Friday, March 28, 2014

Cheesy Meatball Lasagna

I love Delight Magazine, and although it is a bit pricey, it is really a good resource, especially for those who have multiple allergies. They have an index grid in the front which shows the allergens for each recipe. It also includes a "Safe/Unsafe" list in each one, which is a nice convenience even for those of us who have been gluten free for awhile.  If you are unable to subscribe, I recommend checking out their website:, where you can find recipes like the one below as well as hundreds of others (all of which can be sorted by allergen to find the ones that work best for your family).

Cheesy Meatball Lasagna
(Adapted from: Delight Magazine Mar-Apr '14)
Yield: 6-8 servings

1-10oz package Tinkyada brown rice lasagna noodles
1/4 cup bread crumbs*
1 lb ground turkey (or beef /chicken)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp parsley flakes
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-24oz marinara sauce        
4 cups fiesta blend cheese*

  1. In large pot, cook lasagna noodles according to package. Drain, and arrange on large plate or platter to prevent noodles from breaking and/or sticking together.  Set aside.
  2. Place ground meat into large bowl; add in bread crumbs, seasoning and egg.  Mix well with hands to combine thoroughly.
  3. Use tbsp of meat mixture to round into spheres. Place on plate until all meatballs are made.
  4. In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and slowly add in meatballs. Saute until sealed and browned (approx. 2 minutes on each side). 
  5. While meatballs are sauteing, use pot from noodles to heat 2 cups of marinara sauce.  Once meatballs are browned, add to sauce.  Cook covered for 15 minutes*.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F. Spoon meatballs out of sauce and place onto plate, then cut each one in half.
  7. Lightly grease, 8" square pan with non-stick spray
  8. Line bottom of casserole with lasagna noodles (cutting slightly as needed to fit).  Top with layer of sauce, then sliced meatballs (approx. 3 halved) and 1 cup of cheese.  Repeat layers as necessary until top of pan is reached
  9. Bake 40-50 minutes* until cheese is bubbly and golden.  Serve while hot.

  • Bread Crumbs: original recipe called for one slice of gluten free bread to be toasted then placed into food processor.  I like to use what I have on hand, so I substituted GF bread crumbs.  I have also seen recipes use mashed potato flakes as "thicker" for meatballs.  
  • Cheese: I couldn't find fiesta blend cheese, so I used a 4 cheese Mexican blend.
  • Meatballs: original recipe called for  meatballs to be cooked in sauce for 20-30 minutes.  However, since meatballs are cooked, sauce heated and I am impatient - I shortened it.  Seemed to work fine.
  • Bake Time: original recipe called for 50 minutes.  However, mine only took about 35 minutes
Side note: since one of the reasons I don't cook much is the cleaning involved.  This recipe originally called for multiple pots, pans and other dishes so I simplified.  

Also, I had a good number of lasagna noodles left over.  I hate throwing stuff away, so saved for another day.  Aside from adjusting recipe to create more, not sure what else to do with it.  Any one have ideas?  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tater Tot Hot Dish

Tater Tot Hot Dish
(adapted from a family recipe)

1 1/2 lb Ground Turkey*
3 packages Dry Onion Soup Mix
1 can Progresso Creamy Mushroom Soup
1/4-1/2 can Water
1 package (16oz) Frozen Mixed Vegetables
Tater Tots

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Brown the ground turkey in skillet, then drain.
  3. Stir in soup, water and frozen vegetables.  
  4. Pour into casserole dish and place tater tots on top.  Cover completely, then bake for 45-50 minutes.

*Any ground meat would work fine: turkey, chicken, beef, etc.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hooray for Chick-fil-a!

Chick-fil-a has always been good about ensuring a guests safety when it comes to food allergies. And today was no different.

I ordered one of my two "usuals": grilled chicken - no bun, which prompted the wonderful people of Chick-fil-a to ask (for the second visit in a row) if my no bun request was due to a gluten issue and did I need them to change gloves before preparing my order. Yes  please, thank you for asking!

I really LOVE how pro-active they are about ensuring their guests are taken care of.  Just one of many reasons why I enjoy Springfield Chick-fil-a.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mac n' Cheese

Not sure why, but I can't seem to stick to a recipe when I cook.. which is especially odd since I love to bake  (which is very precise).

Anyway, I found a recipe for Gluten Free Mac n' Cheese from a blog called "Gluten Free Mommy" so I thought I'd give it a try.

Macaroni and Cheese
(Adapted from:
Yields: 6-8 (unless you love mac n' cheese as much as I do, then it may be 4-6) ;)

2 Cups Uncooked Gluten Free Pasta (Elbows, Penne, etc)
8 oz of Cheddar Cheese cut into cubes (Sharp, Mild, etc)
1/4 Cup Diced Onion*
1/4 Cup Butter
2 Cups Milk
1/4 Cup Rice Flour*
1/2 Tsp. Dried Mustard*
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Breadcrumbs and Parmesan Cheese for topping (approximately 1 1/2 - 2 cups)

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish*.  Cook pasta according to directions, being careful not to overcook. For cheese sauce: heat butter on the stove and cook onion until translucent.  Add rice flour, mustard, salt and pepper; stir until bubbly and smooth.  Gradually add milk and cheese cubes.  Whisk until cheese has melted and the sauce thickens.  Combine cheese sauce with the pasta into casserole dish.  Top with the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.    Cook for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.


