Monday, January 30, 2012

My Very First (Dairy & Soy-free) Lasagna

The other day, my friend, Gena, posted a photo of the dinner she was cooking that night: veggie lasagna. Although it was only a photo of the goods in a pan, I haven't been able to stop thinking about lasagna ever since. I had gone on the search for a million variations and ideas (of which I absolutely CANNOT wait to try) but ended up just doing a bit of my own thing with the "typical" and "traditional" variety. 

I also wanted to try for a yummy veggie lasagna, but ended up adding pork in at the request of J. I'll try a veggie one next time when I branch out into the cheese-less lasagna options out there.

So we have had lasagna noodles sitting in our pantry since.....hmmm...I feel like our first grocery order from when we moved into our first apartment in Halifax 3 1/2 years ago. I recall making a lasagna in grade 12 home-ec with my group, but have basically avoided - what appeared to be a daunting task - ever since. Take the fun dairy-filled goodies out of the mix - I really wasn't motivated to make a big ol' pan of it.

Well, Gena made it happen. Once this cat (that's me!) starts craving something, it's over. I become obsessed with making it happen! So I went to the grocery store to get what I wanted to include. 

(Side note...speaking of cats:)
Oh the life.

This is my take on a traditional meal. I had a few "whoopsie!" moments so please make note of them below if you dare to tackle this. :)

What I learned: lasagna is WAY easier than I ever remembered. It's not at all time-consuming, with the exception of you needing to be home while the oven does all the work. This is one proper way to have leftovers!

Dairy and Soy Free Lasagna
From Allie's Kitchen
What I Used:
Lasagna noodles
Eggplant, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 lb of ground pork
1 cup of spinach, chopped
1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp of various fresh herbs (I buy the fridge herbs for times like this)
2 tbsp of Italian spices (your choice)
1 jar of President's Choice Roasted Red Pepper Marinara Sauce

What I did:
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Cook ground pork with onions, spices and garlic until almost cooked through.
3. Add mushrooms and eggplant. Cook for a couple of minutes.
4. Add Spinach. Cook for 1 minute.
5. Add jar of sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Grease a 9x13 pan. Add a thin layer of sauce mixture. Add 4 noodles across. Add cheese. Add sauce mixture. Add noodles. Add cheese. Do this until you are at the top of the pan. Finish with cheese.
7. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake for an additional 20.

- I had to peel off the top noodles before eating the lasagna as I did not take into account another liquid to replace the ricotta/cottage cheese consistency. The top noodles didn't cook. I would either create an alfredo-type sauce to add for next time, or do as I did this time and simply remove the noodles before eating...having them on top helped the rest of the lasagna cook well!
- I would likely mix the Mozza and Cheddar Daiya cheeses together for more fun. :) And try a cashew cheese maybe, too...but that would all be more time consuming

Print this recipe

I served it with a quick spinach and tomato caesar salad (Renee's 1/2 Caesar). This was a HUGE hit. I was pretty skeptical/worried when I saw those top noodles not cooking, realizing that I missed a step in my recipe creation. Even without those top noodles, it was a major hit. J even finished his meal much before me, and he's quite a slow eater. (Read: Me patting myself on back). :P
So. I've been completely neglecting the blog...How was everyone's week and weekend? Am I the only one that falls into a lazy/tired rut during the odd week and suddenly a week is gone and nothing has been done...?! :)

Any fun lasagna variations to share? I've got one with pesto and one with butternut squash I hope to make! Pin It


  1. you go girl!!!! looks like a GREAT lasagna. hope work gets less crazy soon!! xoxo

    1. Thank you :) I think this week is a bit quieter...AND it's a 4-day week!! Woot Woot :) Thanks for stopping by (as always)! x

  2. This looks super yummy! Of all the yummy meals I've made i've never attempted a lasagna but it's on my list!

    1. Hey! It was...and it was actually pretty easy...with the exception of the top noodle mistake! :P It would be great for you to figure out so you could have it throughout the week...I don't think normal people eat as large of portion sizes as J & do! :P