Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Crazy Cream Sauce Makes Awesome Pasta Dish

Sometimes no matter how great your camera is, how wonderful your settings, the pictures of your food is going to turn out looking awful.  Some foods just don't look that great.  This Veggie Lasagna recipe is one of them.  But honestly?  It tasted great.  Do you know what the sauce is?  I'll tell you in a bit.
Growing up my mom would get us individual Stouffers Vegetable Lasagnas.  We'd bake them in the oven and they were so great.  They weren't anything like my mom's normal lasagna and they had veggies so they were healthy - right?  As an adult, I stopped once to purchase one of these fine food items, well the nutritional information had the high numbers in the wrong places, I couldn't even consider it.
On the hunt for a copy cat recipe that was good, not bad, but good.  There are  lots of crazy recipes out there, but this one?  This one intrigued me... the sauce?  Made from Cauliflower.  Yes, really!  And I'll be honest with you.  If I closed my eyes, it was the Stouffers Vegetable Lasagna of my youth!  Maybe you won't think so and maybe it's revisionist history - all possible.  Andy didn't like it.  He thought it was too rich.  Ha ha!!  Too rich he said!  Cauliflower!  It was Cauliflower!  Anyway, white sauce, not his thing, even if it is mostly made of a veggie.  He did a LOT of the work on this one and it was a TON of work, I thought it was worth it.  Guess I will have to make it again for my brother so he and I can relive our youths.

Veggie Alfredo Lasagna
Author: Pinch of Yum

For the cauliflower Alfredo sauce
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons butter
5 cups cauliflower florets
6-7 cups vegetable broth or water
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
½ teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
½ cup milk (more to taste)
Parmesan cheese to taste
For the lasagna
10 lasagna noodles
4 cups cauliflower Alfredo sauce
5 cups veggies (I used chopped fresh spinach, grated carrots, drained canned tomatoes)
3 cups mixed shredded cheese like Mozzarella and Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

1.For the cauliflower sauce: Sauté the garlic with the butter in a large nonstick skillet over low heat until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Bring the cauliflower in the water or broth for 7-10 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. Do not drain. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower pieces to a blender or food processor. Add 1 cup vegetable broth or cooking liquid, sautéed garlic/butter, salt, pepper, and milk. Blend or puree for several minutes or until very smooth.
2.For the lasagna: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil the lasagna noodles for a few minutes until they are just starting to soften but still stiff and cool enough to handle.
3.Spread a spoonful of cauliflower sauce on the bottom of a 9 inch square glass baking dish with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking. Layer lasagna noodles, ½ cup sauce, one fourth of the veggies, a good sprinkle of salt, ½ cup cheese, and ¼ cup sauce (I put sauce in each layer twice - once under the veggies and once on top). Repeat layers 4 times, ending with noodles. Cover the top noodle layer with ½ cup sauce and the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
4.Cover with greased foil and bake for 25 minutes. The liquid should be bubbling along the sides of the dish. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 10-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown to your liking. Cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

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