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Food for Thought: We veg(etarian) out on lasagna

I have shed blood in the performance of my Food for Thought duties.  After foolishly attempting to use a mandoline cutter without its safety pusher, I whacked a quarter-inch divot from my finger. And this right after I'd mopped the Food for Thought test kitchen floor. As I told food commentator Nancy Leson, "It looked like there'd been a sword fight in there."

Ironically, this carnage happened  in  pursuit of vegetarian lasagna.

Both Nance and I tried different recipes for vegetarian lasagna this past weekend.  They were both weekend recipes, requiring hours of slicing, dicing and other prep.  

I used a recipe from Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen blog. Even she puts quotes around "lasagna" as it's really just a potato, cabbage and mushroom casserole. It was good, though a bit soggy. My only tweak  was adding some ground dried shiitake to the vegetable mix for boosted 'shroomocity.

Nancy made the  Cook's Illustrated vegetable lasagna. That method taught her to use a microwave to prep eggplant. Nance has found the no-boil lasagna unsatisfasctory in the past. This time around she got better results. She later learned that you can use regular dried lasagna noodles as no-boil if you just let them soak in hot water for five or 10 minutes before using, making sure they're in plenty of sauce.  Here's more on the no-boils.

Credit Nancy Leson / KNKX
Nance's finished veg lasagne.

Both of these lasagne are hearty stuff, though mine was more on the heavy than hearty side. But it's still good for cold, wet winter days.

"I am not a vegetarian because I love animals. I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants."  – A. Whitney Brown

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.
Nancy Leson is an award-winning food writer, radio personality, cooking instructor and public speaker who learned much of what she knows about food during her first career: waiting tables. Seattle readers know her as the mouth that scored — for the better part of two decades — as restaurant critic and food columnist for the Seattle Times. These days, when she’s not chatting about recipes or interviewing makers and shakers in the food world for KNKX, she helps end hunger, one loaf at a time, as the Edmonds hub coordinator for the Community Loaves project. Find her @nancyleson and at