Welcome to my first cooking video!!
I am so excited to share this recipe with you and to welcome you into my kitchen. I wanted to start off with this recipe for two reasons: one, Beyond Meat just got its kosher certification, and two, who doesn't love lasagna? Kosher standards mean that you don't mix meat and dairy together, so a vegetarian "meat" lasagna also happens to be the perfect dish if you are kosher-compliant.
Growing up, my mom would make the family a dairy lasagna, which was simply marinara sauce, cheese, and noodles. As I've gotten older, I liked the idea of using a meat substitute, so I came up with this! I hope you enjoy, and send me pictures if you choose to make this at home.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Fill up a pot with water and add a little bit of olive oil. Boil your lasagna noodles till they are al dente - about ten to twelve minutes. When they are done, remove them and lie them down on a paper towel on a cookie sheet. Keep them separated - you don't want them to stick together!
3. Dice an onion. Put your pan on medium heat with a bit of olive oil, and add your onion. After a couple of minutes, add your Beyond Meat to the pan. When the "meat" is done cooking, add marinara sauce to the pan. For flavor, add Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
4. For the cheese mixture, put your ricotta, egg, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper into a bowl. Add enough oregano for a thin layer to cover the top of your mixture. Beat together.
5. To assemble, put a layer of "meat" sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Then lay down four noodles lengthwise, making sure they overlap. Next, put down a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture and sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese. Add another layer of "meat" sauce and repeat the process.
6. Cover the pan with silver foil and put it in the oven for 20 minutes. Take out the lasagna, then reheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the lasagna back in for another twenty minutes - this is what will make the cheese on top get a little crispy!
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Let's get to it: Yes, I'm a religious Jew AND I think Christmas is a lovely holiday.
I have gotten some questions and comments over the past few weeks regarding my feelings toward Christmas because I post about how much I enjoy seeing the lights, singing the music, and watching other people celebrate their faith. I posted a video singing The Christmas Song, I attended the Omaha Symphony's Christmas Celebration, and I created a holiday makeup look for Christmas and Chanukah. How can I do that if I don't celebrate Christmas and am, in fact, a religious Jew?
I think that's a really great question.
Judaism is not a prosthelytizing religion. We don't believe that everyone needs to be Jewish - in fact, we turn you away three times if you want to convert because we believe that you can accomplish as much and go to heaven without being a Jew. Orthodox Jews believe in something called the Noahide laws - seven laws that are given to all mankind that we need to live our lives by. And that's it. Jews, on the other hand, have 613 commandments to practice.
My husband describes this in a fantastic way. He says it's akin to a first-born son. Do the parents love their first-born more than the rest of their children or reward him more for fulfilling his particular role? No! But they do put more of an onus of responsibility on that first-born. He has a ton more rules to follow than the children that are born after him. Similarly, in the Jewish perspective, God has given us 613 commandments that only apply to us. It doesn't make us better or worse that we have that responsibility, simply different.
So, with this in mind, I love seeing my non-Jewish friends practicing their faith in such a beautiful and joyous way! I don't feel left out that I can't celebrate Christmas with them - it's more like I'm cheering from the sidelines. I'm at the game but not playing. And while I'm there, I'm going to take in all the sights, smells, and sounds that are so much fun.
Christmas music? Fantastic! It can't be beat, and not just because so many of the classics were written by Jewish composers. Twinkling lights? I love seeing people decorate their homes. Wholesome family time? Simply the best. And while Christians are celebrating their holiday, I get to celebrate Chanukah with my family and friends. We light the menorah. We take joy in the miracle of the menorah as well as our liberation and independence from so long ago. We share latkes and donuts. We exchange presents of our own.
So with that in mind, have a very merry Christmas, a happy Chanukah, and a wonderful new year!
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Raise your hand if you LOVE decorating for the holiday season! This year I decided to decorate for Hanukkah and winter so that our decorations can carry through past December, and I am loving the result. Check out what we've done with the place, and if you're in the shop for a new menorah, check out the one linked below!
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Thank you so much for your support!
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Hey! I'm Abby, the creator of Classically Abby, a commentary, opera, beauty, and lifestyle brand dedicated to looking at the world from a classic perspective. I'm the first Conservative Influencer and I'm an opera singer with three degrees in performance!