Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mom's Lasagna - Gluten and dairy free if you like!

Maybe because I grew up eating it...but I have always loved my mom's lasagna the best. We are creatures of habit. But anyone who eats her recipe always enjoys it, so it must be good by itself too! I have also noticed that a lot of people avoid making it, making the wrong assumption that it is time consuming...not at all!! Best of all, you can easily make a double batch, freeze one pan for later or share it with a lucky friend. Of course, I have been CRAVING this, in fact I had a pan in the freezer I had made before Kaden was born waiting for us. Then of course food intolerances galore set in, and the gluten and dairy in it were out. So for those of you still able to, use regular lasagna noodles, and the cheese mix to follow...or try something has to be pretty darn delicious for me to post it here...and I am a foodie!!

Mom's Lasagna: Makes one 11 X 17 pan

1 small box lasagna noodles (there is no real science here, if you like yours really noodly, then add more!! If you get a box with mostly broken noodles, break them all up and layer pieces instead, lasagna is juts a casserole after all!)

Red sauce:
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 1 large jar favorite spaghetti sauce (or 24oz crushed tomatoes and a can of paste)
  • herbs of choice (I added basil, oregano)
  • garlic salt to taste
Cheese Sauce I
  • 8oz shredded mozzarella
  • 8 oz cottage cheese
  • 8 oz grated parmesan or pecorino romano
"Cheese" Sauce II
  • 8oz mozzarella style Daiya cheese
  • 1 cup pine nuts soaked in cold water 2 hours
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T nutritional yeast

Boil lasagna noodles following the directions (I used Tinkyada Brown Rice noodles- yum!), rinse with cool water, toss with a bit of oil to keep them from sticking, set aside. Brown the ground meat with some garlic salt. Add in the tomato sauce of your choice, along with the herbs. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning to your personal taste. Choose your cheese sauce and prepare:
Cheese sauce I, just mix all the cheeses together in bowl.
Cheese sauce II, put soaked pine nuts in the food processor and puree with the lemon juice and nutritional yeast, scraping the down the sides as necessary. Let it puree until it is silky smooth (and if you are feeling creative, add some herbs in here too for added pizazz). When smooth, add the Daiya cheese, and pulse a couple times to mix.

Assembling: Put a ladleful of red sauce to coat the bottom of the pan...this is a little trick so the noodles don't stick to the bottom. The layer the noodle, cheese sauce, red sauce, and repeat until ingredients are used up. I like to end with the red sauce and a sprinkling of cheese. Cover and freeze at this point if you are saving for later.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for apx 30 minutes until heated through.

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