9/28/11

Broccoli Lasagna and Thoughts on Veganism

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Before I'm sharing the recipe for this modified, yet amazing lasagna, I will confess that this will be the last recipe (at least for a while) that contains dairy or meat. I just found out that I am really VERY intolerant to any dairy products, as well as, to meat. Great, huh?
So veganism, here I come. To tell the truth, it wasn't a shocking news to me, I already knew that. I even was a vegan for almost a year back in 2005. But since I was eating according to what my body wanted and liked I felt great! I felt amazing and thought that why should I restrain myself from my favorite foods like cheese and yogurt and milk? They are healthy, anyways. So I went back to a diet where I ate everything. It was a healthy diet, but not for me. So first of all, I gained weight and accepted being bloated as a normal thing. When I saw the signs that I just had too much protein in me ( skin rash), I would always stop eating dairies and it would all go away. But I always went back to eating everything because I'm such a foodie...
Lately I've been having a rash on my face, neck, chest and an almost always upset stomach so I went to the doctor to assure me that yes, I am not allowed to eat those things. So I'm going back to being a vegan. I know veganism really divides people, some swear by it, some hate it and say it's not healthy, you need dairy products and meat in order to function. Well, I agree with both sides. I believe that we all are individuals and as such, we all have different bodies with different body systems. So what works for one, doesn't mean it will work for another person. 
I was 15 when I went vegan and I was blinded by how this is the way to live. I thought that everyone should eat vegan. I was trying to tell everyone how to live! Actually, back then I was on a macrobiotic diet. I read all books about it and believed everything. I still think it is a very great way but only for those who is willing to do change a whole lifestyle. It is one of the hardest things to do. Especially, if you are alone in a household to do it. Actually, this is why I couldn't maintain it anymore. It is very expensive and complicated to cook 2 different sets of meal all the time. It takes a lot of will-power to stick to the vegan diet anyways, let alone if you eat with people who gets to enjoy all kinds of yummy food! Now that I live in the city, I have my own household so it is a lot easier to go vegan. I come home to my family on the weekends and then I try to cook meals that please everyone. Tastes delicious, yet I will be able to eat it too. 
I will share vegan recipes that will blow anyone's mind. :) Of course, desserts will make some exceptions...A little this and that won't hurt, right? Especially when it's dessert....
But okay, I stop myself and give you the broccoli lasagna recipe. It is super easy and super tasty!

Broccoli Lasagna
makes for 6 people

half package of lasagna noodles
2 cups ham - diced
2 cups broccoli - cooked and separated into smaller flowers
2 cups grated cheese - I used gouda

for the Beschamel Sauce
1/4 cup butter
4-5 tablespoons flour 
2 cups milk - add some more if needed
salt
white pepper
nutmeg

First of all, cook the lasagna noodles only for a few minutes. I know the package says it's precooked and it doesn't need any cooking, I say this out of experience, it does need a few minutes in boiling water. They shouldn't cook completely, and after taking the noodles out of water, make sure you put oil on top of each noodle. This way, they won't stick to each other. 
Now, it's time to make the beschamel sause. Melt the butter and add the flour and stir it together. I like to make it have a little darker color and then add milk in small portions. Make sure, you don't add the whole milk, otherwise it will have bumps. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook it until it's thickened.
Grease a pan and put one layer of noodles in it. Add broccoli flowers and ham. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Add a layer of beschamel sauce. Repeat this until you run out of ingredients. I had 3 layers of noodles and on the 3rd I added only beschamel sauce and a thick layer of grated cheese. Cover it with a foil, so the cheese wouldn't get burnt before it's time and cook for 30-35 minutes on 180C. 10 minutes before it's time to get it out, remove the foil so the cheese can melt.

Enjoy :)





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