i know the calendar says it’s september, but we’re in full-swing summer weather up here in seattle, and loving it!
since school doesn’t begin until the end of september, i’m taking advantage of every minute of sunshine and warm weather, including impromptu blackberry picking along the side of the road, a BBQ on Lake Washington, and a dip into the lake over the weekend!
it’s amazing how many wild blackberries grow up here, and how easily accessible they are for picking. as you can see from the picture below, we saved our iced tea cups from a trip to starbucks (yes, we actually went to starbucks – the local coffee shop we tried to go to didn’t have wireless internet!) and filled them to the brim with the delicious berries.
i’ve also been cooking and baking up a storm in my free time, beginning with this recipe for vegan vegetable lasagna. although i have some favorite lasagnas already posted here on my website, i wanted to try out a vegan version to see if it held up to the other, dairy-laden options. this lasagna surpassed all my expectations – sautéing the vegetables makes them absolutely delicious and super flavorful, and eliminates any possibility of soggy lasagna! since this meal doesn’t have any dairy, it’s pretty light – so i decided to throw together a quick blackberry crisp to round out the meal. yum!
i’ve been rambling a bit about these recipes because i’m avoiding talking about the passing of a beloved member of the book club i was in when i lived in santa cruz. celestial was funny and smart, and i loved getting to know her over wine, good food, and fun book- and not-book-related conversations. i was just thinking about her a few weeks ago as i watched the movie the help, because celestial hosted our book club meeting the month we read this book. after working a full day at work, she somehow threw together an amazing southern-themed spread of deviled eggs, cornbread, and black bean hummus with veggies, and kept the conversation flowing throughout the night. i’m still in shock that she’s gone.
i know this is an abrupt way to end, but i don’t have many more words…so go make this great meal and share it with friends and family, ok?
one year ago: tortilla stack casserole
two years ago: corn chowder
three years ago: blueberry tartlets
vegan vegetable lasagna
yields 9-12 servings
borrowed from daily garnish
- 1T olive oil
- 2 zucchini squash, chopped
- 2 yellow squash, chopped
- 16oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 16oz firm tofu
- 2T olive oil
- 1½T nutritional yeast
- 1t thyme
- 1t salt
- 16oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 jar tomato sauce
- preheat the oven to 375º
- pour 1T olive oil into a large pan and turn on the heat to medium
- once the oil is hot, add the zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms, allowing to sauté until browning and a lot of the juice has some out of the vegetables – the goal is to make them less watery in the lasagna
- while the veggies are sautéing, place the tofu, 2T olive oil, nutritional yeast, thyme, salt, and thawed and drained frozen spinach into a food processor and pulse to combine until creamy and smooth – it took my food processor a few minutes to get to this consistency
- once the vegetables are browned, add the jar of tomato sauce to the pan and heat until hot throughout
- spoon some of the tomato sauce/veg mixture into a 9×13″ pan to alleviate sticking
- place 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce, and cover with half of the spinach mixture
- place three more lasagna noodles on top of the spinach mixture and cover with half of the tomato sauce/veg mixture
- repeat steps 6 and 7, ending with the tomato/veg mixture on top
- cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes
- serve with salad and bread, if so desired, and enjoy!
yields 4 servings
adapted from my apple crisp recipe
- 2c blackberries
- 2t tapioca
- 6T flour
- 6T oats
- 1/3c brown sugar
- 1/2t cinnamon
- dash nutmeg
- 1/4c butter, softened
- handful walnuts, broken
- preheat the oven to 350º
- grab four ramekins and place 1/2c of blackberries into each one
- add 1/2t of tapioca to each ramekin and toss with the berries
- in a medium bowl, mix the flour, outs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together
- mix in the butter with a fork or your fingers until the mixture clumps into pea-size pieces
- add the walnuts and sprinkle 1/4 of the mixture over each ramekin
- bake for 25 minutes, or until berries are bubbling and the crisp is hot
- top with your favorite frozen treat or some yogurt (we mixed plain yogurt with brown sugar and a little vanilla) and enjoy!