Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Butternut Squash Lasagna

One of the meals I have missed since going gluten free has been lasagna.  I haven't dared try to use a GF noodle to recreate the dish as I don't always like how the noodles are the next day.  I have found I tend to prefer them fresh and that doesn't translate well to lasagna.  It got me to thinking about the ways that people use different squashes to replace noodles in other dishes, zucchini, spaghetti squash, etc.  I have often enjoyed a butternut squash lasagna with a white bechamel sauce and thought that would work quite well as a replacement in lasagna.  So I set out to do just that!  It came out amazing and I cannot wait to make it again.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

1 Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced approximately 1/4 of an inch thick
8 cups Simple Meat Sauce
8oz Shredded Cheese, Italian Blend works nicely
16oz Ricotta
16oz Chopped Frozen Spinach, defrosted and squeezed in a towel to drain excess liquid.
6 cloves of Garlic, mined
2 Eggs
2 TBS Garlic and Herb Seasoning
Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, mix the ricotta, spinach, garlic, garlic and herb seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.  Finally mix in the two eggs.

In a large baking dish, 9 x 13, start by laying meat sauce and a single layer of butternut squash, a little overlap is okay.  Layer in half of the ricotta and spinach mixture and top with a third of the shredded cheese.  Repeat with more sauce, squash, the rest of the ricotta and spinach, and another third of the shredded cheese.  Top with the one more layer of squash, more meat sauce, and the rest of the shredded cheese.

Bake for 60 minutes until squash is cooked through and cheese is lightly browned and melty.  Allow to cool a bit before serving.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Simple Meat Sauce

I have been wanting to make a gluten free lasagna for a while, so today was the day.

But first, let me take a selfie!

Okay, just kidding, first I needed to make a meat sauce.  This made more than enough for the lasagna, left me with enough leftovers to make a serving or two of pasta, and enough to make meat sauce poached eggs for breakfast.

Simple Meat Sauce
1 Onion - diced
1 Pepper, any color - diced
2 TBS Butter
20oz Ground Turkey
14oz can Tomato Paste
32oz can Diced Tomatoes
32 oz can Crushed Tomatoes
2 TBS Garlic and Herb Seasoning
Salt and Pepper

Saute the onions and peppers in the butter.  Add the Garlic and Herb Seasoning, continuing to heat until fragrant.  Stir in the three cans of tomato product, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook for at least an hour.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.  The longer it cooks, better better it gets.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Yesterday my friend Lindsay had a Soup Night.  A lovely take on a potluck in which everyone brings a soup to share.  People taste the soups, eat the soups, and then divy up the leftovers into containers to take home!  It was genius and I now have several different types of soup in my freezer for last minute dinners and quick lunches.

As part of the festivities, there was a judging!  Everyone voted for their two favorite soups, and the winner went home with the golden ladle.  It was a close race, the second and third place soups were tied with 4 votes each, but my Cream of Mushroom Soup took home the Golden Ladle with 5 votes!

Cream of Mushroom Soup

10 cups Whole Milk
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 TBS Corn Starch
8-12 sprigs of Thyme, divided
4 TBS Butter
16 ounces White Mushrooms, 8 ounces whole, 8 ounces rough chopped
16 ounces Crimini Mushrooms, 8 ounces whole, 8 ounces rough chopped
1 Shallot, quartered
Olive Oil
Nip of Bourbon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

On a baking sheet place the whole mushrooms, shallot, 4 sprigs of thyme, and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast for 30-45 minutes, stirring once.  They should be golden in color when done.

In a dutch oven or stock pot, add the milk and remaining thyme (the more thyme the stronger the flavor).  Scald, then simmer lightly for 15 minutes.  Remove the thyme sprigs.

In a pan, melt the butter and add the rest of the mushrooms.  Saute until golden brown, seasoning with salt and pepper.  If the mushrooms give off a lot of liquid, drain into the milk.  Once golden brown, deglaze with the bourbon.

Add the roasted mushrooms and shallots to the milk, including the thyme sprigs.  Give a stir, then remove the thyme stems (this will allow the leaves to fall off into the soup).  Blend.  Stir the corn starch into the heavy cream and then whisk into the soup.

Stir the sauteed mushrooms into the soup, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.