First off I should begin by telling you that I am not a vegan. I am not even a vegetarian. We’re talking full on carnivore over here. So when I was first given this assignment I thought I should beg off and let someone else tackle this subject. But then again I am always up for a challenge. I have several vegan friends and have made more than a few vegan dishes in my life. Plus, I respect the vegan choice.
Within days of being given this assignment three people shared their Vegan Lasagna recipes, along with offers to make them and take pictures. So here I am writing for the challenge and the learning and teaching experience it provides.
Veganism and vegetarianism are different in many ways. Simply put, the vegan follows a more strict diet by choosing only plant-based foods, whereas a vegetarian might be a consumer of some animal-based products. I will attempt to define a vegan for you all—hoping that while it may not be a complete encyclopedic definition, it will at least be a street level accurate one.
Donald and Dorothy Watson coined the term “vegan” in 1944 when they, among others, co-founded the “Vegan Society”. A registered charity, “The Vegan Society” continues to this day to, “advance veganism in a positive and significant way”.
A Harris Interactive telephone survey conducted in 2011 concluded that approximately 5% of the U.S. adult population is vegetarian, and only about half of that 5% are vegans. To celebrate this minuscule population, World Vegan Day is celebrated every year on November 1.
There are different levels of veganism. A dietary vegan chooses to refrain from eating animal products, not just meat, but also all animal derived products such as eggs and milk. An ethical vegan not only abstains from eating animal products but also from the use of animal products in any way, such as leather or wool clothing, animal derived vitamin supplements (like fish oil) & bee products (like beeswax), to name a few. An ethical vegan would also reject the use of products that use animals for testing.
Often a person would choose to be a vegan for health choices, to avoid chronic disease like cancer, heart disease or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Sometimes the choice is made for them as their own bodies have issues with certain products. This creates problems such as allergies or inflammation. Other times a person may choose to avoid eating animal products because they don’t like the taste. But I think most often the choice is a highly personal and ethical one. As one friend of mine put it, “I would never eat or use anything that is derived from something that has a face.”
All of us eat vegan dishes with most meals and find them quite tasty. Who doesn’t love a baked potato? Or a carrot? Especially when it is fresh from the ground. A vegan simply chooses not to eat all the things that surround these great garden side dishes.
I have never met a vegan whose life isn’t full of strong and educated conviction. Whether their diet is dictated by choice or need, the vegan is a very aware consumer and I have high regard and much respect for the person that lives this lifestyle.
If you are interested in learning more about the vegan lifestyle I would suggest the following websites to get you started:
Now for some awesome Vegan Lasagna Recipes!
- 2 Cups Shredded Daiya Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 (10 ounce) Package Rice Lasagna Noodles, uncooked
- ½ Cup Soy or Rice Milk
- 2 (12 ounce) Vegan Sour Cream
- 2 (8 ounce) Vegan Cream Cheese
- 1 (10 ounce) Package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed
- 8 Ounces Shredded Carrots
- 1 Cup chopped Zucchini
- 1 Cup chopped Yellow Squash
- ½ Cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Coat a 9x13 inch lasagna pan with cooking spray.
- In a large sauce pan heat milk, sour cream and cream cheese. Add in spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots.
- Mix and heat until milk and cheeses are well blended.
- Place a thin layer of sauce mix on the bottom of the pan.
- Place one layer uncooked noodles.
- Layer the sauce, sprinkle ½ cup of daiya mozzarella cheese.
- Repeat 2 more times.
- On the 4th and final layer, put noddles on and top with remaining daiya cheese. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray side down.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
- Remove from oven, uncover, and sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.
- Place the uncovered dish back into the oven for 15 more minutes.
- Let cool 15 minutes or until ready to serve.
- Zucchini Mixture
- 4 Cups thin sliced Zucchini
- 1 Cup chopped Onion
- ¼-1/2 Cup Vegan Butter, such as Earth Balance Buttery Spread
- 2 Tbsp. Dried Parsley
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Pepper
- ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder
- ¼ tsp. Basil
- ¼ tsp. Oregano
- Other Ingredients
- 3 tsp. EnerG Egg Replacer
- 4 Tbsp. Water
- 8 oz. Vegan Shredded Cheese, such as Daiya Mozzarella Styles Shreds
- Add the ingredients from the Zucchini Mixture Ingredients section together (Zucchini, Onion & Vegan Butter.)
- Cook Zucchini Mixture over medium heat on the stove for 10 minutes.
- Next, add the Spices Ingredients together and stir them to be sure they blend well.
- Mix the Spices into the Zucchini Mixture.
- Then, combine the EnerG Egg Replacer, cheese and water together.
- Add the EnerG Egg Replacer, Cheese and water mixture to the Zucchini Mixture that now has the Spices included.
- Pour mix into a 12x8 Baking Pan.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- Let stand for 10 minutes.
And for some other truly tasty Vegan Recipes you can check out these links below:
Coborn’s Natural Foods Manager
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