Sunday, 17 May 2015

Easy Gluten Free Lasagne

I adore lasagne, so last night I went about making this dish gluten free.  I couldn't make it 'sugar free' too as I didn't have any wholemeal gluten free flour, or wholemeal gluten free lasagne sheets.

Sugar free for me, in diabetic terms, means no white flour, white pasta, white rice, actual sugar (obviously), potatoes, honey, maple syrup, plus anything that contains any of the above and a lot more.

So big fail with this lasagne as far as diabetes goes, as the flour was 'white' and the pasta was also non wholemeal.  I'll have to do better next time.

and now for the recipe

Easy Gluten Free Lasagne
(these are my exact ingredients)

1 pack Kelkin gf corn pasta lasagne sheets
2 tablespoons Dove Farm's gf white plain flour blend (rice, potato, tapioca, maize, buckwheat)
1 lb (500g pack) low fat (-5%) beef mince
1 pint low fat organic milk
2 ozs salted butter
1 pint (500ml) passata (tomato puree)
1 tablespoon dried organic basil
1 medium white onion
5 cloves garlic
freshly ground black pepper
2 ozs grated mature cheddar cheese for the top
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

How to make it

Pre heat the oven to 350F or 175C

1.     Chop the onion and garlic cloves really small.

2.     Pour the rapeseed oil into a medium saucepan, and add the chopped onion and garlic.  Simmer on a medium heat, stirring now and then, until the onion is clear and soft, but not browning.

3.     Add the minced beef bit by bit, stirring with a wooden spoon in between.  This keeps it broken up, and not all clingy lumps of meat.  Cook until the meat has changed colour, and there are no pink or red bits left.  It should be a muddy kind of brown colour.

4.     Remove the saucepan from the heat.  Add the passata and the basil to the mixture and stir it in well.  

5.     Return the pan to a low heat.  Simmer the sauce gently for 10 minutes, stirring now and then to stop it sticking on the bottom. 

6.     While the meat mixture is simmering, you can make the 'white sauce' for the layers.  Put the butter into a medium saucepan and melt it gently. Remove from the heat.

7.     Add the gf flour to the melted butter and stir it in well.  Return to a low heat for 1 minute, stirring.  Remove from the heat.

8.     Using a wooden spoon at first, add about 2 tablespoons of the milk to the flour/butter mix.  Stir it in really well (it will be very thick and stiff at this point).  Add a bit more and do the same.  Repeat this again.  Once the sauce begins to be a bit runnier, you can add more and more milk each time, and use a whisk to mix it in really well before adding more milk.

9.     Return the 'white sauce' pan to the heat and using a medium setting, gently stirring all the time, bring to the boil.  As it begins to boil it will thicken. (If you want it thicker you can always add cornflour at this point).

10.   Add freshly ground black pepper to your taste.  Don't add salt.

11.   Now you are ready to make the layers.   Use an oven proof dish, something like the shape in the photos.  It's called a lasagne dish.

12.  On the bottom of the dish, put a thin, even layer of the meat sauce.  
Then pour over that a thin layer of the white sauce.  
Next you add a single layer of the gf lasagne pasta sheets.  
You simply repeat this, ending with a slightly thicker layer of the white sauce on top.  
Make sure you end not too near the top of the dish, or it will expand and spill out over the sides and be wasted.

13.   Sprinkle the top with the grated cheddar cheese, then grind fresh black pepper over the top of that.  
You can also add sliced tomatoes to decorate the top if you like (I don't).  
The result should look something like the photo below, which was my lasagne I made last night, before it went into the oven.

I always put the dish on top of a cooling rack, which in turn is on a baking tray with tin foil over it.  This catches any overspill, stopping it from wrecking the bottom of your oven.  The cooling rack stops the bottom of the lasagne getting too hot through heat radiation from the baking tray.

14.   Put the filled dish into the centre of a pre-heated oven, at 175C / 350F, for about 40 to 45 minutes.

Serve with a lovely fresh salad. Yum.

Introduction to Gluten Free Sugar Free

My name is Amanda, and I live in Co Galway, Ireland.

I am not sure how this will develop, but my intention as I start is to have a place where I can record and share the information, recipes, research etc that I come across, or think up myself, as I struggle with this new found problem that is diabetes, and also stay gluten free.

I have been gluten free for 2 years now, with lapses now and then.  I am not celiac, but I am gluten intolerant.  What happens to me when I eat gluten isn't pleasant, with the main problem being my digestive system - yuk.  It also seems to affect my central nervous system.

Now, a few weeks ago, I was told that I am either pre-diabetic, or type 2.  I will most likely find out this week.  Either way, it's no sugar for me from now on.  Be warned, you can develop diabetes even if you do eat healthy food, with little sugar, no ready meals, and very few refined foods.  It appears my diabetes stems from me not eating regular and not eating enough, for up to 20 years.  It had got that many days I would eat nothing until my evening meal, and I haven't eaten breakfast since I was a teenager.

I'm a fairly competent cook, but you try finding gluten and sugar free recipes on an ongoing basis !  

So please let me know what you find interesting, what you would like to see and most of all, please share your own experiences.