made from scratch

Trista's Gluten Free Lasagna

Trista's Gluten Free Lasagna

Ah! The ultimate comfort food dish! I have loved to make lasagna for a long time. It has been one of my favorite dishes. And, it received the most votes in my Facebook group for me to add it to a recent menu for Josephine.com here locally. 

This is a recipe that I have created out of 2 different recipes + my own tweaks of adding extra herbs and seasonings to the dish. I just love how it turns out- so creamy, flavorful and most of all healthfully filling. 

I have actually found that I prefer the brown rice noodles in this dish. They are fantastic! I have cut back on dairy in my daily diet, but I love the richness of the whole milk ricotta and more! I believe that the whole milk options are the best ones for recipes and to eat. 

I hope that you enjoy making this dish for your friends and family! It is a great weekend dish and one that I will be making this week for my customers. It is also a great dish to bring along to a potluck. 

Enjoy! 

Trista's Lasagna: 

Makes 1 lasagna- 8 servings in a 13x9 pan

Spaghetti Sauce: 

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound mild ground Italian sausage

1 pound organic ground beef

1  15 oz. can chopped tomatoes

2  8 oz cans tomato sauce

1 onion, chopped finely

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup red wine

1 teaspoon each rosemary, oregano and basil

1-2 teaspoons salt (or to taste) 

freshly ground pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven and saute onion and garlic until tender. Then, add the Italian sausage and the beef and brown. Pour in the red wine and let it reduce by about half. 

2. Add in the tomatoes, sauce, salt, herbs and pepper. Stir together. Simmer on the stove or in a crock pot for 2-3 hours for best flavor. This can also be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the lasagna. 

 

Lasagna Ingredients/Assembly: 

9 gluten free lasagna noodles (I recommend the brown rice noodles made by Tinkyada, they are sturdy and work great!) 

2 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (I use the whole milk variety) 

1 1/2 cups mozarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon each: basil, oregano, rosemary and garlic powder (add to cheese filling) 

salt and pepper to taste

spaghetti sauce (1 recipe from above) 

+ extra grated mozzarella cheese for the top

 

1. Bring a large pot of water with a pinch of salt in it to a boil Add the lasagna noodles and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until "al dente." Drain the noodles. 

2. Heat the oven to 350F. 

3. In a bowl combine the ricotta cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, eggs and seasonings for the filling. 

4. In a 13x9 pan, alternate layers of cooked lasagna noodles, sauce, then filling. You will make 3 layers total. Make sure the top is covered with plenty of tomato sauce. 

5. Bake for 30 minutes covered with foil. Then, top with extra mozzarella cheese and bake for 5-10 minutes more so that the cheese melts. 

6. Let the lasagna sit for 10 minutes before cutting. 

Enjoy! 

Note: I have found that the brown rice noodles are so delicious in this dish. I usually have trouble with my blood sugar eating pasta and bread items, however I am able to eat these whole grain noodles in this dish that has lots of protein without feeling a "blood sugar spike." 

 

 

Almond, Flax and Seed Crackers

Delicious Almond, Flax and Seed Crackers!

Because I have very busy days as a self taught gluten free chef, working on my blog and also working on my business as a Josephine chef cooking meals for my clients I need a lot of healthy snacks! 

I love snacks that are super healthy and have lots of protein, yet don't require a lot of preparation once they are made. It is wonderful to be able to grab something like a healthy cracker and some nut butter with a cup of tea to relax with during my work breaks throughout the day. 

If you are a super busy person with a lot of tasks to do during the day I am sure you can relate. I hope that you enjoy baking up a batch of these snack crackers to have on hand. They are so pretty because they have an organic shape and they would be lovely at a party as well served with hummus or other dips. 

Enjoy the recipe! 

Almond Flax and Seed Crackers: 

Adapted from a recipe from Bon Apetit

1 cup gluten free old fashioned oats

3/4 cup finely chopped almonds

1/3 cup ground flax seed

1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 teaspoons coconut oil, melted

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

3/4 cup room temperature water

parchment paper + baking sheet

 

1. Preheat your oven to 375F. 

2. In a large bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients. Then, stir in the coconut oil and the maple syrup. Mix in the water and let the mixture sit to soak for 10 minutes. 

3. After soaking for 10 minutes, place the mixture on a piece of parchment paper the size of the baking sheet. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and roll the dough out until very thin, or about 1/8 inch thick. Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and place on the baking sheet. 

3. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Then, flip the cracker over and peel off the parchment to bake on the other side. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Take the crackers out of the oven and then when they are cooled, break apart and enjoy! 

I love having these crackers as a high protein snack and also I love to put nut butter on them. Yum! 

