Sustainable Living in the Kitchen: Meat Free Meal Ideas

In the continuation of this sustainable living around the dining room table (or even the break room table if you are able to pack a delicious lunch in a reusable container and bring to work!) this next recipe is going to give you a tasty Italian favorite sans the meat. The meat industry, along with the egg and dairy market, is responsible for an enormous amount of carbon emissions and thus limiting our own consumption of these products is going to help green things up around here. While it is not necessarily possible for everyone to stick to a vegetarian style diet, even some of the most dedicated sustainable living folks can get a hankering for a big bite of beef every now and then, finding alternative dishes is going to help limit your own impact on the environment.

What’s more is that many vegetarian style dishes come with health benefits (as long as you are mindful of the other ingredients and watch those portion sizes) as there potentially could be less saturated fat and cholesterol in the recipes. Eating fresh, local produce will not only give back to your local community and reduce transportation emissions but your body will thank you as you cut out some of the overly processed or injected junk. Feeding these sustainable living and healthy alternatives to your children will also foster a palette for the more fresh and natural ingredients and you can demonstrate that being conscious of what they put in their mouths has an impact not only on themselves but the rest of the environment as well. Children aren’t born with the innate craving for a Happy Meal so serve them up some yummy vegetarian style home made dishes and enjoy!

This sustainable living recipe is for Spinach Lasagna and it is actually vegan as well which means there is no usage of eggs or dairy either. It comes to you courtesy of ChooseVeg.com:

  • 1/2 lb. lasagna noodles
  • 2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 lb. soft tofu
  • 1 lb. firm tofu
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tsp. minced fresh basil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  1. As per the instructions on the noodle package cook them, drain, and then put to the side.
  2. The oven should be preheated to 350 F.
  3. Take the spinach and make sure to squeeze it as dry as you can and place to the side.
  4. Add the soy milk, tofu, garlic powder, basil, sugar, lemon juice, and salt into a blender, or instead a food processor, and mix all the ingredients until they are completely blended and smooth. Then add the spinach and stir.
  5. Using a 9” x 13” baking dish spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce along the bottom. The next layer will be with noodles and you will use roughly 1/3 of the entire amount cooked. The next layer will be ½ of the tofu mixture.Repeat that same sequence and you will be left with an excess of 1/3 of the noodles and 1/3 of the tomato sauce. The last portion of noodles will then be added to the top and followed up by the last of the tomato sauce.
  6. Place the dish into the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Once this sustainable living Spinach Lasagna has had time to cool it is ready to be dished up and enjoyed! It will serve between 6 and 8 (plenty for left-overs for another night or to pack for school or work) and you could pair it with a healthy serving of a fresh salad with the vegetables bought from your local farmer’s market or even picked from your very own garden!

Photo credit: Avlxyz