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Almost Vegan Crockpot Lasagne (Deliciously plastic-free)

Posted By Beth Terry On February 9, 2009 @ 11:29 pm In Recipes | 13 Comments

I’ve been having fun with my new-to-me crockpot [1]. Thanks to everyone who suggested recipes. One of the perks of having a blog is all the free advice from readers. My first easy project was froghair’s [2] black bean chili. Confidence boosted, I tried vegan lasagne a few days later. Here are the ingredients:

Thanks to my friends Jen and Red for the Rainbow Grocery [3] gift certificate they gave me for Christmas. Most of the ingredients came from bulk bins at that amazing store. Thanks also to JessTrev [4] who told me about Bionaturae tomato paste [5] that comes in a glass jar rather than BPA-lined can and who also told me I could put regular dry lasagne noodles (not necessary to buy the quick kind) into the crockpot if I used enough liquid.

This recipe is mostly a product of my own imagination. We love it. I hope the inspiration keeps coming!

*Dry lasagne noodles (from Rainbow bulk bin, brought home in my own cloth bag)

Sauce layer:
*1 glass jar Bionaturae tomato paste [5] mixed with 3 jars of tap water
*1 cup red wine
*1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon turkey broth (this ingredient and the next item are what make this dish less than vegan.)
*1 cup chicken juice (leftover from making homemade cat food [6])
*1/4 cup olive oil
*1/2 onion, chopped
*3 cloves garlic, mashed
*Button mushrooms, sliced (don’t know the exact amount. I used all that you see in the top photo.)
*Dry oregano
*Dry basil
*Anise seeds (In the future, we’ll get our dry herbs from Whole Foods bulk bins when those in containers are used up.)
*Salt & black pepper

Mushy Layer:
I don’t know what else to call it. In traditional lasagne, it would be made from ricotta cheese.

*Mashed garnet yams (also leftover from making homemade cat food [6].)
*4 squares of firm tofu (also from Rainbow bulk bin, brought home in my own container)
*1 bunch of fresh spinach leaves, washed and stemmed
*Salt & pepper


Sautee onion, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil until somewhat soft. Add all remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a light boil. The “sauce” will be more like a broth than a sauce. This is important for cooking the dry lasagne. Remove from stove. Mash together yams, tofu, chopped spinach, salt & pepper in a separate bowl.

In crockpot, create the following layers: sauce, dry lasagne, sauce, yam/tofu. Repeat from beginning as many times as you want. It’s important to begin and end with a sauce layer to ensure there is enough liquid to cook the noodles. Put lid on crockpot and cook on low for several hours until noodles are the desired firmness. Some people like their pasta mushier than others.

Here is our finished product:

In the future, I think I’ll cook it for less time. The noodles were a bit softer than I would have liked and the casserole a little too dry. But overall, it was a winner.

Some of you might be asking why there is no cheese in this recipe. The reason is the plastic wrapping. Too hard to find local, organic cheese without it. I do think I may be able to buy handmade bulk mozzarella from The Cheese Shop, but whether or not they’ll let me put it into my own container remains to be seen. This time around, I skipped the cheese and used enough olive oil to not feel fat-deprived.

And don’t forget… even if we make our own cheese, there will still be plastic involved in whatever dairy product we use. Milk comes in either glass bottles with plastic caps or cardboard cartons coated with plastic. No way around the plastic unless you own a cow!

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URL to article: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/02/almost-vegan-crockpot-lasagne/

URLs in this post:

[1] new-to-me crockpot: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/02/what-crock/

[2] froghair’s: http://frog-hair.blogspot.com

[3] Rainbow Grocery: http://www.rainbow.coop

[4] JessTrev: http://surelyyounest.blogspot.com/

[5] Bionaturae tomato paste: http://www.bionaturae.com/tomatoes.html

[6] homemade cat food: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2008/10/less-impact-cats-eat-homemade-food/

[7] Image: https://plus.google.com/+BethTerry

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