vegetarian lasagna: sustainable sustenance.

Ooey gooey lasagna. Melting goodness that combines comfort with flavor.

I woke up my body up in the morning by rolling out of bed and awakened my mind and senses by letting my legs fly across the Granville street bridge. I haven't run in years. But oh, that first leap, that first step, that first deep breath, oh, is magical. The world quiets as the wind rushes past my cold ears, my legs numb and begin to move of their own accord, and my mind becomes serene as I watch a rising sun reflect a myriad of colours over blue-tinged glass. After arriving back at the house, sore and refreshed, I decided a reward was earned - lasagna.
My day continued with a visit to the Sustenance Festival, which aptly fell on the same day as World Food Day. WFD began when the UN's FAO was created. This year's theme was United against Hunger. We all brought canned goods to my house and donated them to the food bank, as our minuscule contribution to the day.  
Not as exciting as we had hoped, we left the festival in order to try to get into a beer tasting tour at the Granville Island Brewery.  
A popular tour, we were too late to partake (you have to be there at least an hour in advance!), we meandered around Granville Island.
 Lasagna is one of my favorite meals. A classic Italian dish, there are a myriad of ingredients that can be placed inside the gooey layers. Dating back to Greek days, the dish has evolved with history as pasta was brought to the region by Arabs in the 8th century.

However, being a society largely constituted of carnivores is not the best thing for the environment. This unsustainable practice causes more subsidies to go to raising cows in North America than money towards helping undeveloped countries overseas. Cows produce more methane gas and CO2 than any other ozone-killing contraption on this earth. Meat should be consumed once a week, maybe twice, and the serving sizes that are recommended are exponentially smaller than those usually served. Making a vegetarian meal, even if only once a week, is a good means of contributing, if only a little bit, to the health of the planet.
I'm trying to moderate my eating habits for the next month so I do not consume meat, eggs, wheat, milk or sugar (all those who know me realize I am a sugar fiend -- with 25 cent candy machines being an obsession -- so beware of the angry sucrose withdrawals). So, with my dish on the left and the dish I was serving on the right, we sat down to a lovely meal. Providing us tofu-laden-yet-tasting-creamy sustenance for the night to come -- filled with a birthday and a soul night.
Vegetarian Lasagna

1 large can tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 head garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbs. dried oregano
1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, thinly sliced 
1 block soft silken tofu, blended
salt, to taste

1 pack of fresh lasagna noodles
1 eggplant, sliced thinly
1 zucchini, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large tomato, sliced thinly
1 bunch spinach leaves
1 cup mushrooms, sliced

2 cups low fat mozzarella cheese, shredded  

1. Combine the first seven ingredients, excluding the tofu, in a large pot. Place it on the stove and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook, stirring often, for 20-30 minutes. Add the silken tofu and stir until well incorporated.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Mix eggplant and zucchini slices with olive oil. Place them on a skillet turned to medium-high and cook 5 minutes, or until browned, on both sides each.

3. Place a small layer of sauce in the bottom of the baking pan. Place a layer of noodles over top. Add a layer of eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini, tomato and spinach. Add 1/2 cup mozza cheese (or more if preferred). Pour 1/2 cup sauce over. Repeat this process until the pan is filled to the top. Place noodles on the top, add remaining sauce, and sprinkle on remaining cheese. Add a sprinkle of dried oregano over the top.

4. Place the dish in the oven and let bake for 30-45 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbly on top.

5. Pray. Eat. Enjoy. Remember to give thanks to God that we have so much, when others have so little.