Category Archives: Meats & Seafood

GF Lazy Lasagna

Posted on by .

GF Lazy Lasagna, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.


Not the best photo – but really? This was THE BEST lasagna! YUM!

I am completely spoiled by My Love who truly is the best cook in the house.  I LOVE cooking and baking, but he has the talents.  I putter and produce tasty things… he putters and my whole family runs to the table.  Bah.  it’s a gift that he sometimes wishes he didn’t ahve, because I’m not too sure he is fond of cooking all that much.  That being said, let me just tel you that I had to complete shoo him out of the kitchen on Christmas Day so my mom and I could cook together.  (I LOVED cooking with her!)

The Lazy Lasagna was something my love created.  He didn’t believe me when I told him that he didn’t have to pre-cook the lasagna noodles before making a lasagna and that he could truly save himself a TON of time if he just tried it my way once.  And guess what?  It’s now the standard lasagna cooking in our house.  It’s versatile too.  We made this lasagna with some sweet Italian sausage but I’ve made it before with zuchini and other veggies in lieu of the meat.  (Don’t tell my Carnivore Love, please!)

For those of you who have time to bake something, but not the time to fuss with getting it in to the oven, this is the recipe we recommend.  It takes a little while to put it together (gets faster with practice) and you can put it in to the fridge to bake the next evening.   (We’ve done that for school nights/work nights around here to save some time when we are walking in the door HUNGRRRRRRRRRY at 5:00!)  I think it *could* even be frozen before baking as well, BUT I won’t swear to that as we’ve never tried it.  (So if you try it, post a comment so others will know too, k?  Thank you!)

Here’s the basics for our meat-laced Lazy Lasagna.  Feel free to adapt your fillings to fit your tummy. :)

Gluten Free Lazy Lasagna
Serves 8 (or easily makes dinner for two nights for two and a half plus lunches!)
We use a 9″ x 12″ pan that is maybe 2 1/2″ or 3″inches deep.

Ingredients
1 package Tinkyada Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles
2 (32 ounce) jars of pasta sauce  (My Love likes his lasagna saucy… some people don’t.)
1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1 cup low fat, small curd cottage cheese
1 16 ounce package mixed, shredded Italian cheeses (mozarella, provolone, etc)
1 pound meat of your choice, ground OR mixed vegetables.
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt, pepper, fennel seasoning to taste

Directions

  1. Sauté the onion until soft (or slightly carmelized, if you prefer).  Add the minced garlic and saute a littel more until fragrant (about 1 -2 minutes).
  2. Add your chosen ground meat and cook meat thoroughly.
  3. Add the pasta sauce.   Cook until heated through.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and fennel.  Turn off the heat.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together ricotta and cottage cheese.
  5. In your baking dish, label 1/2 cup of your pasta sauce (or more) to cover the bottom of the baking dish completely with a bit of sauce.  Top this layer of sauce with one layer of dried, uncooked lasagna noodles.  Top the noodles with a good smear of the cottage cheese/ricotta spread.  Top again with the pasta sauce. This time, be generous with your sauce. And repeat:  noodles then cottage cheese/ricotta spread then pasta sauce.    Be generous with your sauce.
  6. Once you’ve finished all of your layers (you should be able to get at least three if not four layers of pasta), finish the pasta by topping more generously with pasta sauce.  Then top with your shredded cheese.
  7. Cover with foil and bake at 425 for 60 minutes or until you can easily insert a fork through your noodles and they are al dente (or tender to your preference).

Happy Gluten Free Eating, Folks!
I’m off to run errands with the Chicklet, the Love and my parents.
~Kate

A gluten free, simple fig chutney

Posted on by .

GF:Simple Fig Chutney, originally uploaded by Kate Chan.

Sometimes the easiest recipes yield the best results. The other day I found fresh figs in our market. It seemed kind of strange to me that I found them as i had seen figs in the late summer and October… but heck – who was I to argue! It was fig time – and it was perfect timing. Nothing beats the versatility of a great fig chutney in the kitchen.

We use this simple chutney with cheese/crackers, on meats, etc – even adding a few tablespoons to a marinade that we brushed on before making some pork chop the other night. OH – delicious! And simple!

The recipe is also super easy to adapt. You can add ginger or carmelized onions, or cloves, etc to change up the flavors of your fig chutnet. We used just the figs this time around as we have been altering the flavor of the chutney POST creation. We’ve added couple tablespoons with a squirt of dijon mustard and mixed it together to make a sandwich spread…….. we’ve added this basic chutney plus some sherry to make a great au jus for some pork chops (and it’s delicious with chicken too… I might add), etc. The possibilites are limited only by your mind, that’s for sure.

The Chicklet has been delighting in “dipping” her foods (mostly her fingers…LOL) in to everything she eats these days, so we’ve been obliging her developing taste buds with a wide variety of goodies to dip in to. Most kids I know go straight for the sweet stuff… but not my little imp. She definitely prefers the savory. So she’s enjoyed this mixed with dijon mustard more frequently than just eating it plain. I think it’s too sweet for her.