Enjoy these crackers as a daily snack or as a fun appetizer for a party served with a dip like hummus! 

With care,

Trista

Mom's Mulligatawny Soup

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This is my mom's soup that I grew up with. It is such a delicious soup and perfect for cold winter days. I love all of the colors in this soup, especially the bright carrots and the curry powder. I love that my mom taught me to always cook from scratch, to use lots of whole, healthy foods, to grow some of your own vegetables. These are such healthy habits that create delicious food that is so enjoyable! 

I remember my mom making this soup and I am so glad that I asked her to give me the recipe. In fact, the recipe that she gave me is on a piece of copy paper, written out by hand. I have it in my notebook of family recipes. 

I grew up out in the country where there was just one little grocery store, so we usually bought a lot of staple ingredients in bulk and also grew a lot of our own vegetables. In fact, our entire front yard was a vegetable garden. In the fall we would harvest and freeze the vegetables and also gather the fruit from the orchard and dry it, can it and make jam. 

This soup reminds me of those quiet country days. I would love to go out into the woods to play, to make up so many imaginary stories and come evening I would look forward to dinner with my family- to a soup like this one! 

Mom's Mulligatawny Soup: 

Makes 6 servings

2 1/2 to 3 pound cut up chicken

4 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1+ teaspoons curry powder (I like to add extra towards the end of cooking) 

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1/8 teaspoon mace

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons gluten free flour mix

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 large apple, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch slices

1 cup brown rice, cooked (optional) 

1. Remove the excess fat from the chicken. Heat the chicken, giblets (except liver), neck, water, salt, curry powder, lemon juice, and spices (including the cinnamon sticks)  to boiling in a large Dutch oven. Then, reduce the heat. Cover and simmer until the thickest pieces of chicken are done- about 45 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the mixture.

2. Remove chicken from the broth; cool the chicken just until cool enough to handle with your hands, about 10 minutes. Remove the meat of the chicken from the bones and the skin; cut into bite size pieces. Skim the extra fat from the broth. Add enough water to the broth to measure 4 cups. 

3. Cook and stir onion in the coconut oil in the Dutch oven until the onions are tender; remove from the heat. Stir in the gluten free flour mix. Gradually, stir in the chicken broth. Add the chicken, tomatoes, apple, carrot and green pepper. You may also add the optional cooked brown rice at this time. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer the soup until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. 

I like to adjust the seasonings at the end, make sure there is enough salt and pepper. Also, I like to add a bit of extra curry powder at the end as well. 

I hope that you enjoy this super yummy soup! 

French Coconut Pastry Rounds!

gluten free and dairy free French coconut pastry rounds

I was inspired by some of the traditional French pastries in regions of France from a cookbook I got from a thrift store. It was fun to read about each region's specialties. I especially enjoyed the look and the idea of pastry rounds. 

I adapted this recipe to be gluten free and dairy free. I also added the touch of coconut to make it extra special. You may also experiment with adding other toppings, such as cinnamon sugar. Feel free to get creative and see what you come up with! 

These pastries are delightful and would make a very special accompaniment to brunch or a weekend breakfast. 

Starting with this post- if you are a traditional cook/baker I will have traditional ingredients listed in parenthesis for your use) Enjoy! 

French Coconut Pastry Rounds: 

4 1/2 teaspoons yeast

1/3 cup warm water

14 tablespoons coconut oil (butter for a traditional recipe) 

1 egg

grated peel of 1 lemon or orange

pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup sugar + 1/4 cup or so of unsweetened coconut flakes

1 1/3 cups gluten free flour mix: (or all-purpose flour for a traditional recipe)

Mix together: (You will have some extra leftover for another use) 

2 cups brown rice flour

2/3 cup almond flour

1/3 cup arrowroot starch

1. Place the yeast and the warm water (not above 105F) into a small bowl to soften for about 10 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix 8 tablespoons of the coconut oil with the egg, lemon or orange peel, salt and about 2 tablespoons sugar. Add the yeast mixture, then add the flour mix slowly, bit by bit. Mix into a dough. Let the dough rise for about 2 hours at room temperature. 

3. Heat the oven to 450F. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Flatten each round into a medium circle. Make a ridge around the circle so that the coconut oil doesn't spill over the edges. Place the remaining coconut oil in small bits on top of each round. Distribute it evenly. Then, sprinkle each round with the remaining sugar, then finally with the unsweetened coconut flakes. 

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown, but make sure to check it part way so that it doesn't burn. 

These rounds can then be cut like pizzas into triangle wedges. They are best when they are eaten warm out of the oven, but may be reheated. 

Enjoy these amazingly delicious treats!