Monday, March 14, 2011

Dairy-Free Lasagna

One food I've missed the most while being dairy-free is lasagna. It's my favorite food. I had it once just before Christmas and my body was not happy... it wasn't used to all the milk and let's just say what ensued was not pretty ;) Charlie loves his pasta and I thought he'd love lasagna. I'd heard about Daiya cheese-style shreds a few months ago but I only recently had the courage to try them. I've tried other dairy-free 'cheeses' and they've all been pretty awful. I finally got desperate and bought the shreds. The company claimed that the shreds melt and stretch. They're made of tapioca and/or arrowroot flour, oils and a few other all-vegan ingredients. Best of all - NO SOY! An 8 ounce package cost me $5.99, which isn't too bad, I think.

I made a pretty simple lasagna, with the mozzarella style shreds on the top layer only, just in case they weren't good ;)  But you know what? They WERE good! Charlie loved the lasagna, my husband admitted it was pretty darn good and I thought it tasted pretty close to the real thing. My daughter didn't care for it, but that didn't surprise anyone... The 'cheese' did melt and stretch.  The only difference I noticed was it wasn't 'rubbery' like mozzarella - it was more creamy.  I would definitely put it in the middle layers next time. Even though it isn't recommended to be eaten without cooking, I tried it and it wasn't bad.

There's no real recipe here - but I'll tell you what I did anyhow :)

Dairy-Free Lasagna (makes a 9x13 tray)

Looks like a real lasagna, doesn't it?
1/2 package of lasagna noodles
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion
500 to 750 ml pasta sauce
10 mushrooms (and any other veggies you like, like peppers, spinach, etc.)

1/2 to 3/4 package of Daiya mozzarella style shreds
Splash of olive oil
Salt, pepper and other seasoning to taste


Cook lasagna according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Heat olive oil and cook onion until soft. Brown ground beef and add pasta sauce when cooked. Season to taste. Place a layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of the pan and top with a layer of lasagna noodles. Add another layer of pasta sauce, top with mushrooms, noodles and another layer of noodles. Add one last layer of pasta sauce and sprinkle with the Daiya mozzarella style shreds. Bake covered for 35 minutes.  Uncover, bake for another 10 minutes. Let sit for another 10 minutes before serving.

I'm now dreaming up all the other dairy-free cheese dishes I'll make.  I may try mac 'n cheese tomorrow!  But for now, enjoy your dairy-free life with this yummy dish :)


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