Vegetarian Delight: Veggie Sausage, Chard, and Lemon Lasagna

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How can sausage be vegetarian? I know that is the first thing you must thinking. Well, you use Tofurky sausage that is all vegan, that is how!


I preface my blog post today by telling you how much different I have been eating since getting pregnant. I cannot explain why I have food aversions but all I know is that practically every food substitute I was using while going vegan I have had an aversion to since getting pregnant. I kid you not.


Most people know that I went vegan for HEALTH reasons and personal choice and not for ethical reasons. I stated the fact in the “About me” section, but somehow, I feel like I have lost connection with the vegan community because of the food choices and recipes I have been posting as of late.


I really do not care, but I care enough to state and write about it because it bothers me that I can be judged on my food choices. I know that I am going to try my best to return to my vegan lifestyle after pregnancy but even after that I do not know. I cannot control this but I know that I continue eating healthy and eating as whole foods as possible.


Should this not be the purpose of healthy eating?  If I set myself up writing this blog about my journey into veganism it is because I intended to stay vegan not knowing that vegan cheeses, meats, tofu, nutritional yeast, and most substitutes were going to react with my pregnant body. All I know is that I can eat AS healthy as possible for MY BABY’s health and for my own, even if it means incorporating protein by means of eating meat or eggs. I feel fine and I feel energetic. I know I am supplying the protein I need to maintain a healthy pregnancy in addition to taking my pre-natal vitamins.


My energy levels are wonderful and I working out and maintaining great stamina even if I am not at my goal weight. It is what I feed my body that is the most important.


Thank you EVERYONE who continues to support and read this blog. It has definitely been a journey and it continues being one daily!

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That being said, I really have been wanting to make a lasagna with swiss chard from the farmer’s market but as I kept on thinking about how I could make it vegan, I cringed, knowing I could not tolerate nutritional yeast or Daiya cheese. I literally get nauseous and sick right now, so I decided to make it with dairy products but instead of using sausage I made it with Tofurky sausage.

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Now for those who are not familiar with Tofurky products this is a meatless sausage made from tofu and vital wheat gluten. I had not eaten it in a while either but I thought I should at least make this dish VEGETARIAN if I could not make it VEGAN.


This recipe is VERY quick to prepare and cook and is very delicious. It is definitely a different type of lasagna in that the sauce is a white sauce base and not marinara. It is light and not heavy.  Ryan liked it alot!  This dish is great to incorporate GREENS. If you do not have swiss chard, try the recipe with kale or spinach.


I accompanied this dinner with a cucumber, red onion, and avocado salad with a balsamic vinagrette. Perfect! I hope you try this dish and if anyone feels so inclined to veganize this dish, go at it!


Make a vegan bechamel sauce and use Daiya cheese.  Let me know if you make it that way too!

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Veggie Sausage, Chard, and Lemon Lasagna

adapted from Martha Stewart.com


3 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
5 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard (about 1 bunch)
1 pound Tofurky sausage, roughly chopped
1 lemon, very thinly sliced
6 no-boil lasagna noodles, preferably Barilla
**The lemon was a little overpowering despite the boiling and softening, but you might like it. I would keep the recipe as since the lemon looks great as a garnish.

Melt butter in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in flour; cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in chard.


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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roughly chop the Tofurky sausage.


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Cover lemon slices with cold water by 3 inches in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.


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Spread 1/4 cup sauce in an 8-inch square nonreactive baking dish. Top with 2 noodles, half the sausage, 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese, and 1 cup sauce. Repeat. Top with a layer of lemons, 2 noodles, then remaining sauce, mozzarella cheese and lemons. Bake, covered with parchment-lined foil, for 27 minutes.


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Remove from oven. Heat broiler. Uncover lasagna; top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Broil until bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes.
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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17583301157540398839 Trix

    Aw, don’t let people get to you. I was a vegetarian for many years (10) for ethical reasons, and then I decided to become what I consider an ethical carnivore. It was a tough decision, but I feel good about it. And my body likes it too. Some people probably look down on me for it. But you know what? Someone is always going to think they are more virtuous than you are, and that is a game I do not care to play. So just live and be happy! : )

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16639283545843018600 Geanna

    I became a vegan for the exact same reason, and I’ve developed more and more health issues as of late, leading me to eat vegan only about 90% of the time. Yet I am scared to reveal that fact because I’m sure it will alienate me from folks out there who are very militant vegans.

    However, I believe that only you know your body and if your body can’t handle certain foods (especially substitutes), then you should avoid them. I wholeheartedly support your decision, and will eagerly continue to read your blog. Thanks for your honesty!

  • http://vegangoodthings.blogspot.com/ Leinana

    Noelle – this looks amazing and I will absolutely make a vegan version! I can totally sympathize with you, I’m also dealing with aversions to a lot of vegan processed products, especially cheeses. I’ve had better luck with Follow Your Heart though, because the smell is much milder than Daiya. Will let you know how the vegan version turns out!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01645795802032280759 Rebecca

    Just found your blog today. Keep up your courage!

    I’m intrigued by this recipe, but a little curious about the lemon. Did it have a strong flavor in this dish?

  • http://noteasytobegreen.wordpress.com/ noteasytobegreen

    That looks delicious! I’m not a fan of Tofurkey, but I love Quorn bangers (sadly, not available in my local Whole Foods). I’m sorry substitutes have been making you feel sick during your pregnancy. Maybe your body is telling you something — some of the meat and dairy substitutes have loooong ingredient lists and some fairly iffy chemicals.

