Monday, October 24, 2011

GFDF Lasagna

Lasagna was the first dish I made for my family by myself. I always referred to the no-boil lasagna recipe my mom had clipped from a magazine and kept in the cabinet next to the spaghetti sauce. My small hands were great at layering the noodles, sauce, and cheese in the pan and putting in the oven. This was my most commonly repeated recipe growing up. I’m sure my mom loved it – “Michelle, can you make lasagna?” meant I went to work for five minutes, barely made a mess, and an hour later, a perfect lasagna would come out of the oven and out to the dinner table.

Dairy free lasagna? I thought it was going to be impossible, or at least a $50 dish. I’m fortunate to be able to tolerate goat and sheep cheeses in reasonable amounts, but spending $30 on specialty cheeses for one dish is too much of a hit on my budget.

And gluten and dairy free lasagna? I may as well give up. But gluten free lasagna noodles exist for a reason, right?

My lasagna is a mash up of this recipe from Glutenfreechops.blogspot and the Engine 2 vegan lasagna with tofu ricotta.

The tofu ricotta was simply made with two blocks of extra firm silken tofu, honey, apple cider vinegar and salt mashed together with a fork.

I cooked 2 medium sized sweet potatoes and then mashed them with my electric hand mixer.

The noodles (I used the entire 8 oz package of Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods Inc's brown rice pasta lasagna) were cooked with the Glutenfreechops hint borrowed from The College Housewife. My secret to prevent the noodles from sticking together? Add some olive oil to the water first. I had no issues!

I browned some ground beef mixed with some Italian seasonings and drained it. Then I sautéed some sliced zucchini and diced onions and red peppers with salt, pepper, and some more seasonings.

In my Corning Ware casserole dish, I placed some olive oil on the bottom and then laid out three pieces of lasagna. I poured my store bought basil spaghetti sauce on top and layered in mashed sweet potatoes, beef, tofu ricotta, and more noodles until my ingredients were almost used up. The last bits of spaghetti sauce and tofu went on top and the dish (with the glass lid on) went into the 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. For the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking, I took the lid off to brown the tofu.

This definitely wasn’t my mom’s lasagna recipe. I think I used almost a whole dishwasher’s worth of dishes and pans and bowls making this. But the lasagna was heavenly. My first bite made me forget that I even had food intolerances. I was able to make a delicious gluten and dairy free lasagna without ruining my budget and made it guilt-free with the extra veggies. My lasagna made about 8 servings – some more is already packed away in the freezer for the next time my lasagna cravings hit!

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