Sunday, November 11, 2012

Potato Lasagna

Three types of sliced potato take the place of lasagna noodles in this layered dish. Serve small portions as a side, or larger portions to make it your main dish.

For the sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 and 1/2 cups chopped tomato
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 and 3/4 cups vegan chicken broth (such as Imagine)
For the potatoes:
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 cups thinly sliced and peeled baking potato
  • 1 and 1/2 cups thinly sliced and peeled Yukon gold potato
  • 1 and 1/2 cups thinly sliced and peeled sweet potato
  • 1 cup shredded Daiya cheddar
  • 1 cup shredded Daiya mozzarella
  • Cooking spray
1. To prepare the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper; saute for 8 minutes.  Add the tomato, tomato paste, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, garlic salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. To prepare the potatoes, combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, the ground red pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl.  Add the three varieties of potatoes and toss well.

3. Combine the cheddar and mozzarella in a bowl.  Spoon 1 and 1/2 cups of the potato mixture into an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Top with 1 cup sauce and 2/3 cup cheese mixture.  Repeat the layers: 1 and 1/2 cups potatoes, 1 cup sauce, and 2/3 cup cheese mixture, followed by a final 1 and 1/2 cups potatoes and 1 cup sauce.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

4. Uncover and sprinkle with the final 2/3 cup cheese mixture.  Bake for a final 10 minutes, until bubbly.

Tonight I paired with grilled Match beef - the beef was delicious dipped into the extra, cheesy sauce.

If you're feeling adventurous, I also quite enjoyed the potatoes with grilled ecoVegan fish fillets.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1 portion), Calories 227 

Tasting Notes:
I wasn't expecting it, but between the gooey cheesy blend of mozzarella and cheddar and the spice of the ground red pepper, the sauce tasted quite like queso dip.  Indeed, more than a lasagna, it made me think of a Southwestern-inflected version of French scalloped potatoes, a theme that was reinforced by the yummy tidbits of green bell pepper.  The dish is just a touch too spicy, or I'd rate it higher; I recommend decreasing the ground red pepper to 1/4 teaspoon.  Unfortunately, the sauce is so strong and flavorful that you sort of loose the variety among the potatoes.  Consider a version with half the amount of cheese and sauce if you want to taste the potatoes better. The cheese sauce is also quite runny out of the oven, so I recommend letting it stand for about 5 or 10 minutes before dividing into portions.


To make this dish heartier, I made a new version with layers of Lightlife ham after the first two potato layers (6 slices per layer).

The resulting main dish was fantastic, since the savory ham helped cut the spiciness that I didn't like so much in the original. 

Vegan Extra:
On an unrelated note, I've never been an energy drink person. First, I've never felt the need; two cups of coffee is fine to get me through the day. And more importantly, I never trusted that the ingredients would be vegan. But when I spotted Steaz's all-natural energy drink, I had to give it a try.  Why? Because the drink derives its energy from nature's best sources: guarana, green tea, and yerba mate. With a whopping 800% of your daily vitamin B12, I figured it couldn't hurt to give the drink a try. Even better, unlike many of the dangerously-caffeinated energy beverages on the market, this one contains only 100 mg of caffeine per can.

My verdict is that I didn't really notice much extra energy (I still fell asleep right on cue, only a few hours after having this drink), but the taste is bubbly, lightly fruity, and refreshing, and the added dose of vitamin B12 certainly can't hurt once in a while. And of course, I love supporting any product with my favorite logo:

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