Dinner & A Movie: Eat Pray Love

While I'm a certainly a girly, girl fashionista at heart, sometimes I like my movies to have a touch of spirituality & depth. After reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book Eat Pray Love & feeling fully inspired by her spiritual journey of self-discovery, I was super excited to see the movie of the same title starring Julia Roberts.

eat pray love truth.jpg

I've heard that many fans of the book disliked the film version, but I wasn't one of them. Yes, the book allows for greater exploration into Liz's internal journey as she grows & changes during her year of travel, but the movie is still beautifully shot & inspirational in it's own right.

Eat Pray Love has a special place in my movie library, I put it on for a pick me up anytime my heart gets weary. The beauty of the landscapes, the excitement of travel, the meditation, the healing of a broken heart, & the finding of one's self...it's all like vegan soup for my soul.

Perhaps it's just me, but I think we're all looking for that same balance Liz hopes for: earthly pleasures, spiritual fulfillment, & a love that throws you just the right amount off balance.

So, in honor of Liz's Italian stop on her journey of self discovery, here's a pasta-based recipe rewind: Vegan Lasagna. It too has a special place in my heart because it's the meal Nick made me for our first Valentine's day together...a part of my own eat pray love story, if you will.

Ingredients [from AllRecipes.com]

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 tablespoons minced garlic
4 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 package gluten-free lasagna noodles
2 pounds firm tofu
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

In a large, heavy saucepan, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Place the onions in the saucepan and saute them until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic; cook 5 minutes more. Place the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil and parsley in the saucepan. Stir well, turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer covered for 1 hour. Add the salt and pepper. While the sauce is cooking bring a large kettle of salted water to a boil. Boil the lasagna noodles for 9 minutes, then drain and rinse well. Place the tofu blocks in a large bowl. Add the garlic, basil and parsley. Add the salt and pepper, and mash all the ingredients together by squeezing pieces of tofu through your fingers. Mix well. Assemble the lasagna: Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch casserole pan. Arrange a single layer of lasagna noodles, sprinkle one-third of the tofu mixture over the noodles. Distribute the spinach evenly over the tofu. Next ladle 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce over the tofu, and top it with another layer of the noodles. Then sprinkle another 1/3 of the tofu mixture over the noodles, top the tofu with 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, and place a final layer of noodles over the tomato sauce. Finally, top the noodles with the final 1/3 of the tofu, and spread the remaining tomato sauce over everything. Cover the pan with foil and bake the lasagna for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve hot and enjoy.

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