Friday, June 11, 2021

Smokin' Hot Lasagna

It's taken years, but I've finally developed a gluten free, dairy free vegetarian lasagna recipe that makes me happy! This one relies on some specialty products for the delicious result. For dairy free cheeses, I used Kite Hill dairy free ricotta, Sprouts bulk products dairy free Parmesan substitute, and a dairy free Feta that melts and tastes surprisingly like mozzarella. In addition, I used a fresh gluten free lasagna noodle, which also means there is significant time saved because fresh noodles don't need to be precooked before the lasagna is put together. Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

fresh gluten free lasagna noodles

1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
8 oz. dairy free ricotta (Kite Hill)
1/4 cup diary free Parmesan, plus additional for sprinkling on top
2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp olive oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup red wine
1 Tbs sugar
2-3 cups marinara sauce of your choice
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup diced feta cheese

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350F. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion turns translucent. Add the spinach, stirring until the spinach is wilted. Remove the skillet from the heat. Next, mix the ricotta and Parmesan together in a medium size bowl. Add the eggs to the cheese mixture, then fold in the cooled onion and spinach mixture. Return the empty skillet to the stovetop. Heat the second teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, cooking until the mushrooms begin to give off their moisture. Add the red wine, sugar, and marinara sauce and cook until heated through. Stir the fresh basil into the marinara mixture. 

To assemble the lasagna, pour a small amount of tomato sauce in the bottom of an 8x8 baking pan. Place a single layer of lasagna noodles, then top with about half of the spinach cheese mixture. Top with about half of the diced feta cheese and some of the tomato sauce. Repeat with a second layer of noodles, spinach cheese, feta and tomato sauce. Add a final layer of noodles, then top with a generous amount of tomato sauce. Sprinkle on a final amount of Parmesan. 

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Cut into squares and serve. 

Serves 6 to 8

Stealthy Cooking Tip: You may notice the lack of added salt in this recipe. Most cheese, including dairy free cheese, has salt added for taste. The same is true of most marinara sauces. You can taste to make sure this is seasoned to your liking by cutting a small bite size portion of the cooked lasagna just before serving. Then, you can add a sprinkle of salt if you think it's necessary. 

Friday, May 28, 2021

Spring Fling Salad

Spring is back! The temps are in the 70s, which means asparagus spears are popping up, alongside ripening sugar peas, radishes, and more. Here's my take on a salad which combines many of my favorite flavors of spring. I've added a little pizzazz with some mint - it's a nod to the Thai and Vietnamese way of using herbs as salad greens. 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup fava beans, husked, blanched, and shelled
1/2 cup sugar peas, blanched for 1 minute, then shocked with cold water
8 spears asparagus, cut into 2 inch lengths, blanched for 1 minute, then shocked with cold water
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup feta or dairy free feta, crumbled
3 cups salad greens
1/4 cup mint leaves
honey lemon salad dressing
1 lemon, sliced

Directions: Fill a medium size sauce pan half full with water, then heat over medium high heat until the water comes to a boil. Drop in the husked fava beans and blanch for one minute. Remove the fava beans with a slotted spoon and drop into cold water to stop the cooking. Add the sugar peas to the boiling water,  blanch them, then drop into cold water. Finally, add the asparagus, blanch, and cool. Slice the radishes. Divide the lettuce between four salad plates. Mix in the beans, peas, asparagus, and radishes. Top with feta and mint, then pour about 1 tablespoon of dressing over each salad. Add a lemon slice on the side. 

Serves 4


Stealthy Cooking Tip: I used many vegetables from my garden, but spring vegetables are also available at farmer's markets and grocery stores. Use vegetables that are in season for the freshest taste. To make this dairy free, I used Violife Just Like Feta, a vegan, plant based substitute that I find delicious.