Italian, Meatless Monday, Vegan

Meatless Monday: Mushroom Bolognese and Zucchini Lasagne

September 16, 2013

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zucchini

zucchinilasange

We still have 5 days left of Summer before it is officially Fall. The weather has been totally confusing. Last week there were two incredibly hot days, in the high 20s. FYI that’s 20+ Celsius, not Fahrenheit. I had to laugh when I posted a picture of our weather on Instagram and an american follower said she had to remind herself it was C, not F. Because 26 degrees F is like -7 degrees Celsius. A temperature I would not be so happy about this time of year. However the weather quickly changed and we had a few days of rain, and to top off the weekend another thunderstorm last night. 

We didn’t let the weather ruin our weekend though. We were actually just about to head out for a bike ride when our neighbours asked if we wanted to head downtown to bike around Stanley Park on the sea wall. We decided to bring some food and our new camp bbq to have a picnic after the ride. It was actually quite warm and the fog had burned off near us, but as soon as we started to drive into the city it actually started to disappear behind the blanket of grey clouds.

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You could barely seen the Lions Gate bridge as it disappeared into North Van

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It was still rather warm and good biking weather. By the time we had dinner though, it was pretty dark. We’re always up for a last minute adventure and still holding on to summer. 

Zucchini is a late summer squash that everyone seems to have too much of. This is another great recipe to use up all of that zucchini. 

I made this lasagne dish when I was doing my week of Vegan eats while Adam was away. However, he was super jealous when he found out I made it when he wasn’t home. I saved him a tiny, very tiny, piece to try when he got home. I’ve made zucchini lasagne a few times since learning of my wheat and corn allergy. I don’t eat pasta very often unless it’s brown rice, and zucchini for the lasagne sheets works perfectly. I actually prefer this over regular lasagne. 

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Zucchini Lasagne

Mushroom Bolognese
recipe for sauce adapted from Home with Love by Jennifer Perillo

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive-oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion
  • 2 cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups white button mushrooms, rinsed and cleaned
  • 1/4 cup red wine

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

Dice the onion and add 1/2 of the diced onion to pot. Using a garlic press add the cloves of garlic and cook until fragrant and golden (if you don’t have a garlic press mince with a knife.) Simmer for 2-4 minutes. 

Using your hands, squeeze the tomatoes over the pot. Add the remaining liquid from the can and the white wine. Alternatively, you can blend the tomatoes in a blender if you like. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a skillet over medium-high heat and add a splash of olive oil. Dice the mushrooms chopping them finely. Add the other 1/2 of the diced onion to the pan along with the chopped mushrooms. Cook until golden for about 5-7 minutes. Season with pepper. 

Add the red wine and bring the pan to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. 

Add the mushroom mixture to the sauce and continue to cook.

To assemble the Lasagne

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized zucchinis
  • mozzarella cheese (if vegan use Daiya mozzarella, if non-vegan I suggest goat cheese)

To prepare:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 

I use a mandolin to slice my zucchini layers for this dish. If you don’t have a mandolin you can slice it as thin as you can in long strips. Secure the zucchini to the mandolin and slice at about the second setting (it varies on each brand, mine is usually 1/4” thickness). You want them thin, but not too thin otherwise it will be a little messy when cutting. Set aside the zucchini strips. 

Using a 9×9 inch square pan, spread a spoonful of sauce on the bottom. Layer zucchini on top all facing the same way. Add another scoop of sauce on top and spread across the zucchini strips. Sprinkle with chosen cheese, and top again with another layer of zucchini. 

Continue this pattern, zucchini, sauce, cheese until you’ve reached the top of the dish. Finish the top layer with another sprinkling of cheese. 

Place baking dish on cookie sheet (in case any spills over) and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until sauce is bubbling and top is slightly browned. You can also stick a sharp knife in it to feel for the tenderness of the noodles. 

Remove from oven, and allow to sit for a 5-10 minutes before serving. This will help the cheese set and make it easier to dish out. 

Serve with a side salad. Refrigerate leftovers. And like most pasta dishes, this also tastes even better when it’s sat overnight.  

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