Mushroom and Zucchini Lasagna
I like family reunions. Having the whole family around the table. Eating, drinking and fraternizing with those who are close to me. I’m very attached to my family, my friends, my roots. And that, that family confraternization, is one of the cultural heritages that I appreciate the most among the southern europeans.
My family is quite numerous. On Christmas luch we are a lot of people sitting around the table. From a very young age, I always enjoyed that family tradition. In part because of the food, but mostly because it’s a good excuse to put everyone together at least for one day. I’m not religious neither a believer and much less a luxurious person. The moments are everything that matters for me about Christmas.
In one way or the other, we are all influenced and shaped by everyone around us. We contract the habits, we absorb the customs and we create traditions. It’s inherent to our own existence. It is impossible to learn and evolve without being influenced by others. Our customs make us humans.
When I was a kid, something that used to bother me a little, was people trying to introduce non-portuguese dishes in the Christmas meals. I used to (and I do) love traditions, specially those around the food. Christmas for me was caldo verde, boiled salted codfish with chickpeas, catshark and beans stew, bolo-rei and trutas filled with pumpkin or sweet potato pure. I could never understand why would my aunt make lasagna for Christmas, though lots of people in my family loved it.
When I became older, I started not caring so much with the tradition. What really started to hit me, was all the waste around Christmas. So much gifts, so much food, so much booze, so much money, and for what? It is sad that we need such arrangements just to gather with family.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, it’s easy for you to presume that gastronomical tradition, specially on Christmas, doesn’t mean sh*t to me anymore.
Well, don’t think I’m going nuts, talking about Christmas in the end of March. Though it has been snowing here in Bergen and it looks like the weather is quite chilly in Portugal too. But this post has nothing to do with Christmas.
The truth is that in the last few years, I realized how tradition can be extremely detrimental to our evolution as a species. If, on one hand, it teaches us about our past, on the other is also an anchor. Though most of our traditions may be harmless, some are extremely violent and retrograde. I’m not getting very deep into this issue, but traditions like bull fighting in Portugal and Spain, vaquejada in Brazil, or whaling in Faroe Islands are so barbaric that makes me think how right was Einstein when he proposed that time was relative. Time is so relative. Not even our own personal way of thinkin exists constantly in the same era.
Tradition is one of the best excuses to perpetuate our mistakes.
Sorry about all the rethoric but in case of you didn’t realize yet, we were born with such a large brain for one reason and one reason only – to use it every once in a while.
If lasagna, for you, has to be filled with minced meat and and cheese, well, bad luck for you. I’m calling this lasagna, you could call it what ever you may like.
350 gr. of Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles
4 Big Mushrooms
2 Cups of Tomato Sauce
125 gr. of Spinach
1 Service of Mozzarella Cashew Cheese
- Slice the mushrooms, zucchini and artichokes;
- Spread some sauce in the bottom of a lasagna tray;
- Cover the bottom of the tray with some noodles;
- Form one layer of mushrooms, another with zucchini, another one with artichokes and a last one with spinach;
- Season every layer with salt, black pepper and nutmeg;
- Watch out for the salt, specially if you’re using a well seasoned tomato sauce;
- Keep layering the tomato sauce, lasagna noodles and veggies until you fill up the tray;
- The last layer should be lasagna noodles;
- Prepare the mozzarella cashew cheese (like already explained in the pizza recipe) and spread all over the top;
- Top it with some bread crumbs and dried oregano;
- Wrap the tray in aluminium foil and bake it in the oven on 200ºC for about 45 minutes;
- You can check if the noodles and the veggies are well cooked with the help of a toothpick;
- When the noodles and veggies are cooked through, remove the aluminium foil and put it back in the oven for an extra 15 minutes to gratinate;
- Serve on the plate or eat straight out from the tray;
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And keep it green. Keep it real!
(1 Service is 1/3 of the recipe)
Blue – 66% Carbs
Red – 15% Fat
Green – 19% Protein
I had this whole lasagna in 3 times, so the values are for one portion, but I think for most people this recipe should be enough for 4 portions :p