First Supper: Spaetzle with steamed veggies and stewed mushrooms.
Donor Kebap: Vegetarian Style. Thank you cultural fusion...
Vegetarian Sushi at Munich's premier (apparently) vegetarian eatery...
...And their delectable Apple Strudel with vanilla Cream.

Venturing out of Munich we ate in Saltzburg, a small town called Fussen, Ingolsdadt, Innsbruck. It was quite a trip.
One of the many Spaetzles: Gruyere like most. Good, but enough "mac-and-cheese" for a while
Delicious Mushroom Goulash and a Dumpling the size of a softball!
I Tell you, the produce there...

And don't forget the delicious baked goods. This bread came from a wonderful B&B in Schwangau, Austria. The Landhotel Guglupf. I recommend it.
And yes, I'm told the meat and sausages were very good. My dad had several sausages, wiener schnitzel, and other regional delicacies. I'll stick to my vegetables.

Enjoi your own escapes and outtings, wherever they may be.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Have your Veggies and Lasagna too...

I came home from Montreal (had some good food there...) to find my vegetable garden booming. An excess of rainbow chard, bush beans abound, and an enormous blooming yellow squash. Catching up on my food blogs and Huffington Posts, I came across a list of several summer pastas. So I thought to myself "How can I use the jungle I planted outside like this? Lasagna!"
With a box of whole wheat Hogsden Mills lasagna, an abundance of homegrown chard, beans, and herbs I whipped together some nearly vegan lasagna that hit the spot.

All my own stuff! Locavores rejoice...

Nearly Vegan Veggie Lasagna

1 box Hogsden Mills Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles (or your favorite)

Filling
1 Bunch Rainbow Chard
Handful Green Beans
1 small Zucchini Sliced thinly
1 tomato sliced thinly
1 small red pepper, sliced
1/2 cup corn kernels (about 1 ear's worth fresh corn kernels, removed)
Tomato Sauce (I made my own, simple enough with tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices, fresh torn basil, and Evoo)
Tofu Ricotta (see below)
Garlic powder, Black Pepper, Spices and Basil to taste
Sprinkling of Mozzarella and Parmesan, if you so desire

Tofu Ricotta from Here
2 Packages Mori Nu Tofu (Or preferred variety - preferably Fat Free)
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/4 cup fresh parsley (and/or basil)
1 head roasted garlic - a few tablespoons jarred diced worked well in a pinch!
a sprinkling of salt
a dash of Nutritional Yeast, if you so wish
Drying the tofu, mash it with a fork and combine with all ingredients above. Set aside.

Colorful inside and out...

Preparing all vegetables, set them aside. Boil the Lasagna noodles per directions and set aside, careful to prevent sticking (I had that problem... I hate sticky noodles). Prepare sauce or use your favorite jarred variety and set aside.
Dice the rainbow (Swiss...) chard and break down the green beans, boiling for several minutes - not too long - and drain. Set aside.

Layer noodles first, covered with ricotta, sauce, vegetables, and a bit of cheese if you like. Repeat layers, alternating or repeating vegetable combinations until you've used your ingredients. Try to use enough noodles - not finding more pasta than filling, but I used too few and it wasn't entirely stable when sliced...
Finish the lasagna with a layer of sauce and grated cheese - perhaps a few basil leaves or some diced scallion as I did (an overabundance in my yard...)

Wonderful with a simple salad...
Bake for an hour at 350, removing the tinfoil covering the bake for the final few moments, or until browned to your liking.

As is said En Montreal: Bon Appetit!