Side view of a pretty fantastic creation, if I do say so myself. Lasagnas are great, just ask Garfield!
I contemplated making a standard lasagna, making "ricotta" out of tofu. In fact, that was what inspired me to make lasagna, was to use up some tofu I have in the fridge. Turns out, I didn't use any! Instead, I made this awesome lasagna-esque bake that blew me away. I mean, WOW. It's full of veggies and has my favorite grain, millet, as the star of the show. I even swapped out using noodles for my go-to sub, eggplant!
The intention was to make a 6-serving, 8x8 lasagna... I had bought two large eggplants thinking "that should cover it." I used the biggest one first and quickly found myself needing the 9x13 pan. And I still had eggplant slices left over! So, with those, I baked them separately and rolled them up with some cream cheese. Whoa, let me tell you, appetizer? Yes, please!
I offered one to Rod and he looked at it skeptically and immediately:
"What is it?" with his head backing up away from my offer.
"Just try it, I bet you'll like it."
"It doesn't look like it should be eaten."
"Oh just trust me."
...hesitant chomp... chew chew chew...
"That's delicious, more!"
Lots of meals start off that way.
So, this might look like a lot of work, but aren't all lasagnas? And besides, it really isn't that much work at all. It's just slightly time-consuming because of the layers. But it's a breeze to put together, and so totally worth it. Just trust me ;-)
[NOT-YOUR-TYPICAL] LASAGNA (garlic bread recipe to follow)
1 large eggplant (I should have weighed it, sorry), quartered lengthwise and sliced
2 cups broth
1 cup raw millet (you could sub couscous or quinoa or short grain brown rice... but millet rocks)
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (optional) or tomato sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh curly parsley, chopped
2 TBS cream cheese
1 large bottle pasta sauce (about 3 cups)
1 cup mozarella style daiya
1 medium tomato, sliced
1. Bring the broth, millet, onion and thyme to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer about 10 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. It gets very quick towards the end, look out!
2. Meanwhile, slice the eggplant.
The millet is absorbing the liquid...
3. Spread some of the tomato sauce, about 1/3 of the jar, at the bottom of the 9x13 pan.
4. Layer on some eggplant slices in a single layer.
5. When the millet is done, stir in the pumpkin or tomato sauce, if using, the cream cheese and the basil and parsley.
6. Layer about half of the millet over the eggplant slices. Spread til evenly coated.
7. Add some more eggplant slices, if you have a bazillion of them like I did.
8. Then some more tomato sauce, followed by more millet.
9. Layer on some mooooore eggplant, then the tomato slices.
10. Cover with the last of the tomato sauce and sprinkle the daiya cheese on evenly.
11. Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes, covered with foil. At the same time, I drizzled oil over the remaining eggplant slices and baked them alongside the lasagna.
MEANWHILE... I MADE GARLIC BREAD!
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS margarine
about 6 garlic cloves, minced or sliced
1 small baguette, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1. Melt the butter with the oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
2. Add the garlic and cook, still low heat, til they turn golden.
3. Meanwhile, chop the parsley and slice the baguette.
4. When the garlic is ready, evenly measure out the garlic and oil/butter mix. A pastry brush would have been handy but I don't have one so I vouch for the use of a spoon.
5. Sprinkle with parsley.
6. When the lasagna is ready to have it's cover removed, use the foil from that to somewhat cover the garlic bread.
Lasagna after the first 30 minutes... yum...
Also, those eggplant slices!
So yeah, use the foil with the garlic bread...
Return the lasagna to the oven with the garlic bread and bake for 5 minutes at 400F, then broil for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, I made the eggplant appetizers...
Lasagna will be ready soon! Pat yourself on the back. Wait about 10-15 minutes for it to cool somewhat before slicing and serving.
Garlic bread turned out awesome too!
So very delicious....
What a meal!
Yummy!!! Great reheated too!! Or even cold :)