For those of you that don't know I hail from the muddy banks of the mighty Mississippi, Memphis is home of the blues, barbecue and of course Elvis. I love my city and will dare anyone to speak negatively about it without hardcore facts. Yes I've lived other places and I travel quite a bit but Memphis will always be home. Like Brad Paisley's song its my Southern Comfort Zone but sadly traditional southern fare is my least favorite types of food. Mainly because its not pretty. I like bright colors when I eat, it makes me happy.
A few weeks ago my friend Aisha suggest a cookbook, Wild Woman in the Kitchen. I knew going in that this would not be a vegan cookbook but she told me it contained stories about the dishes and how they came to be so I said why not and purchased it online. It is a pretty good cookbook and there are some veg friendly recipes as well as some that can easily be veganized. While I was flipping the pages I ran across a story about Elvis. I am not an Elvis but it was story about my hometown so of course I read it. The story is titled Love me Crunchy, Love me Do. It is the story of how poor Priscilla couldn't cook but she wanted to show off at a dinner party and make Elvis's favorite dish lasagna. So she brought the dish to the table, cut into it and noticed it was a bit crunchy but she served it anyway, she thought her knife was dull. She told everyone to eat and when they did there was a collective CRUNCH! She didn't boil the pasta so it was still raw! Poor little tink tink. Elvis started laughing but when he saw that she was about to cry he said screw it and started to eat and since he was the king the other guests followed suit. I have made a few mistakes in the kitchen so I understood her pain. I even made a mistake making this lasagna. Don't worry I cooked my pasta lol.
Now my mistake was I didn't completely read the recipe ingredients and purchased regular noodles instead of spinach noodles oopps. Never fear I found a fix! I remembered I still had Spinach and Herb dip mix from Tastefully Simple, so I sprinkled that over each layer of noodles. I said I had a fix, I never claimed it was the best fix. Of course i didn't use ricotta, the closest thing to ricotta is TOFU! I used the same ounces of extra firm tofu mixed with sea salt and nooch. BAM! Vegan ricotta! Now the tomato sauce made me a bit nervous because I was told to take a can of crushed tomatoes and simmer them in a sauce pan with olive oil and clove of saute garlic for 20 minutes. I was pretty sure this sauce would taste like crap and I would have to add all types of madness to it. Nope wrong, I am in love with this sauce! Its simple and it tastes awesome! I will use this for the base of all my pasta from now on.
The basil in the dish made my house smell so homey, I loved it! After about 45 minutes I pulled it out the oven and it smelled even better than it did cooking! This lasagna isn't as saucey as normal ones but I liked that, less food for me to wear. I never knew basil and tofu went so well together. My dinner consisted of two servings and I never get seconds on dinner but this dish is that good. (I count my calories) We paired it with Keithon's kale and avocado salad.
Priscilla may have forgotten the most important step but she had the basics down. Who would have thought I would eat like the king, if he was vegan that is.