Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vegan Pumpkin Lasagna

This recipe was inspired by Sam, who is a friend of my brother Daniel, and a Facebook friend of mine. A couple weeks ago Sam posted a picture of the pumpkin lasagna he had  at some restaurant in the Quad Cities (where he and my brother live). It sounded like such an interesting dish that I instantly I wanted to get my paws on some! Sam explained that the lasagna was layered with pumpkin puree, spinach, and a ricotta cheese mixture. It was served with grilled asparagus. Here is my version of the pumpkin lasagna and served with a side salad made by my friend Amber! I I made a small batch of the lasagna and it was more than enough for 3 ladies.

Ingredients for vegan ricotta cheese:
  • 1 lb extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbs Italian seasonings
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder seasonings
In a small bowl mash the tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Italian seasonings, and garlic powder.

Ingredients for lasagna:
  • 16 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree 
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tbs dried sage leaves
  • pepper to taste
  • 9 no boil lasagna noodles*
  • 1 cup vegan ricotta cheese (see recipe below in step 3)
  • 3/4 cup vegan Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups vegan mozzarella cheese


  1. In a large skillet, saute the mushroom, 1/2 tsp salt and green onions in coconut oil over medium high heat until tender. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, coconut milk, sage, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper.
  3. spread 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce in an 11 x 7 in baking dish. top with 3 noodles. Top the layer of noodles with 1/2 cup pumpkin sauce, half of the mushroom and onion mixture, 1/2 cup tofu ricotta cheese mixture, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat this process. Top with remaining noodles, Sauce, and cheese. 
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. 

* read labels! Some no-boil noodles contain eggs.

I liked this dish a lot, and I think it's one my family would enjoy as well. I might double the recipe and  make it for Thanksgiving this year in place of the Tofurkey.... I don't know. I'm the only one who ever eats the Tofurkey anyway! Hope you enjoy :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chicago Marathon

I saw the above poster over the weekend and it made me laugh.Well I definitely do feel a little cooler considering I got my PR in the marathon, which I was expecting to do. What I wasn't expecting to do was to qualify for the Boston Marathon! Last time I looked up the qualifying times I remember thinking, "Hmmm maybe when I turn 45 I could make it!" So I honestly didn't remember what the qualifying time was going into Chicago. I started off holding under an 8:00 pace and kept that pretty consistent until the last couple of miles. My official finishing time was a 3:34:19... which barely qualified me! Whatever, I'll take it! 
Thank you to my friend Emily, "B" for making the drive to the big city with me and cheering me on. And thank you to my friend Jessie for also cheering me on and opening up her home to B and I to stay at. And cooking a lovely vegan friendly meal for us :)
Here are some pictures from my weekend in the big city:

B and I at the expo

Of course I brought wine on the trip. And drank it out of a giant bowl.

I made this poster for the girls to hold up at the race

Met up with Justin post race for lunch!

Tofu Scramble for lunch!
B and I  headed back to Springfield on Sunday after lunch. On Monday I took my little friend Jenna to the pumpkin patch. Yes..... it was hard to kneel down like that! I am still incredibly sore even 3 days post race.  I can't remember the last time I was this sore. Been doing lots of swimming in the mean time. Hoping to get back to running tomorrow or Friday! I can't believe I'm pacing the St. Louis Rock n Roll marathon in just over a week.... crazy.

I haven't decided if I will actually run Boston or not. It would be a once in a life time experience for sure, but also an expensive one. My family doesn't come from a racing background so they don't really understand. I'm actually being encouraged NOT to sign up for Boston because it would be "a waste of money". I feel like most parents would be on board, or even want to come and witness it as well. Maybe I can rope someone else into that adventure.
Have a good week!