Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lasagna (Gluten, Casein, Egg, Soy and Yeast Free)

Life has been SO busy lately that I've had this recipe laying around for a whole month. What a crazy month it's been. This lasagna dish was a challenge - for a dinner where all in attendance had food allergies and sensitivities, this dish needed to be free of gluten, casein, soy, corn, egg and yeast. I could not use Daiya because it has yeast in it. How could I make a lasagna with no cheesy substance holding the whole thing together? Frankly the thought was a little sacrilegious. But I gave it my best, and goodness knows I love a challenge.

Ultimately, I combined two different lasagna recipes I remember from my childhood (minus the cheese) - regular ol' meat lasagna and spinach lasagna. For this, the spinach part morphed into a spinach-zucchini-carrot part. Red sauce and flax seed helped hold the meat part together, pine nuts in the veggie part gave it a nutty, buttery flavor without having to use cheese, and white sauce (inspiration here) stood in for the creaminess that cheese would have imparted. If you can't do meat, then double or triple the veggie part for a straight veggie lasagna.

The verdict? Everybody liked it. Most had seconds. I think somebody may have eaten it cold for breakfast. And that makes this home cook very happy.

First, make the White Sauce

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 large clove minced garlic
1/2 stalk celery, minced
1/4 small onion, minced
3 tbsp. potato starch
1/4 cup white wine
14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
dash each salt and pepper
pinch each basil and oregano
dash lemon juice
2 - 4 tbsp. yogurt

Saute the garlic, onion and celery in the olive oil over low heat until soft. Stir in the potato starch. Whisk in the white wine, then whisk in the coconut milk. Add the salt, pepper, basil and oregano and whisk. Bring to a simmer and cook 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice to taste. Cool, then whisk in the yogurt. Set aside.

Next, prepare the veggies

2 small zucchini, shredded
10 oz package chopped spinach, squeezed dry
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, grated
2 large grated carrots
2/3 cup pine nut meal

Toss the zucchini with a little salt. Put in a colander and place a heavy plate on it. You want to get as much liquid out of the zucchini as possible so you don't have a runny lasagna - the salt will draw the liquid out. If you do this before making the white sauce, by the time the white sauce is finished the zucchini will be ready.

Toss the remaining ingredients with the zucchini. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Set aside.

Prepare the meat sauce

2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. flax meal
crushed tomatoes
salt, pepper, basil and oregano to taste

Brown the meat in a large skillet (don't cook it all the way through). Add the onion and garlic and cook until meat is cooked through, pouring off liquid as necessary. Turn off the heat and stir in the flax meal and enough crushed tomatoes so that the meat more or less sticks together and looks like it won't fall out all over the place when you slice the lasagna (but don't add too much, you don't want this to be runny). Season to taste with salt, pepper, basil and oregano.

Prepare the noodles

While the meat sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook 1 package of gluten-free lasagna noodles (such as Tinkyada) according to the package directions. In fact, it's better to under cook the noodles a bit, otherwise they will fall apart into bits. They'll finish cooking in the oven. Rinse the noodles under cold water, then massage them with a little olive oil to keep them from sticking together.

Assemble the lasagna

Smear the bottom and sides a 13x9 inch baking dish with olive oil. Put a layer of lasagna noodles on the bottom. Spread about 1/2 of the meat sauce over the noodles. Thinly spread about 1/3 of the white sauce on top of the meat.

Top with noodles. Spread about 1/2 of the veggies over the noodles. Thinly spread about 1/3 of the white sauce over the veggies.

Top with noodles. Spread the rest of the meat sauce over the noodles, top with the remaining sauce and scatter the remaining veggies over all.

Bake the lasagna at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes, or until heated through. Let cool a few minutes before cutting into large pieces for serving. This is good served with a side salad and French Bread for those who can do yeast, or Tomato Rosemary Muffins for those who can't.


Ina said...

Erin - your lasagna looks great! Hats off to you - that really is a challenge. Great idea with the white sauce too. I often make lasagna without cooking the Tinkyada noodles - they cook in the sauce in the oven - just saves a bit of time!

Erin said...

Thanks, Ina. :) Next time I make lasagna, I will not cook the noodles!