Tuesday, September 30, 2008

GF/DF Lasagna (Adventure)

Ok, this one is definitely getting better but it still isn’t 100%. The first time I tried Gluten Free/Dairy Free lasagna I used no-boil noodles by DeBoles. Apparently, real ricotta must have more moisture in it than did my tofu mixture as the noodles didn’t cook in the oven and my lasagna came out crunchy. (Crunchy really isn’t an adjective one wants to use to describe lasagna!) Anyhow, the last 2-3 times I used Tinkyada lasagna noodles which were better. My pan is 8” by 8” and the noodles are about 10” however so after boiling them those that are too long I have to cut (with kitchen scissors). I find that Tinkyada pasta isn’t really that good and I find that the lasagna noodles fall apart a bit too much and in the wrong places (the frilly edge came off most of them!) Next time I try this I think I’ll use DeBoles and just boil them first. (As with all Tinkyada pasta products, do not boil for the suggested cooking time or you will have mush, start testing about halfway through their recommended time.)

GF/DF Lasagna

1 box gluten free lasagna noodles (Tinkyada or Deboles) 10oz
1/2 cup sauce (at least ½ cup - I don’t eat a lot of tomatoes and therefore I use much less sauce then most)
1 block Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella Cheese (enough shredded to cover top, about 1/3 to 1/2 the block)

Tofu Mixture:
1 package soft tofu (14oz)
1 tbs dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp oregano
1/2 cup sauce (again, I don’t eat a lot of tomatoes and therefore use much less then most)
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the noodles for 10 minutes (Tinkyada says 15-16 min but this is way too long) or until done. Drain, rinse with cold water and lay out flat before they crumple and/or stick together.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine tofu, ½ cup of sauce, parsley, basil, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Hint: crumble the dry spices in the palm of your hand before adding to increase their flavor. Use a whisk to crumble the tofu until it resembles the ricotta cheese filling of real lasagna. (Do not use shredded mozzarella in the mixture; it will not melt like real mozzarella unless it is broiled on top.)

Preheat the oven to 375.

Coat the bottom of a lasagna pan with ¼ cup sauce.

When the noodles are ready, add a single layer to the pan topped by a layer of the tofu mixture. Alternate layers until you are out of noodles (hint preserve some of the better [unbroken] noodles for the top). Spread the remaining ¼ cup of sauce on the top layer of noodles. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes until heated through. Remove from the oven and cover with shredded soy mozzarella. Place under the broiler and broil – watching carefully until shredded cheese begins to bubble. Remove promptly once the cheese is melted as shortly thereafter it will blacken and then burn. (Note – Soy cheese will not melt unless it is broiled in this fashion.) [Warning, if you bake the soy mozzerella on top of the lasagna it may dry out and not melt as much when you broil it, it is better to add after baking.]

Serves four. (ok, technically, it serves me four times! Ah, the joys of living alone . . . )


Meat Lasagna – include cooked ground beef either in the tofu mixture or in a layer on top of the lasagna but below the shredded cheese. (I used ground up meatballs on top of the last one I made.)

Baked Ziti – use the tofu mixture tossed with cooked pasta (ziti, etc) place both in a casserole dish and cover w/ shredded soy mozzarella. Bake for twenty minutes then broil while watching carefully until the cheese melts.

Lasagna rolls – Haven’t tried this yet but should be able to use tofu mixture in individually rolled Lasagna noodles.

Stuffed Shells – I’ve used this same Tofu mixture to stuff shells. Bake once stuffed (one could add shredded soy cheese to the tops of these and broil as well I suppose.)

If you try this recipe and have success please let me know by leaving a comment below!

Monday, September 29, 2008

How I label posts

I've decided to flag my posts with one of three labels - Success, Disaster, or Adventure

  • A Success post is any thing that worked out well be it a: new product, recipe, or restaurant.

  • An Adventure post is for recipes that didn't go too badly but still need work, products that are ok (but not great), and restaurants that are trying but not fully there yet.

  • A Disaster, well, this label is for anything that goes horribly awry be it a recipe that flops, a product that is awful or a restaurant that just doesn't get it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why this blog?

So why did I decide to write this blog? Well as you probably already know, adjusting to cooking without gluten (and to a smaller part without dairy) can be quite trying. The ingredients are more expensive, the recipes are more complex, and the results – well the results can be down right disastrous! Mostly, I decided to write this to give myself an outlet when something goes horribly awry
in the kitchen. My first instinct was to call this blog Disasters in GF/DF Cooking but I think Adventures has a slightly more positive spin to it. Sometimes laughing at yourself is better than crying. Whether it is a cake that didn’t rise (frosted brownies anyone?) a crunchy lasagna (more on this gem later) or GF wraps that crumbled apart - I’ll cover it all.

Hopefully those of you working with the same issues will finds some tips and tricks as well as see that your breads aren’t the only ones flopping. As they say – misery loves company! Since none of my non-Celiac friends deal with these issues it is nice to reach out to others that do.

Of course, I may actually have a success at some point and when (alright – if) I do I will be sure to share what went right as well!

Visitors (Counted on Gluten Free/Dairy Free Waffles!)

free hit counter