Friday, February 20, 2009

I really outdid myself tonight!

In the 5 years we have been gluten free I have never attempted to make a GFCF lasagna before. And if I do say so myself, I made a pretty mean lasagna in the past. I think it was the idea of the cheese that intimidated me the most. After all it is hard to find a GFCF cheese that is decent.

So, what led me to try making it today? A friend recently decided that gluten free was not something for her and she gave me a ton of gluten free items that she wasn't going to use and a package of lasagna noodles were included. Well, I'm not one to let anything go to waste and my dear husband was salivating at the idea of lasagna. Andy, has never had lasagna but he sure wanted to try it - after all he knew that Garfield loves it!

And I must say - it turned out wonderful! Really really yummy. It got 3 thumbs up from the three of us! My biggest challenge was figuring out what to replace the ricotta cheese with - I searched the internet (google is my friend) and found several recipes, but none that really seemed to fit what I wanted - most had too much salt or used ingredients I don't have on hand so using them as a guide, I made up my own and I think it turned out wonderful.

Here are the pics of the finished product:

And here is the recipe:
GFCF Lasagna

Step One – make GFCF Ricotta

1 box extra firm tofu (14 oz)
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon parsley
¼ cup lemon juice
Mash with potato masher to mix – you want it to have the same texture as ricotta so you don’t want to over mix.

Step Two – Prepare meat sauce

1 lb mild Italian sausage (I used turkey)
1 lb ground meat (I used ground bison – manager’s special at $1.99 – normally I probably would have used turkey)
1 yellow onion, chopped (about ¾ cup)
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 - 15 oz cans diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen, one with tomato and basil and one with tomato and onion)
2 – 8 oz cans tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons dried parsley
2 Tablespoons sugar (I used rapadura)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon oregano
Cook sausage and ground meat with onion and garlic until meat is done and onion is translucent. Drain off all fat.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about an hour or until the consistency of runny spaghetti sauce – I wanted it runny since I was using no boil lasagna noodles and wanted the extra liquid for the noodles to absorb.

Step Three – Shred fake mozzarella cheese
I used Follow your Heart brand since it actually melts.
Step Four – assemble the lasagna
Put a thin layer of meat sauce in the bottom of your dish.
Put a layer of noodles – I used 3 across and then one broken into thirds along the bottom.
Layer 1/3 of the remaining meat sauce
Layer 1/3 of the mozzarella
Layer 1/3 of the ricotta
A second layer of noodles
1/3 of meat sauce
1/3 of the mozzarella
1/3 of the ricotta
Third layer of noodles
1/3 of meat sauce (reserving just a bit for the top)
1/3 of the mozzarella
1/3 of the ricotta
top with reserved sauce – make sure lasagna noodles are totally covered.

Cover pan with foil and bake for one hour at 350 degrees.
Let set for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
And because I like playing with my software, here are the nutrition facts:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Shabtai Gourmet Cookies and Cakes

I received a large package yesterday from Shabtai Gourmet Cookies and Cakes.


All of their products are made in a dedicated facility and are free of gluten, lactose, soy, casein and dairy. They are also are certified Kosher for Passover and Kosher Parve . They do not have a storefront, you can order from their website - or by calling 516-652-5671. They do offer free shipping on all orders in the continental United States.

We haven't had time yet to sample all of the goodies, but what we have sampled are very yummy. If you are looking for a gluten free product to replace things like hostess cupcake type products - these fit the bill.

The inside of a Ring Ting showing the cream filling.

The Ring Ting's as packaged on the tray. These were my husband's favorite! They are moist chocolate with a cream filling and then a coating.

Raspberry Roll. Very moist and delcious with a coconut topping. Roll cakes like this are very difficult to make with wheat flour - how he manages to produce these without a crumbly texture, I do not know.

My son holding a Rainbow Cookie Square before it disappeared into his mouth. These were very colorful and delicious - like a layer cake with a chocolate coating. These do contain red 40 - which I prefer my child not consume, but for an occasional treat, these are super yummy.

The Rainbow Cookie Squares as they come packaged on the tray.

The entire shipment. As you can see, everything is packaged very well with very little breakage - only the chocolate chip cookies appear to have some broken ones.
Watch for more reviews as we try the rest of the goodies.
If you do not have access locally to a gluten free bakery and do not have the desire to bake yourself, I recommend trying Shabtai. The taste and quality are exceptional.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I've updated my links

I've added some sites and fixed links that weren't working.

All of the links I have listed in the sidebar are worth reading - so check some or all of them out.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Lend 4 Health

I was asked quite some time ago to write about this website by more than one person. My lack of writing about it does not have anything to do with not thinking it is a fantastic idea, rather it is just an indication of just how busy I have been.

From their website: Lend4Health facilitates community-based, interest-free "micro-loans" as a creative funding option for individuals seeking optimal health. Currently, Lend4Health is facilitating loans for the "biomedical" treatment of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Other health issues may be included on Lend4Health in the future.

Check it out - look at the pictures of the children on there and consider loaning one of them a small amount. If you are in need yourself - this is the place - autism is expensive - this website can help.