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Monday, March 5, 2012

Crowd pleasin' Lasagna

I have made this recipe from Rip Esselstyn and the Engine 2 Diet several times, and used to make my own adjustments because that's just the way I cook, lol. This time, I stuck to it to the letter, (except I used gluten free pasta) and it was amazing and so colorful! There are so many wonderful flavors, textures, and seasonings, that your mouth just bursts with joy! The seasoning is perfect, the blend of veggies so enticing! I believe it tastes so good because eating it you know how healthy it is, and every cell in your body celebrates with every bite!
My carnivore friends were extremely impressed, and said the taste and texture were wonderful. One friend said she really liked the cheese in it ...... (there is no cheese, fake or otherwise!)
Try the Raise The Roof Sweet Potato Lasagna from the Engine 2 Diet cookbook, it is a sure winner! The cookbook is full of the heart-healthiest recipes you have ever tried, all of them are so good! The low fat, no oil, plant based, whole food philosophy of Rip comes from his father, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's amazing scientific research chronicled in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease which also contains great tasting, truly healthy recipes. This recipe also appears in the  Forks Over Knives cookbook.


If you have one of the books, and have not tried this recipe yet because you thought it to be a little daunting, fear not, it really isn't difficult. Some tips: gather the ingredients, and start by baking the sweet potatoes, and thawing and thoroughly draining the spinach (and broccoli if you use frozen as I did). Then have a large bowl handy and just follow the directions as given in the book, and you will have an amazing meal before you know it! It took me about an hour prep time, including baking the sweet potatoes in the microwave.

Tips for preparing this recipe from Rip's book:
  1. INSTEAD OF FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS RIP GIVES FOR THE PASTA: Soak your rice lasagna (I only have experience with DeBoles rice noodles, but hopefully other brands behave the same)  in cold water for about 30 minutes, while preparing fillings. Then place the softened noodles in the dish as called for and they will finish cooking nicely. If you put them in as you would wheat pasta, they will NOT cook through. If you cook the rice pasta first, it falls apart and is very difficult to layer. I found the pre-soak method perfect for all rice pasta, and if you are going to cook rice pasta, pre-soak it then boil only 5 minutes, voila!
  2. Bake and cool your sweet potatoes first. (I use the microwave, about 10 minutes) 
  3. I got the best results with a specialized Lasagna pan, all of it fits in there, but if you don't have one, you will need two 9x13" (cake) pans.
  4. This is a great dish to involve the hubby and/or the kids as Sous Chefs, lots of chopping to do, and they appreciate the final product so much more when they help  =)

Note* For those who are asking for the recipe, pick up one of the cookbooks mentioned. The recipe is not mine, and I do not have the right to share it, only to eat it, hehe!

2 comments:

  1. Would you mind sharing which brand of GF noodles you used as a substitute? I find that they all seem to cook and taste differently. Did you pre cook them? Any changes due to the noodles? Our family already eats gluten free but are moving to a more plant based diet.

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  2. GF noodles do pose a bit of a problem due to the difference in texture. My local grocery store carries DeBoles brand, and it is the only brand I have tried, since I don't shop around other places much. I soak all rice pasta a half hour before cooking for best results! Then instead of cooking the presoaked lasagna noodles, I layer the softened noodles into the dish and it turns out perfectly!

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Please leave a comment, I'd love to hear what you think!
~ Shelley