Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dairy-Free Creamy Lasagna

Talk about an oxymoron!  Creamy and dairy-free in the same title?!  That's crazy talk...or is it?  I wanted to try to make a roux completely dairy and gluten-free.  This was my first time out and I have to say, I was really happy with the outcome!  You can substitute any of my "strange" ingredients with typical, commonly-used foods, but I encourage you to use the almond milk!  I feel it added a really good flavor to the whole dish.  This dish gives me hope that I can still have great DF & GF comfort foods.  I mean, lets get real, fall is knocking at our door! 

What you need:
  • 3 tbs smart balance or butter of choice
  • 3 tbs potato starch flour (regular flour is fine as well)
  • 2 c. almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1 c. chicken broth 
  • salt and pepper
  • turkey sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • lasagna noodles (I used gluten-free, no boil noodles)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 20-25 basil leaves
  • Mozzarella (I used daiya dairy-free cheese)

Start by melting your choice of butter in a sauce pan.

When melted, add in the potato flour and stir to combine.  Cook for about a minute, stirring constantly.

Add in the milk, a little at a time, whisking in between each addition.  This will avoid clumping of the butter/flour mix.

Add in the chicken broth and whisk to combine.  Add in salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and let simmer while you prep the rest of the lasagna.

Remove the turkey sausage from it's casing, crumble and brown over medium-high heat.

When meat is browned, add in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

While the turkey is getting happy in the pan, slice the tomatoes very thin.

The cream sauce should be nice and thick now.

Now, we can start assembling our lasagna!  Begin by putting a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish.

Top with a layer of noodles.  Note:  If you are using noodles that need to be cooked first, cook them al dente, since they will cook longer in the oven.  Also, start cooking the noodles when you start the cream sauce.

Top with more cream sauce, about 1/2 cup.

Top with the browned turkey sausage.

Tomatoes (these are fresh from Kenny Bear's garden, wahoo!).

Sprinkle with 1/3 of the basil leaves.

Then 1/3 of your cheese of choice.

Do the same layering process again and finally top with the remaining cream sauce and cheese.

Place in a preheated 375 degree oven, covered with tinfoil for 45 minutes.  Uncover, and cook for another 15 minutes.

When it comes out, top with more cut basil.

In all honesty, it didn't come out looking "pretty", but it tasted GREAT!  I loved the little bit of sweet that the almond milk added.

Even Mike liked it!

I'll definitely be making this again.  Plus, it is a great way to use all those wonderful tomatoes we get at this time of year!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hummus Pizza

My girlfriend, Heidi, from high school was coming over for a little happy hour at our house and I couldn't wait!  It has been awhile since we caught up and I couldn't wait to hear about what was going on in her life and about her ADORABLE little girls!  It being hot out, I wanted to make appetizers that were fresh and easy.  I bought some shrimp, made guacamole and the recipe in this post...hummus pizza.  It is super simple and really tasty!

What you need:
  • 1 pizza crust
  • 8 oz hummus
  • cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes
  • red onion
  • black or kalamata olives
  • feta (I used sheep's milk feta)
  • parsley

Bake the pizza crust according to the package and let cool completely.

While the pizza cooks, cut your veggies into bit size pieces.

When pizza is cooled, smear a gracious amount of hummus on the crust.

Smooth evenly

Top with cucumber.  I used about half of a cucumber.  The pizza crust was pretty small.


red onion...


feta and parsley.

Believe it or not...YOU'RE DONE!

Now it is time to dig in!

This is a great, no stress app if you are having company.  Adjust the veggies to your preference.  I love a lot of veggies, so I pile them on.  Other great options would be red pepper, artichokes, jalapenos...the possibilities are endless!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ice Cream Review: Good Karma Organic Rice Divine

My super sweet hubby came home last week with a present for me!  He knows how much I have been struggling with my new way of eating (no dairy, no wheat) and saw this hot little number on the Internet.  He hunted it down at Wegman's and brought it home to make me smile :)

It is both gluten and lactose free.  Let me tell you, that can be a hard combo to find.  It is easy to find one or the other, but to get both in the same package, that's a toughie.

A little confession about me...I'm a frozen yogurt junkie.  When I live by myself, I always had two different flavors of frozen yogurt on hand.  It was pathetic and wonderful all at the same time. 

I was, however, used to the nutrition of frozen yogurt 0-4 grams of fat, under 140 calories per serving.  This being said, the nutrition facts on the back of the container made my lips purse, but only for a second, I was too excited to eat ice cream again!

It has a nice, sweet taste and the cold aspect was there, but this, unfortunately, is where the comparison ended. 

It doesn't have the creaminess and smoothness of ice cream/frozen yogurt.  It has more of a gritty, ice crystal consistency.  It is like when you find your favorite flavor of ice cream in the back of the fridge and you open it up and it is filled with that protective layer of ice crystals, but you don't care because it is you favorite and you want to give it a try, but you are greatly disappointed when you realized that time...and freezer burn...ruined your treat.

I might be a bit biased since this is the first time I have tried non-milk ice cream, but I am going to keep my little fingers crossed that there is better out there! Keep posted for more ice cream reviews!

Have you ever tried a good dairy-free ice cream?!

P.S.  I still have the best husband in the world!  Even though it wasn't the best, his trying means more to me than anything!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fido Friday: Frozen Peanut Butter, Banana, and Blueberry Treats

My poor little pooch had one busy week last week!  Last Wednesday, she graduated from puppy kindergarten (so proud!) and then on Thursday, she god spayed...

How mean of parents can we be?!  She has accomplished something great and then we send her off for major surgery!  Could you imagine if the day after you graduated high school, your parents took you to get your appendix out?!  Oi

Alphie in her post surgery t-shirt
To show our little Alphie girl that we were proud and that we do love her despite making her get her womanhood taken away, I wanted to make her a special treat.

I actually made these for her awhile back and she loved them!  Plus, they are super easy.

What you need:
  • 1 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 c. peanut butter
  • 2-6 oz plain yogurt
  • 40-50 blueberries

Place the first three ingredients in to the food processor...

and pulse until it is smooth.  It actually looks and smells pretty good! 

I find it easier to place the mix into a measuring cup before pouring into the ice cub trays, less mess.

Fill the ice cube trays 3/4 full and place about 2-3 blueberries (depending on size) in each compartment. 

Top with a bit more peanut butter/yogurt mix to cover the blueberries.

With the left over mix, I made the ultimate pup treat! 

Place in the freezer until completely set (about 4 hours). 

I have a feeling that Alphie knows I am making something for her...she is being awfully good!

Since Alphie was such a good girl, I let her lick the spatula after.

Once the treats are set, watch the pure delight on your dogs face as they indulge on these frozen yummies!

A little is a good idea to give it to them either outside or place into their food bowl.  Alphie has a tendency to chase the cubes across the floor leaving a lovely little yogurt streak in her wake.

Another little note!  We took these over to a friend's house to share with the other puppies, but Alphie's friend Dakota has a lactose intolerance and got sick from them.

I hope your puppy likes them as much as Alphie does!