Sorry it’s been a while between posts. Jenn and I have been super busy lately it seems! Well, I am writing because on March 1, I turned 28 years young. Crazy to me. Just madness actually. I feel like I was just 23 years old…I guess, as Kermit the Frog himself would say, “time’s fun when you’re having flies!” 🙂 Anywho, for my birthday night this past Thursday, my mom and step-dad took me and Jason and my brother out to dinner. I got to choose the place, so Sukho Thai on Magazine St. it was! They have a really decent sized vegetarian menu that they easily can turn vegan; and they are always so accommodating and on top of that. We got the spring rolls and the garden soup for appetizers. Both were scrumptious. And I got the Pad Thai for my meal-sans the egg and fish sauce. So good every time! Here’s a photo of us all from the evening: (excuse our demon-esque eyes peering into your very soul).
Then on Saturday, me, Jason, my sister Jenn and her boyfriend Chris, and our brother Dusten all went walking around Uptown and ate at Juan’s Flying Burrito. They too have a bunch of vegetarian and vegan options. My sister and I split 2 dishes–Veggie Fajitas and then some Supergreen burrito thing and both were so filling and delicious.
And then, after Juan’s, we went to Whole Foods and bought a Vegan Cookies-and-Cream cake and went home and indulged! I looove Oreos so this was such a treat!
And then on Sunday, my birthday celebration continued! My mom knows how much I loved the Engine 2 “Raise-the-Roof Sweet Potato-Vegatable Lasagna” when she made it the first time, so she made it again! I cannot explain to you how yummy this stuff is. It’s just sooo flavorful and awesome! It’s a huge feast of a lasagna too! It takes lots of prep work and time-but if you are making dinner for company and want to impress them or if you just want lasagna that will be delicious and will last you the entire week (it makes a large portion) than this is a must for you. I can’t recommend it enough!
I’m giving you guys the recipe from “The Engine 2 Diet” by Rip Esselstyn. Since this is the second time that my mom has made it, she made a few adjustments that I’ll add below the original recipe. I must say that the original is sooo freaking good, but this second time, with my moms tweaks, it was to die for! 🙂
Raise-the-Roof Sweet Potato-Vegetable Lasagna
Serves 10 to 12
1 onion, chopped
1 small head of garlic, all cloves chopped or pressed
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
1 package firm tofu
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 jars pasta sauce
2 boxes whole grain lasagna noodles
16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
6 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
1 cup raw cashews, ground
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute the onion and garlic on high heat for 3 minutes in a wok or nonstick pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until the onions are limp and the mushrooms give up their liquid. Remove them to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Reserve the mushroom liquid in the pan. Saute the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes and add to the mushroom bowl. Saute the peppers and corn until just beginning to soften. Add them to the vegetable bowl. Drain the tofu by wrapping in paper towels. Break it up directly in the towel and mix into the vegetable bowl. Add spices to the vegetable bowl and combine.
Cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles with sauce. This way the noodles cook in the oven, saving time and energy. Spread the vegetable mixture over the sauced noodles. Cover with a layer of noodles and another dressing of sauce. Add the spinach to the second layer of sauced noodles. Cover the spinach with the mashes sweet potatoes. Add another layer of sauce, the final layer of noodles, and a last topping of sauce. Cover lasagna with thinly sliced roma tomatoes. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle with cashews and returnt to the oven for 15 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
*The tweaks that my mom made:
She held out on the tofu until the layer of red sauce under the sweet potatoes. She mixed the crumbled tofu with that layer of red sauce. She also added 1 zucchini and 1 squash, sliced thin, and pan sauteed them w onion. She also pan sauteed 1.5 eggplants in vegetable broth. That along with the zucchini and squash was 1 layer in the lasagna. Instead of frozen spinach, she used fresh baby spinach. This makes a huge difference.