  •  I have a Pampered Chef baking dish I love which cannot be greased and worked really well.  It may also be possible to use a smaller casserole, I was just afraid of overflow.  
  • I had dried onion left over as well as actual mustard so I used those since I hate to buy ingredients when I have something else that will work.
  • Since I didn't have rice flour on hand and hate to buy something which can be substituted (as noted above) I used Pamela's Pancake Mix as thickener.
  • For the topping I mixed Schar's breadcrumbs with the parmesan cheese with some leftover Sweet Potato Pop Chips left over
  • I also had a little bit of canned pumpkin leftover from some weekend baking, so I added that as well.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Occasionally Cake

During a visit into Old Town, a friend and I were on a mission to find Gluten Free cupcakes at one of the (seemingly) many cupcakaries in the area.  After all, we'd had a wonderful dinner and it was time to finish the night off with a little dessert.

As we strolled down King Street, we happen about a cute shop called Occasionally Cake (  Very quaint and the lady running the shop was super nice as well as helpful.

They had one Gluten Free option: Chocolate with Strawberry Buttercream icing.  It was so moist and delicious!

The Upside:

  • Cupcake was really moist
  • Frosting actually bits of strawberries in it (yum!)
  • They use rice flour to make their cupcakes.

The Downside:

  • The gluten free cupcakes are 'petite' in comparison to normal cupcakes.  Which isn't necessarily bad,since sometimes you just want a *little* treat, however..
  • These petite goodies go for $3.25/piece. 
  • Was told the daily flavors were provide on their Facebook page, which is partially true.  The regular flavors are listed both on Facebook page and on their website, but Gluten Free not listed anywhere. Bummer..even if only one or two options are offered, it is still nice to know they exist.

Final:  Would definitely visit them again, but at $3.25 for a petite cupcake, it won't happen often.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Gluten Free and Grateful

Every month or so, some friends and I gather for pizza and a movie (thank goodness for Domino's Gluten Free crust, even if a small is $13!)

We share hosting duty and typically whomever is hosting provides snacks, desserts, drinks, etc.  Tonight was our second round since my Gluten Intolerance diagnosis and I wasn't expecting the hostess to provide 'safe' snacks just for me.

I know it has been hard for family, friends and co-workers to understand what it means to be Gluten Free (especially the concept of it not being a "fad diet" to lose weight).. so I was awed tonight when not only had my friend bought crackers which were Gluten Free, but also had gone to a local cupcakery and made sure to get GF cupcake for me (one of each of the two flavors available) along with the normal cupcakes for everyone else.

Things like this, make this change so much easier.  Hopefully, your friends and loved ones are making an effort to accommodate and learn about Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Intolerance to better understand what it truly means to live "Gluten Free".

To learn more about Gluten Free Living:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tamale Pie

There is a food blog I love called "Brown Eyed Baker" and I relied on those recipes a lot prior to being diagnosed as Gluten Intolerant.  Since I haven't been able to play around with different flours as substitution, I haven't been able to use many of those recipes.  THEN, she posted a recipe for Tamale Pie..and it is really good.

Tamale Pie
(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour / Bake Time: 30 minutes

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and minced
1.5 lbs Ground Beef
1.5 C  Corn Kernels (fresh or frozen)
1-14.5 oz  can  Diced Tomatoes, drained
3 Tbsp.  Tomato Paste
2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
4 Tsp. Ground Cumin
2 Tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 C. sliced Black Olives
4 oz Shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese

Cornbread Topping:
1 bag Pamela's Cornbread
(2 eggs, 1/2 cup of butter (melted), 1/2 cup of sugar*, 1 cup of water)

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees 
2) Making the filling: In large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until hot.  Add the onion, green pepper and jalapenos, and cook, stirring occasionally until softened.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3) Reduce heat to medium and add ground beef to pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until browned.  (orignal recipe did not call for the meat to be drained, however, I drained anyway).  Once meat is browned, add onion mixture back to the pan.  Stir in corn, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and salt.  Stir well to ensure all the spices and tomato paste are evenly distributed.  Bring to simmer then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.  While it is simmering make cornbread topping.
4) Making the topping: mix together the cornbread as instructed on the bag.  (I used agave nectar instead of sugar)
5) Assembling & Baking: Stir olives and shredded cheese into the beef mixture and pour it into a 9x13 baking dish.  (I poured into the baking dish first, then mixed in olives & cheeses since it was easier to stir that way).  Pour cornbread batter over the filling, using a spatula to spread into even layer.  Bake, 30-40 minutes or until top is golden brown and knife inserted into center comes out clean.  Allow pie to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

*One of the nice things with this recipe is that you can adapt to your liking.  Don't like black olives? Don't add them.  Prefer another kind of cheese? Switch it out.  (Personally I added more cheese, since my love for cheese always trumps the actually recipe)  I also forgot to buy the green pepper, so that was not included in mine and I'm sure you could exchange ground turkey or chicken for the beef if you preferred.