things about health · things to share

A Delicious Gluten-Free Lasagna

This is hands down the best meal I’ve made in the past, oh, two years.

I wasn’t even making it for anything special. I just went to the grocery store, knew I needed something for dinner, and remembered I had a box of Jovial gluten-free lasagna noodles in my pantry. I had been craving lasagna bad, with no way to fix it, because who has time to make lasagna? And where would I get gluten-free noodles? Fortunately, I found Jovial Foods through this post.

Jovial makes gluten-free pastas and snacks, AND they sell products made out of einkorn, which is the original form of wheat. Most people who can’t normally eat wheat can eat einkorn, because it has such low amounts of gluten in it. Their einkorn is grown in Italy, where their other products are also produced. My first box arrived less than 24 hours after ordering it – don’t you love that?!?

I combined two recipes to make this lasagna, and while it was quite labor and time intensive (or maybe I’m just out of the habit of cooking so it seemed like a lot to me), it was SO WORTH IT! One of the recipes is an authentic Italian recipe, which totally shows. It wasn’t done cooking until almost 9pm, but when I took my first bite I knew it was worth the wait. I kept saying over and over, this is soooo good!

I particularly love it because it’s filled with meat AND yummy veggies, and there’s not much cheese in it at all, which is great for my non-dairy-loving belly. I really don’t like ricotta, so normal lasagna recipes normally turn me away. I love that this recipe only calls for four ounces of cheese! And it’s hard cheese, which is easier to digest anyway. Despite not having much cheese, it’s still gooey and tasty because of the bechamel sauce.

Without further ado…Photo Apr 08, 2 12 59 PM

Gluten-Free Veggie Lasagna

  •  1 box Jovial gluten-free lasagna
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef (I buy mine from Aldi)
  • 1/3 bag baby carrots, chopped
  • 1-2 zucchinis, peeled and quartered
  • 1 container baby ‘Bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 1/2 TBSP butter (I used soy)
  • 2 cups milk, warm (I used almond)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 4 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano (I used Priano finely shredded Parmesan, from Aldi)
  • Salt and pepper

 

Making the meat & veggie sauce

  1. Heat onion and garlic in olive oil for 3-4 minutes until soft, but not browned.
  2. Add chopped veggies to pan. (You may not need to add all of them. Save the leftovers for another recipe. Use about 4 cups of veggies.) Cook until soft, then transfer to a mixing bowl.
  3. Add beef to the pan and cook until browned. Drain.
  4. Add tomatoes to meat. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper (I used 2-3 large pinches of each, or about 1/2 tsp).
  5. Simmer on low uncovered so the tomatoes are just bubbling gently (I had it on medium heat). The original recipe recommends simmering tomatoes for 45 minutes, but I started it and then left it while I made the béchamel sauce, and let it go until I was finished making the lasagna, so maybe 20-25 minutes total.
    {I made the noodles first, rather than after the sauce, but I recommend cooking the noodles after the sauces so they don’t dry out and stick together on the plate.}
  6. Towards the end, add the vegetables back into the pan with the meat and tomatoes.

Making the béchamel sauce

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add salt and pepper to taste (I used 2 pinches of each, between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp).
  2. Whisk in flour and stir until the butter fully absorbs the flour.
  3. Slowly stir in warmed milk 1/4 cup at a time, whisking to keep the sauce smooth. After each addition, let the sauce begin to bubble and thicken briefly, then add more. (If you pour in cold milk, your sauce may become lumpy so be sure to heat the milk before adding to the sauce.)
  4. When all of the flour has been added, continue to whisk over low heat for about 3-5 minutes until thickened. Be careful, the bottom will burn if the heat is too high.
  5. Set aside while you cook the noodles.

Preparing the lasagna noodles

  1. Bring 3 quarts of water, with salt (1/2 tsp or two large pinches), to boil in a large pot or skillet.
  2. Cook 4-6 noodles at a time for 4 minutes, stirring gently to keep them from sticking together.
  3. Lift out one noodle at at time with a slotted spoon and place them on a clean, dry plate or kitchen towel.
  4. Repeat until all of the noodles are cooked.

Assembling the lasagna

  1. Grease a 9″ x 13″ inch pan.
  2. Add 1-2 ladles of meat and veggie sauce to lightly cover the entire bottom of the pan.
  3. Place a layer of noodles over the sauce, covering the pan.
  4. Spread ¼ cup of béchamel sauce over the noodles.
  5. Sprinkle 1 oz of cheese over the noodles and sauce.
  6. Repeat each step until you have used all of the ingredients. Try to keep in mind that each row should have an equal amount of filling. (I ended up with three rows of noodles, with the last layer on the top, which turned out well.)

Baking and Serving

  1. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375°F for 4o minutes.
  3. Let cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.
  4. Feast!

Other Tips

  • You can prepare this lasagna the night before, refrigerate and bake the following day.
  • This dish will re-heat very well and tastes great even a few days after baking. Bake again at 375F for 5-10 minutes to reheat.
  • If you do not eat dairy, omit the grated cheese and substitute vegetable spread or oil for the butter.

 

Recipe adapted from here and here.

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