Lasagne roll ups

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I decided to forgo the usual “ricotta and tomato sauce” approach to lasagne in the recipe below. Roll ups are convenient, as I find it easier to control portion sizes.

Ingredients

For the filling

1 finely diced onion

3-4 diced garlic cloves

Cooked sweet potato, mashed

1 block extra firm tofu, crumbled

Finely chopped greens. I used collard greens, but you could easily use spinach, swiss chard, or kale.

Crushed tomatoes

Red wine (optional)

Dried basil and oregano

Topping

Tomato sauce

Shredded vegan cheese. I used Gusta, but any brand you like that can be shredded will do

Instructions

  1. Saute the onions until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the crumbled tofu and saute, making sure to distribute the onions and garlic thoroughly.
  3. Add the sweet potato and greens.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes. The filling needs to be thick, so add only enough tomatoes to achieve this consistency.
  5. Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add red wine, if desired. I used a lovely local rose, which gives the filling a subtle flavour.
  7. Simmer for about minutes, stirring frequently.

To assemble

  1. Boil the desired number of lasagne noodles until al dente. I used six.
  2. Lay the cooked noodles flat on a towel or cookie sheet.
  3. Place the filling along the entire length of each noodle. Be generous with the filling.
  4. Roll each lasagne noodle.
  5. Place the filled noodles in a baking dish. Make sure the noodles are tightly packed so that they don’t lose their shape.
  6. Cover the roll ups with tomato sauce and grated cheese
  7. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow split pea soup

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced. I used a purple sweet potato this time; the flesh is white.
  • 1/2 cup dried yellow split peas
  • Enough vegetable broth to cover
  • Dried sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute the diced onion and carrots until softened.
  2. Add the peas, sweet potato, and sage
  3. Cover with vegetable broth. Don’t add too much broth, or the soup will be too thin. You can always add more broth if the soup becomes too thick.
  4. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours.

Ethique hair conditioner bar

I have been using the curly girl method to look after my hair for a while now. In this method, I use only conditioner to clean my scalp. Shampoos are very harsh on my hair, and even those without sulfates leave my hair tangled and dry. So, while I  no longer buy shampoos, I do go through a lot of conditioner and gel which, unfortunately, come in plastic bottles. I have tried using homemade flax seed gel, but I did not find it gave my hair enough hold, and it smelled a little too nutty for my taste. Until I find a better solution, I will continue to use gel in plastic bottles, but I buy litre-sized bottles so that I don’t go through smaller tubes, which do not recycle as well.

I have been looking at various conditioner bars to replace the plastic bottles of conditioner that I use. Conditioner bars are not as easy to find as shampoo bars, at least not in local stores. I’ve explored other options such as Etsy. Unfortunately, a number of conditioner bars I’ve found contain sulfates (Lush, in particular, has sulfates in all its shampoo and conditioner bars) or silicones. Silicones bind to your hair and require shampoo to be removed properly, so they’re not good for me.

I’ve heard a lot of the Ethique products from New Zealand. My concern about these products is that I’m not prepared to have them shipped from New Zealand, as this is hardly carbon friendly. Unfortunately, I can’t find their products in local stores, so I settled on having a conditioner bar shipped from Amazon’s Toronto warehouse. This is hardly ideal, of course, so I will continue to explore more sustainable options.

Having said that, I am very pleased with the Guardian conditioner bar (for normal to dry hair). I have used it on my scalp as a cleanser, and it has worked well. I use it on my hair as a conditioner, by simply rubbing it along wet hair. I use it on dry hair as well by rubbing the bar in wet hands, then running my hands along my dry hair. The bar conditions well, has good slip, and rinses out well. The bar is very small, so I’ll see how long it works; it’s on the steep side at $28 for 16g bar. Mind you, I go through a lot of bottles of conditioner, so the bar may prove to be more cost-effective, and there are no bottles to recycle. The shipping, of course, reduces the low impact of the conditioner bar. Our local zero-waste store has conditioner bars, but I have not found a proper list of ingredients yet, so I will see whether the store owner can provide me with one.