So what do us Shannons talk about when we’re not scheming new food plots? Mostly politics. That’s probably not shocking since we’re activists and all. I mean mean activists talking about politics is like dentists talking about sugar-free gum or Elizabethan historians talking about lacy collars. These things happen. But sometimes we randomly discuss topics like which is more financial viable – Gene Roddenberry’s “New World Economy” that basically has no money but everyone seems to have food and is pretty happy or George Lucas’ mega-corporation/cartel Trade Federation that includes lobbyists and apparently dictators. We from time to time discuss great moments in cat diplomacy and when Dan was in London recently… we talked about Twilight.
No we didn’t debate who was dreamier. See when Dan was in London his office was across the street from theatre where Twilight was having their red carpet opening night gala. He had to struggle through hoards of camped out teenage Brits whenever he left his hotel for days. One night while we were skyping you could hear the shrill cries of those exhausted young women as the stars were walking the red carpet. Yes. We were there for history!
But this lead to another interesting conversation. See, I love monstery, gothicy stuff. I’ve actually read the Twilight books because if it has a vampire in it – I’ll read it. But I’ve always had one problem with vampire love stories and twilight epitomizes it. Now I’m not sure how old you are dear reader but consider this… Imagine being 30 and dating a 17 year old. What would you talk about? You wouldn’t have any shared memories from your childhood to relate to or be going through the same problems and trials in your life. It kinda sounds really boring and possibly annoying. Now imagine being 200 years old. What the frak would you talk about? Seriously*.
So what does this have to do with lasagna? See we love lasagna. We make it all the time and have more versions of it than there are things for Edward and Bella to talk about. It’s a true love that changes with the seasonal vegetables and how many people we’re feeding. This easy recipe is one of our favorites and makes 6 good sized pieces and is super simple for how much flavor it has. I have to admit I’ve used this same tempeh sausage mix for sandwiches and tossed with pasta a few times and it never fails to confirm what we’ve always known – pigs make better friends than sausage. That’s love.
Tempeh Sausage & Artichoke Lasagna
1 8oz package 3 Grain Tempeh
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
1 ½ teaspoons fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
dashes liquid smoke
1 clove garlic-minced
1 package lasagna noodles
1 jar pasta sauce
¼ cup Kalamata olives, drained
¼ cup red wine
1 tablespoon Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
pinch celery seed
1 clove garlic – minced
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
vegan parmesan cheese for the top
Heat oven to 400.
Start by reading your instructions on your lasagna noodles. Some need to be boiled before using in your dish while others cook in the dish. Figure out which you have and boil your noodles if you need to.
In a mixing bowl, crumble your Tempeh and then mix in the remaining Sausage Ingredients with a wooden spoon. Set aside to marinate while you make your sauce. You’ll want to mix it a few times while it marinates to make sure the Tempeh on the bottom doesn’t get more flavor.
In a saucepan, mix your Pasta Sauce, Olives, Red Wine, 1 tablespoon Braggs, 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning, Celery Seed and 1 clove Garlic and heat over a medium heat.
Once your noodles are ready and your pasta sauce has begun to bubble, it’s time to build your lasagna.
Ladle a thin layer of pasta sauce into the bottom of a small (ours is 5X7) lasagna pan, then place an even layer of Lasagna Noodles. Spread your Tempeh out in an even layer over the noodles. Pour a thin layer of Pasta Sauce over your Tempeh. Place another layer of Lasagna Noodles over the top. Place your Artichoke Hearts out evenly over the top and then cover with the Fresh Basil Leaves and half your Vegan Mozzarella Pour another light layer of Pasta Sauce over the top. Place your final layer of Lasagna Noodles over that. Pour the remaining Pasta Sauce over the top and top with the remaining Vegan Mozzarella and sprinkle of Vegan Parmesan.
Bake in the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes or until your Vegan Mozzarella is melted and begins to crisp.
Serve hot to your true love with a healthy side of conversation and shared interests.
*Sorry if this offends any die hard Twi-heads out there… please don’t flood me with hate mail.