That sweetness comes mainly from the figs themselves. The recipe calls for little sugar, in comparison to how many figs (2 pounds) I used. I tasted the figs prior to cooking, so I knew they were already sweet enough. Be sure to taste your figs too, before cooking. That way you can adjust your sweetness level to your preference.

Next up on the order of business for the Chicklet and I: Making some Christmas Cookies together. I think we will start with these roll out cookies and move on to a recipe that a student of mine just gave me for Molassess Crinkles. (I can’t wait to try them… they sound fabulous!).

My in-laws are coming in town next week too. It will be the first time they have been able to come to see the Chicklet. I can’t wait for them to meet her! I so know they will fall in love with her as we have as well. She’s quite the little dreamboat, I tell ya.

What are you plans before the Holidays?
Are there any recipes you are seeking?
Please leave a comment and let me know!
I’m ready to get back to creating and exploring in the ktichen. And now the Chicklet is DYING to mix, stir, scrunch, smoosh, and help out in any way she can. The sound of the mixer is like music to her ears – she comes running and wants to cook along with me.

I LOVE THAT!
:)

Anyway.. enough of my prattling along…. here’s the basic recipe for Fig Chutney that we use. Adapt it and use it as you will. (It’s great with ginger!)

Simple Fig Chutney – the basic recipe
Makes 4 pint jars + a little for munching
Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh figs, cleaned, stemmed and halved
2 cups red wine vinegar
2/3 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of water

Directions:

  1. Put liquid into a non-reactive, large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
  3. Add figs (cleaned, stemmed and halved) and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer on low – partially covered – for an hour. The figs will reduce to become deep and smooth. The consistency will be thick, but not dense nor dry. (It will thicken up as it cools.)
  5. Can according to your canning instructions – or store in jars in the refrigerator.

(We’ve always canned these and given the extras away as gifts to neighbors and friends…. so i can’t tell you how long an “uncanned” jar of chutney will last in the fridge. Maybe 3 weeks or so?)

Happy eating!
~Kate

GF: Chinese Chicken & Corn Chowder

Posted on by .

Somethings happen more quickly than anticipated. Like the dinner hour approaching on a school/work night. Seriously. I never knew how fast one hour could fly until now. Life is so much fun with the Chicklet that I quickly lose track of food plans and before I know it, I’m a crabby mess in the kitchen scrounging for dinner.

Zoe is much easier to feed than am I, apparently. Give the babe some cut up mandarin oranges and she’s good to go. And while I am snacking right along with her on the oranges…. they just don’t cut it when it’s dinner time always!

Thankfully, we’ve gone back to menu planning (save money…. have a dinner plan… you know… good things!!!) and my life has gotten a bit easier again. It still hasn’t saved me from myself when I forget to pack an after school apple or snack, but that’s a different issue.

The other day – sans after school snack – I was contemplating just munching on whatever I could lay my hands on (like those brand new Vans mini gluten-free waffles with some cinnamon peanut butter… OMG, YUM!). As soon as my crabby-tummy growls started to push me to the edge of reason, I decided that it was a night for speedy Chinese Chicken & Corn Chowder.

Have you ever had this?

It’s a staple on most of the Chinese restaurant menus that I know of…. and it’s typically gluten free as there is no soy sauce added – *USUALLY*. (WARNING: Ask before eating, people. If you didn’t make it yourself, you never know. Ok?)

This was one of the first soups that I fell in love with when going out for dinner with my Love and his family. It is so satisfying and perfect for cool weather. And what makes it even better? Oh yea – it’s a SNAP to make!

So.. the next time the Gotta-Eat-Something bug gets to you, try this soup. Or better yet, learn from my mistake. Don’t wait until you are that hungry, make some tonight for dinner. (It makes a great lunch from the leftovers too!)

Chinese Chicken and Corn Chowder
Serves 4 as a main dish/soup
Ingredients:

3/4 cup rice wine
4 cups GF chicken broth
3 chicken breasts
1 can GF creamed corn
1 cup frozen corn
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cold water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup minced sweet onion or 1 medium-large cioppino onion, minced
1 Tablespoon high-quality sesame oil (optional)
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mince the onion. Heat your stew pot/dutch oven and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the onion. Saute until it just begins to brown.
  2. Add the cream corn, frozen corn, rice wine and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  3. While you are waiting for the broth to boil, mince or cut the chicken breasts in to small pieces. Add the chicken to the boiling broth.
  4. Simmer until the chicken has cooked through.
  5. In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of cold water and whisk in the 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. Add this to the simmering broth. Stir well.
  6. Working quickly (you want to add the egg whites to the broth before it gets too thick!), whisk together two egg whites. Drizzle the egg white in to the swirling broth or along the edge of the pan and then stir well.
  7. Allow the soup to thicken slightly before turning off the heat (about 3 – 4 minutes or so, depending on you heat source.)
  8. Drizzle with sesame oil (optional) and stir. Then season to taste with salt & pepper.

Serve!

And pack up the leftovers for lunch!
Even the Chicklet has this soup for lunch today – she couldn’t get enough last night!

Happy Gluten-Free Eats, All!
~Kate