Marfigs' Munchies

Adventures in vegan eats and feats


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Delicious veggie lasagna (noodle-free/gf)

Today we’re jazzing over to my dad’s place to have some lunch with him and my in-laws. I offered to make something for myself so that my dad & co could be on their own mission food-wise. I’vebeen craving something between a bobotie and a lasagna for a while now, so that’s what popped out of the oven, and let me just say it is deeelicious! I’m not always a fan of non-whole foods such as the packet or frozen soy products, but sometimes it just gets the job done in an oh-so-satisfying way. I tried out the chakalaka flavour of the Imana Soy Mince brand and I suspect we’re going to be knee-deep in soy mince for the next few months, but at this point, if it all tastes like this “lasagna”, then I am honestly beyond caring. :p

This lasagna/casserole is uber tasty, uber easy, and happens to be pink on top, which is just cool. I happened to have some plum-onion preserve on hand that I made the other day as a filling to an alternate streusel cake (and it was AWESOME), but if you don’t have such a thing handy substitute it for 1/4 cup of homemade jam/chutney – maybe even some barbecue sauce (actually, nevermind “maybe”, YES! If you have some, be smart about life and do it!).

lasagnaplated2Ooey and gooey and delicious and savoury and textured and nom? My brain explodes each time I take a bite!

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Stuffed eggplant sensation, afternoon smoothie and garden complete!

For my birthday party last week, Anja (swords lady) brought over some gorgeous fresh produce from her magnificent veg garden. Amid the bounty was the largest eggplant I’d seen in a while, but I’ve held out til now to make something of it, because I’m trying to conserve energy with my oven. Now that I’ve splashed out on electricity and on some new spices (Spanish smoked paprika, anyone?) I can honestly say I do not at all regret a moment! I had some lovely spicy stew left over that I wanted to use up, and what better way than to add roasted eggplant flesh and roast it in fresh new spices and ingredients? Yes please! A good alternative to other add-on carbs such as rice or pasta.

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zucchini and eggplant lasagna… “noodle free”

I said I was going to use tofu ricotta again, and I’ve stuck by my guns! I’ve also made my first lasagna in over two years. Last time I tried to make one it was with the sheets and no sauce, since I was a very sad vegetarian who didn’t know the science behind sauce & pasta sheets. Lessons learnt, though man-thing (just pals at the time) was very stoic and managed to eat some with dignity and compliments. Now he wonders why I doubt his feedback!

Anyway, I spent about 10 minutes trolling the web and then shut down shop upstairs and plodded downstairs to make something of the masses of tofu and eggplant I had in the fridge. First thing’s first, people aren’t lying when they say you must salt your sliced eggplant and zucchini to get rid of excess water. I was all scoffing but obedient, and lo and behold, an hour later I plod into the kitchen only to see pools of water atop the stuff! So, wash, slice, pat down, salt and leave for a while. I took a dry dishtowel and patted the down some more – even that was pretty soggy! No-one wants soggy lasagna, so this is non-negotiable, it seems.

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Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius and let them roast for 10-15 minutes, just to get rid of the lasting moisture and also make them slightly crispier. Roasted eggplant especially is so nommy I had to restrain myself from scrapping the lasagna idea and just scarfing the bunch down. To keep idle hands busy whilst the oven was smoking my precious slices, I made some more tofu ricotta, but added a can of cannellini beans for oomph and extra protein (as if the tofu wasn’t enough, but nyar!)

Man-thing at the back trying desperately to get some break-time reading in between studies. My buzzing and clattering in the kitchen probably didn't help, but he's so used to working with noisy girls and living with women his whole life that he says it's like background noise. sheesh.

Man-thing at the back trying desperately to get some break-time reading in between studies. My buzzing and clattering in the kitchen probably didn’t help, but he’s so used to working with noisy girls and living with women his whole life that he says it’s like background noise. sheesh.

I also made a quick tomato sauce by opening a can of whole peeled tomatoes in their own juices. I added to that mixed herbs, some flax powder (a TBSP or so) and also 2 TBSPs of oat bran, along with some curry powder.

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There you can see the sauce nestled underneath the layers of veg. I also put some curry powder (to taste) as well as some cinnamon for contrast.

So: bit of the tomato/pasta sauce, layered with the zucchini and eggplant strips and slices, following by a slathering layer of the ricotta mixture, and repeat! I ended with the ricotta one because I’ve made vegan bobotie with tofu on top to replace the egg mixture and it does just fine in the oven for about 40 minutes. I forgot all about the foil over the lasagna in the beginning, so I did it at the end *shameface*.

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It comes across as rather boring looking, initially, but those flavours of the onion powder, the nutritional yeast,,,,well, YUM!

Even man-thing was utterly silent when eating and getting his second plate. He at the end of the nomfest stopped me very formally and said that he liked it because it was filling and tasty and you couldn’t taste the eggplant (his pet peeve).

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It may not be lasagna as the world knows it, but by gum, in the Kingdom of Moutonia this is it! >:)

In conclusion:

Prep of veggies: 40 minutes salted and de-hydrating

Making of sauce & ricotta : 10 minutes, includes making coffee inbetween

Time for baking: approx 40 minutes

Not bad! I got 8 servings out of mine at approximately 133 cal, 18g carb and 10g protein per slice! 😀


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rye lemon muffins, lemon curd, lemon bites and eggplant paté

Phew! Woke up to glorious rain this morning, so decided it was good enough to start cooking and baking at 07h00. I’ve been soaking cashews in chai tea for a few hours now, but it’s amazing how something like that can escalate into hours of standing and keeping busy.

First I made another one of these delicious muffins from over at My Inspiration. I left out the cranberries and cornflour, and usual subbed the syrup, and the marg with 1 banana and 1 TBSP coconut oil. I also added a lemon’s worth of zest for spritz. I also stretched the recipe to make 8 small muffins (much to man-thing’s disgust), because that way there’s always more for later 😀

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Topped with almond butter and the YUMMY vegan lemon curd I made yesterday. SO intense and flavourful, especially with the zest in the muffin itself. Just look at that muffin! Squishy, soft….NOMMMM.

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Oh, what’s that on the side, you ask?

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My first roasted eggplant! It was actually so easy I had to take pause. Sliced the buggers up, soaked them in salty water (not sure if that actually does anything, but heard something about them being too bitter otherwise) and sprayed some baking paper. Less than half an hour makes magic. I ate a few slices just like that.

So, what did this lead to?

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Eggplant paté! 😀

1 eggplant, roasted & sliced

1 TBSP tahni

2 TBSP lemon juice

spices (lots of the red stuff!)

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Is there any better tea time snack? Oh nay! Especially if accompanied by the below.

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ice-cream lemon curd tarlets! (makes 11)

Tarts:

1 cup dates (I soaked these in boiling water for an hour or so to ensure maximum smoothness)

1 cup walnuts

1/2 TBSP coconut oil

Blended!

Lemon curd ice-cream

1 batch lemon curd

1/2 cup cubed papaya

Blended!

Each tartlet takes about 1 TBSP lemon curd, but I’m sure you could squeeze in 2 TBSP if you’re a tad more delicate than I am.

I then took the leftover date juice from soaking and make a chia egg, which I drizzled on top. Popped these suckers (very inelegantly) in some paper muffin liners and froze them.

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Man-thing has been popping these into his mouth non-stop, so much so that he asked how many I needed for my photos so that he could eat the rest! :p

Well, I also make baked pumpkin and asparagus curry, and am waiting to make matcha frosting for the rest of the little muffins…but I think I need a holiday!