How can sausage be vegetarian? I know that is the first thing you must thinking. Well, you use Tofurky sausage that is all vegan, that is how!
I preface my blog post today by telling you how much different I have been eating since getting pregnant. I cannot explain why I have food aversions but all I know is that practically every food substitute I was using while going vegan I have had an aversion to since getting pregnant. I kid you not.
Most people know that I went vegan for HEALTH reasons and personal choice and not for ethical reasons. I stated the fact in the "About me" section, but somehow, I feel like I have lost connection with the vegan community because of the food choices and recipes I have been posting as of late.
I really do not care, but I care enough to state and write about it because it bothers me that I can be judged on my food choices. I know that I am going to try my best to return to my vegan lifestyle after pregnancy but even after that I do not know. I cannot control this but I know that I continue eating healthy and eating as whole foods as possible.
Should this not be the purpose of healthy eating? If I set myself up writing this blog about my journey into veganism it is because I intended to stay vegan not knowing that vegan cheeses, meats, tofu, nutritional yeast, and most substitutes were going to react with my pregnant body. All I know is that I can eat AS healthy as possible for MY BABY's health and for my own, even if it means incorporating protein by means of eating meat or eggs. I feel fine and I feel energetic. I know I am supplying the protein I need to maintain a healthy pregnancy in addition to taking my pre-natal vitamins.
My energy levels are wonderful and I working out and maintaining great stamina even if I am not at my goal weight. It is what I feed my body that is the most important.
Thank you EVERYONE who continues to support and read this blog. It has definitely been a journey and it continues being one daily!
That being said, I really have been wanting to make a lasagna with swiss chard from the farmer's market but as I kept on thinking about how I could make it vegan, I cringed, knowing I could not tolerate nutritional yeast or Daiya cheese. I literally get nauseous and sick right now, so I decided to make it with dairy products but instead of using sausage I made it with Tofurky sausage.
Now for those who are not familiar with Tofurky products this is a meatless sausage made from tofu and vital wheat gluten. I had not eaten it in a while either but I thought I should at least make this dish VEGETARIAN if I could not make it VEGAN.
This recipe is VERY quick to prepare and cook and is very delicious. It is definitely a different type of lasagna in that the sauce is a white sauce base and not marinara. It is light and not heavy. Ryan liked it alot! This dish is great to incorporate GREENS. If you do not have swiss chard, try the recipe with kale or spinach.
I accompanied this dinner with a cucumber, red onion, and avocado salad with a balsamic vinagrette. Perfect! I hope you try this dish and if anyone feels so inclined to veganize this dish, go at it!
Make a vegan bechamel sauce and use Daiya cheese. Let me know if you make it that way too!
Veggie Sausage, Chard, and Lemon Lasagna
adapted from Martha Stewart.com
3 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
5 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard (about 1 bunch)
1 pound Tofurky sausage, roughly chopped
1 lemon, very thinly sliced
6 no-boil lasagna noodles, preferably Barilla
**The lemon was a little overpowering despite the boiling and softening, but you might like it. I would keep the recipe as since the lemon looks great as a garnish.
Melt butter in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in flour; cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in chard.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roughly chop the Tofurky sausage.
Cover lemon slices with cold water by 3 inches in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.
Spread 1/4 cup sauce in an 8-inch square nonreactive baking dish. Top with 2 noodles, half the sausage, 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese, and 1 cup sauce. Repeat. Top with a layer of lemons, 2 noodles, then remaining sauce, mozzarella cheese and lemons. Bake, covered with parchment-lined foil, for 27 minutes.
Remove from oven. Heat broiler. Uncover lasagna; top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Broil until bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes.