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My husband recently decided that he’d like to be a vegetarian. When he told me this, my response was something like…

Oh cool, let’s get everyone in this house on the most disparate diets possible. You, vegetarian; the Oddnivore, well, you know; then there is me with my meat-a-tarian pregnancy eating…. Oh, and the Newcomer’ll be here soon enough, with her baby-peculiar diet to add to it all. Yeah, this sounds fun.

Fortunately, my husband knows these wry outbursts are merely cathartic, and he doesn’t take them (too) personally. But I try to make up for myself and my unbridled tongue by finding a way to cook vegetarian for him, and dinner with a couple of friends on a Sunday gives me the opportunity. And I decide on vegetarian lasagna.

Lasagna is a food that I can automatically get on board with. When I was a kid and my birthday came around, that’s the the food I wanted. Specially requested, to go along with my tub of ice cream, because back in those days I didn’t like cake. (Weirdo.)

So maybe that’s why my mind snaps to lasagna, though in this case I have no interest in preserving what was.

And, as we’re remaking the lasagna of my memories, we remake it again for the Oddnivore.

Here’s the original recipe (for all of you vegetarians, spouses of vegetarians, and general veggie-lovers), and what we did for the Oddnivore’s version.

Because of the size crock we used (to the left in first picture), we cooked 3 rice pasta lasagna noodles according to package directions (we like Tinkyada rice pastas for taste AND manufacturing practices) while we wilted the spinach in a blop of canola oil and sauteed the sliced zucchini in another canola blop or two.

After the pasta was done, we started the layering process in the crock, which we’d lightly greased with some Earth Balance margarine. Layer as follows:

  • Sauce to cover the bottom of the crock (we used a tomato/basil pasta sauce; use what you like, but I recommend opting for something without added sugar/corn syrup. Check the label.)
  • Noodles
  • Sauce to cover the noodles
  • 1/2 of the zucchini
  • 1/2 of the spinach
  • Vegan cheese (In this case, we only had slices of mozzarella vegetable cheese; if I did it again, I’d used Daiya shredded cheese)
  • Noodles
  • Sauce to cover the noodles
  • Remainder of the zucchini
  • Remainder of the spinach
  • Vegan cheese
  • Noodles
  • Sauce
  • Cheese for the top if you like

We threw the top on the crock and put the lasagna in a 375 degree oven (with the ‘adult’ version we already had cooking) and baked it about 20 minutes, till it was heated through. If you decide to top your lasagna with cheese, use about 10 minutes of cooking time to brown the top.

Here’s a visual!

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The Oddnivore ended up objecting to the spinach (“I don’t like the salad”), but I have to say, I probably would have freaked out if my mom had tossed spinach in my birthday lasagna. Still, I think the Oddnivore was pleased to sit with his parents and “the friends” at the big dinner table and nosh on nearly identical fare. To solidarity, then!

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