    Anyway, stay healthy and well!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17579815484543487415 Noelle

    @Trix-Thank you for your comment! Much appreciated! It is incredible how tied down people get with labels. It was my way of venting because I want to enjoy what I am doing in everything I do EVEN in the kitchen! :D Have a great day Trix!

    @Geanna-Thanks Geanna!I really appreciate your comment. I am amazed how quickly I have received responses already! WOW.We live in such a judgemental society and I just decided I am not going to be afraid of sharing what processes have been going through in my life as of late. Thank you for sharing YOUR experience!Have a great day and thanks again!

    @Leinana-Great! I look forward hearing about it!Thanks for your comment! Hope you are feeling great. I have been feeling a lot more pregnant as of late. LOL

    @Rebecca-Thanks for asking and reminding me that I would ONLY do ONE lemon layer. The boiling of the lemon softens the flavor, but it was still a little too potent for my husband and I. I will make a note in the recipe. Thanks!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17579815484543487415 Noelle

    @noteasytobegreen-Hmm, I have never tasted Quorn products. I wondered why my body was reacting as such, but I agree with you. Thanks for your comment.

  • http://Ohmygodash10@yahoo.com/ Ashley

    Oh mama, you do what’s best for you and that lil one :) I completely get it!!!! When we went vegan about a month or so ago, I felt AWFUL and had zero energy and I couldn’t figure out why. But as a breastfeeding mama (my lil guy is 11 months), I didn’t realize how susceptible I was to a b12 deficiency, so I added 1 egg + 1 egg white back into my diet and that has made all the difference in the world. While I’d love to cut them out entirely, I can’t because obviously my body needs that to provide for my baby and I don’t wanna cause him any problems. SO my point lol if anyone tries to be all elitist and judge you, boooooo to them, but definitely don’t let it stop you from doing anything you’re doing. You’re taking care of your #1 priority and that is exactly what you’re supposed to do so I commend you :) and I love your blog and recipes, I just veganize to fit what hubby and I eat, it’s really simple :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07061051619440180582 Ashley

    I had reactions to lots of foods when I was pregnant. Pretty much all I could eat during my first trimester was fried chicken, and my baby was born healthy and is doing just fine! You go for what your body tells you to eat – it knows best! God put that wisdom in there. :) I agree with the comment about long lists of chemicals – sometimes the “fake” versions of things that are vegan are, in my opinion, not worth the substitution. (Plus to me they don’t taste the same!!! Such was my discovery when I was going without dairy for my little one’s sensitivity, which is thankfully all gone now! :) Anyway, rock on cooking mama! Hope you have a brighter day.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04695690277037332534 Kirsten

    That sucks that you feel alienated from the vegan community:( Your blog has lots of great recipes!

    Although I don’t agree with “your body needs it”. This is YOUR blog, your diary. I like to think of my blog as an album to my life that I can look back on.

    This is one of my favorite quotes
    “what other people think of you is none of your business”.

    Much love.
    Kirsten

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07514065308961422906 Junia

    noelle, do what you need to do for your baby and your health! i am vegan for health reasons right now but i do wonder if my body will change when i am pregnant. thanks for sharing about it so honestly here. the lasagna looks delish btw!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04219530737656720050 Laura Chin

    Quorn is a great vegetarian product! We don’t eat soy so it’s a VERY tasty option for our meatless days!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08873080530639686787 HiHoRosie

    gall, I get so irritated that food police harp on others for their food choices, ignoring all reasons the person has and/or how difficult some choices are. This goes for vegans and non-vegans. I’ve seen it from both sides. And frankly, people should butt out. A person should feel comfortable and freely able to choose what is BEST for them, whether it’s for ethical or health reasons. Because we’re all different, one can’t judge another or telling them what they should or shouldn’t do (eat in this case). I think it’s okay to offer advice (if asked) or suggestions but not to the point where it’s hurtful, negative, or isolates. Okay, I could go on but glad you’re doing what’s best for you right now.

    Your lasagne looks incredible – very creative and flavorful uses of everything!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15538836762561311482 Fayinagirl (means Free One)

    Sweetie, diet is a fluid, ever-changing thing. You have to do what works for you. I’m not the least bit interested in judging you (at all -let alone based on your dietary choices).

    FYI…part of the reason I’ve gone mostly raw is that the vegan “substitute” foods don’t sit well with me. They make me feel icky.

    I’m still with you…just been quiet of late because of busyness. :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03266656770558847026 Ann

    Hi there! I am neither vegan nor vegetarian…but I enjoy meatless dishes often – at least once a week – usually more. I’m glad your energy is up and you’re doing well. This dish is beautiful and the lemons on top is – WOW!

    Take care and – as always – I look forward to your next post!

  • http://chowvegan.com/ chow vegan

    You should always do what’s right for you. Who cares what other people think, it’s your body and your life. :-) The lasagna looks awesome! I’ve been making a cupcake size version lately, and it totally doesn’t need the cheese. Mostly because I forgot to put it in but it still tasted great.

  • http://anecdotesandapples.weebly.com/ Monet

    I have to try some of this Tofurky sausage because this casserole looks too good! Thank you for sharing with me. I’m eating a bagel and enjoying your blog. What a perfect way to start my Sunday! I hope you have a wonderful day.