Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Crock Pot Lasagna

I've made regular Gluten Free lasagna before and even tasty Baked Ziti.  So when I was planning last week's menu I decided to add a twist and try Gluten Free Crock Pot Lasagna.  When we invited my cousins over for dinner Saturday night I decided to change my menu plan and make the lasagna then.

It turned out great!  We cleaned the crock pot!  Almost everyone had a second helping and no one could tell it was Gluten Free.   It was super easy to make and reduced the stress of cooking for company.

Adapted from this recipe.
What You Need:
1 lb ground beef
2 cans (12oz) tomato sauce
2 cans (7oz) tomato paste
1 tbsp italian seasoning mix
1 diced tomato
1/4 chopped green pepper
1 - 2 sliced medium sized zucchini
1 box GF rice lasagna noodles (uncooked)
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

How to Make It:
Brown beef and drain.  Add tomato sauce, paste, seasoning, and veggies to the skillet.  Put on low and simmer for at least 10 minutes while you get everything else together.  Whisk the cheeses and egg together in a bowl.  Layers for the crock pot: tomato sauce, double layer of noodles (uncooked), cheese mixture, and repeat.  Cook on low for 4 hours.  For the last hour top with more mozzarella cheese.

To save time you could always use a 16oz jar of GF red pasta sauce instead of making it from the cans. You could add any veggies you want to this recipe - onions, mushrooms, eggplant, carrots, etc.   I had fresh zucchini from our farmers market so I used it.
You will need a 4 qt crock pot or bigger.  I have a 3 qt pot so I had to make a small dish to go in the oven from the overflow.
I was able to get 2 layers in my crock pot.

This Post is linked to Made From Scratch Monday and Gluten Free Wednesday's.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weekly Menu May 14th


This is going to be a busy week.  We even have my mom staying with us so I decided to post our menu so I will be motivated to follow it!

MONDAY - Hamburger helper (the Gluten-filled kind) for the hubby and toddler.  I'm out this night
TUESDAY - Parmesan Pork Chops with Green Bean Fries
WEDNESDAY - A friend from church is making dinner for us!
THURSDAY - Baked Chicken
FRIDAY - Grilled Chicken
SATURDAY - Meatloaf
SUNDAY- Crock Pot lasagna - using this recipe but will alter to make safe
MONDAY - Cook out!

SIDES - veggies, baked potatoes and mac-n-cheese

LUNCHES - Leftovers and chicken salad

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My story

In celebration of Celiac Awareness month Jenny from Gluten Free Birmingham is sharing stories from a number of people with Celiac Disease.

Check out my story

Thanks for letting me share Jenny!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bella Monica Restaurant Review

When you have Celiac Disease eating out at restaurants can be difficult, frustrating, stressful, painful and heavy.  I find that now that I'm Gluten Free I think about food a lot.  Always trying to plan where I can get my next safe meal.   So when you find a restaurant that has a good Gluten Free menu and cares about cross contamination you feel joyful, relaxed and lighter.

I had one of those experiences this past week.  I was in Raleigh with my mom who had a doctor's appointment.  It was getting to be lunch time so I pulled our my phone and used my Find Me Gluten Free app.  Much to my excitement I saw that Bella Monica was .4 miles away!!  I've had their frozen Gluten Free pizza a number of times.  I enjoy the cheese and then I add my own toppings.  So I was familiar with the name and brand.

Left - Creme Brulee, Right top - Cheese Ravioli, middle - Salad, bottom - GF Focaccia

Lunch was amazing!  As soon as we sat down I told our waitress I needed a Gluten Free menu.  She quickly returned with the menu and an orange plate that she placed beside me.   I later learned the plate was there to let all the servers know I had Celiac and that I needed only Gluten Free food items!  How thoughtful is that?!  After going over all the options I decided to go with the Cheese Ravioli.

All the meals come with focaccia bread and the Gluten Free guests are not forgotten.  The Gluten Free bread is served on the same orange plate that was placed next to me.  It was so good I asked for another piece!  It isn't often us Celiacs get fresh bread!  My dish also came with a house salad that comes with a vinaigrette dressing.  The ravioli was super tasty, had a great texture and a marinara sauce that makes you want to lick your plate!  Fresh bread and fresh pasta in one meal - this carb girl was in heaven!

We finished the meal with my mom's favorite - Gluten Free Creme brulee with strawberries.  It didn't have the usual sugar crust on top but once we took a bite it was clear it didn't need it.  This dessert was so good I could have eaten two all by myself.

During our meal Trevor, the owner, came by to see if we needed anything.  We had a great discussion about the Gluten Free community and his tasty pizza.  I thanked him for caring enough to have options for Gluten Free people to eat!  You could tell he was truly passionate about his food and providing a safe environment for Celiacs to eat.  He attends many of the Gluten Free expos so if you see him take minute to chat.

Overall I was more than pleased with my Gluten Free lunch at Bella Monica.  Now that I know where it is I plan to eat there as much as I can when in Raleigh.  There are many more dishes I'm eager to try.  From start to finish the food was tasty and enjoyable to eat.  I felt full when I left and it takes a lot to fill me up!  The prices where a little high, but when I find good, safe food I don't mind paying for it.


Bella Monica on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Charlotte Gluten Free Expo Coming Soon!

Mark your calendars for Saturday June 2nd for the Charlotee Gluten Free Expo.  If you are in North Carolina or are close by this is a WONDERFUL opportunity to try lots of great Gluten Free products, listen to experienced speakers and meet other people like you!

The Charlotte Gluten/Allergen Free Expo 2012
June 2nd, 2012
in Charlotte, N.C.

9  am - 11 am Expert Presentations 
11 am - 4 pm Vendor Hall open

Those attendees who show up for Educational Presentations 
can enjoy Gluten Free Pancakes
Sponsored by 1-2-3 Gluten Free & Coombs Family Farms
Tickets are only $10.00!

You can read my posts about last year's expo here and here.

Hope to see you there!

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