Capin’s “Tricky Hippy” lasagna

Every Christmas eve I make this because the brother in law is a vegetarian, the best part is no one (but him) knows it is vegetarian.
1 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 pack extra firm tofu
1 orange pepper
Shataki mushrooms (1 head)
2 jars of red pepper pasta sauce (or sub it for your own tomato base sauce if you want to be a keener)
1 bottle of a red beer (I use Richard red or Alax Keaths red)
Prepping the tofu
On a large plate put 2 paper towels down
Cut the tofu into ¼” slices and lay them on the paper towels
Put 2 more paper towels on top and put a plate over the whole thing for weight
Let it sit for 15-30 min what this does is slowly presses the water out of the tofu this will make it brittle

Cut up the pepper, onion, and mushroom, to your preferred thickness (myself I cut onion and pepper fine but leave mushroom large.)
Crush the clove of garlic (I prefer the Starfrit tool for this but you can also take a cleaver knife and press them old school)
In a large pan melt a pat of butter, pinch the blocks of tofu that you have dried they should crumble up and look something like cooked ground beef, put in the onion and garlic, brown them slowly adding about ½ of the bottle of beer. Add 2-3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce some fresh chives and a little chili peppers as you brown.
Once the onions and tofu are browned, put them in to a crock pot with; the sauce, mushrooms and the other half of the beer. Heat it to a simmer, add the orange pepper, melt in 1 tbs of brown sugar and spice to taste using basal, oregano, parsley, cumin fresh ground black pepper and sea salt (or salt) mix often let simmer for about 45 min (this lets the flavor come out of the sauce)
Phew that’s the hard part done!
As the sauce simmers get the next 2 parts set up (noodles and cheese)
Shred 1 large block of mozzarella cheese, 1 large block of adagios cheddar, and get out your tub of Ricotta
In a large pot boil water, and a pinch of salt. When at a boil add 2-3 drops of extra virgin olive oil(or a shot of olive oil, or Pam) this will help stop the noodles for sticking together. One at a time add the noodles to the water staggering them and ensuring that they are fully submersed. Stir them gently to keep them from sticking to the pot or each other, when the noodles are soft on the outside but still a little firm in the middle(about 85% cooked). Drain the noodles into a strainer and quickly rinse them in cold water (this cools and shocks the pasta and makes it firm to work with)
Now for the fun part
Lightly grease a baking dish (I use a large square one) and layer the lasagna starting off with noodles, then spread a light layer of ricotta, even layer of the sauce, sprinkle the cheddar and mozzarella with a 1 to 2 ratio (ched to motsa). Another noodle layer and repeat until you get close to the top. Finish off with a thick layer of the cheese’s

Cook at 375 for about 35-45 min (warm in the middle) then broil for 5 min to brown the top of the cheese.
If you like your edges soft cover with aluminum foil shiny side down until you broil.

You can replace tofu with ground beef (just brown and drain it at the same point)
Rice noodles with the normal flower noodles (watch out they like to stick together)

I have no idea how to vote in this contest but I need to give props to the tofu recipe! (Those of you scrunching up your faces are doomed to have it freeze that way!)

Ok, so it may not taste quite as good as double chocolate chip cookies (OOH!) or tater tot casserole (AHH!) but it’s heart healthy, animal friendly and looks darn tasty to me :wink:

Also eyeing Crab’s mushroom burger (is gnome vegan?)

This recipe definitely gets the D.E.H.T.A. stamp of approval!

I kill you for not listing all of the ingredients at the top! Worcestershire sauce, Asiago cheese, argh! >< We had to go out three times and two different markets to get all the stuff for this, but it was worth it =)

I think we totally screwed up the tofu… it didn’t get as dry as I thought it should be, and it didn’t taste like ground beef when we ere done, but I’ll try it again after I get some more details out of you on how it should be done. Besides, it still tasted great! I can’t wait to give this another shot xD

Thanks for the recipe, Capin!