Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hopping Back On Board

Well, baby-hopping my way back on board!

Today is the first day of school here which is a good time for new beginnings. Somehow, it's just easier to push ourselves through with something new on a day that seems "new" anyhow.

I have decided it's time to hop back on board and baby step my way over the next week or two. I was feeling so good when my mornings were almost entirely raw, lunches were raw or mostly raw and then supper was cooked but high veggies and often a salad. It's been weeks since I've eaten like that and the results are clear: low energy, headaches and sinus problems are back, skin's a mess, my ears constantly feel slightly plugged, allergies are through the roof... I hate this. I keep getting mentally stuck on the "perfect" (sic) way to eat and some part of my mind broke through and finally said,

"Just do something each day that's better."

I can do something, can't I? Of course I can.That something for me is starting off my day with fresh fruit or a green smoothie. I actually did so yesterday, but that was just a "bonus day" of sorts. Today is the beginning of the actual commitment to do this. I know I'm going to feel so much better!

At the same time, my daughter and I have plans to have a gluten-free day this week. Clearly it's not today. Tomorrow's probably too soon and Friday probably wouldn't work, so I guess Thursday will be the day. I'll see what I can come up with for simple meal suggestions and we can even buy necessary items if we need to tomorrow. She is very used to eating wheat of some sort at lunch and often breakfast, so it could be particularly hard for her. I think people in general tend to get into ruts with what they eat and to pull themselves out and try something different doesn't always feel satisfying!

Btw, I'm still doing my 100-day yoga challenge. Yesterday was the 22nd day in a row. It's never too late to create your own challenge and to join me in either yoga or healthier eating!

Monday, September 3, 2012

My first ever vegan lasagna!

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. She specifically requested that I make the family recipe lasagna; for whatever reason, she doesn't make it for herself anymore, so it's usually requested for special occasions, like her birthday and Mother's Day.

But that lasagna has regular cottage cheese and mozzarella in it, which I'm allergic to, so I can't eat it. What I've done the past couple of times is simply take some of the tomato-meat sauce and create a mini lasagna on the side with some noodles, the sauce and Daiya cheese. It's not quite the same.

This time, I decided I would go a step further and make myself a small vegan and soy-free lasagna. I looked around online and didn't find a recipe I actually wanted to do, but it gave me an idea of how to make a little lasagna for myself. I bought some mushrooms (which I forgot to put in), zucchini and baby spinach. I had wanted to try gluten-free, but couldn't find gf lasagna noodles at the store I was at. I made the lasagna just like the regular recipe, but put veggies in the layers and had far less cheese. Here's an initial look:

I forgot to take more pictures after that, so unfortunately, that's all I can show you! Sauce got added on top, then some Daiya, then another layer of noodles and so on. The sauce is just Classico Tomato and Basil and then I added in some rosemary. I think next time I'll simmer myself some of my recipe's traditional sauce of tomato sauce and rosemary and get that flavour in it instead.

Well, my supper last night was delicious! At one point, I slightly panicked because with the Daiya mozzarella shreds and just eating the lasagna, I thought for a second I'd made a mistake and had had dairy cheese. (Oy, would that have made me sick!)

All right, I guess I should try to write up a recipe, eh?

Simple Soy-Free Vegan Lasagna
*a jar of your choice of tomato sauce OR simmer a large can of tomato sauce with 1/2 tsp of rosemary for 45 minutes (use less if making a "mini lasagna")
*6 cooked lasagna noodles (or 9, if you want more layers) for a full-sized lasagna; 3 for a "mini lasagna" like in the photo
*baby spinach
*slices of zucchini
*sliced mushrooms (or leave them out since I did by accident)
*Daiya mozzarella shreds

1. Spoon a layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan.
2. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles. (In the photo, it is one noodle cut in half.)
3. Layer zucchini, spinach and mushrooms. How much all depends on how you like it! You can see I didn't put too much for my first attempt.
4. Spoon sauce over top.
5. Sprinkle some Daiya cheese over top of that. Be careful: You won't need anywhere near the amount of cheese you might put in a "regular" lasagna!
6. Place another layer of noodles.
7. Place layers of vegetables.
8. Spoon sauce over top.
9. At this point, my traditional recipe would have cheese put over top. I however, put another layer of noodles and more sauce before adding the cheese.

Bake in oven at 350 for about 30 minutes.