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Category Archives: Dinner by GlutenFreek

Stuff in Bowl, on a plate

This weeks MND is brought to you by myself, Glutenfr33k, and a new member of the MND club BFacci. We initially planned on making a play on lasagna using zucchini in place of noodles and everything from scratch, but a delayed dentist appointment put that plan on hold as the timing wasn’t quite right.  Therefore, a backup plan was created based on a Pintrest post on my MND board for “Roasted Harvest Veggie, Curried Avocado + Coconut Rice Bowls”.

The recipe can be found HERE. We made some changes to the recipe in that we didn’t use the butternut squash (ours had gone off, oops), and we did add a meat portion to the meal (we’re all omnivores). We picked up about 1lb of meat total, it was a combination of local free range (antibiotic/hormone free) chicken and pork. We sauteed up the ground meat up in a frying pan, with about 1 tablespoon of panang curry paste, 1-2 teaspoons of madras curry powder, 1-2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper to taste.

So essentially we roasted the sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts in the fantastic sauce recipe provided in the above linked recipe. It makes for a nice and spicy,but not crazy spicy roasted veg.  The rice is fantastic, with coconut milk, unsweetened coconut, and a wee bit of coconut oil. It was pure joy to eat. The original recipe calls for making it on the stove, we made it in a rice cooker just fine. Although, we did double the recipe (we are firm believers in rice is nice).  The guacamole is made in a curry way vs a Mexican way, but this was a really nice variation on the theme.  We left it a bit chunky, for easy combining with all the other foods in the “bowls”.  We couldn’t decide between feta or mild blue cheese crumbled over top so we used both.

There was much fun to be had by all who attempted to eat their “Bowls” of food arranged on plates (BFacci and I were not certain that with the addition of meat all the bits would fit in the bowls) of course BFacci had to be different and have a bowl of food to prove the theory wrong.

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Actual Recipe Involved – Bacon and Egg Lasagne

be lasagne originalIngredients (total for shopping):

Tomato sauce (ours was homemade to avoid mushrooms, gluten)
Gluten Free Lasagna noodles (Pasta Joy rice noodles)
2 lbs bacon, cooked to crispy
500 g Cotija cheese crumbled
18 eggs
3 med sweet potatoes (white), shredded
1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 cup finely diced leek
2 boxes frozen spinach
1 500 ml container ricotta cheese
8-10 med sized tomatoes
1 med sized zucchini
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 Tbsp oil
1 cup shredded cheese

To break up the pain of all this cooking we made the Simple Tomato Sauce and Mousaka layer ingredients the day before.

be lasagna prep

Mousaka layer:
8-10 med sized tomatoes
1 med sized zucchini
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 tsp grape seed oil

This one takes some extra prep time. This layer actually doesn’t really resemble mousaka at all. I am now thinking my next lasagne will have a bechemel top layer though. Anyway, early in the day or even the night before cut the tomatoes into at least eight pieces. Also cut the zucchini into bite size pieces, place tomatoes and zucchini evenly on 1-2 cookie sheets. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with oregano and “roast” in the oven at 250/121 degrees for at least 1 hour. This sweetens the veg with a nice roasted flavour.

Egg Layer:
15 eggs
3 medium sweet potatoes (white), shredded
1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup finely diced leek, we used the milder green parts
1 tsp bacon fat
250 g Cotija mexican cheese, crumbled

In a frying pan heat the tsp of bacon fat, add the diced leek to soften, caramelize. Leave on med heat.
In a bowl crack 15 eggs, add milk and whisk with a fork. Add sriracha sauce, mustard, pepper and crumbled cheese. Stir until mixed and add to frying pan. Add grated sweet potato and keep on heat until mostly cooked. I looked for scrambled egg texture, but runnier that you see at the restaurant buffet cart. Put aside until your other layers are ready.

Spinach layer:
2 boxes frozen spinach, thawed
1 500 ml container ricotta
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 egg

Squeeze the excess moisture out of the frozen spinach and place in a bowl, add the egg, grated cheddar bacon bits and ricotta, stir and set aside until construction.

While it’s a bit of a pain, we pre-cooked the lasagna noodles. Follow the directions on the box and be sure to rinse in cold water. We learned on the 2nd attempt it really is helpful with the GF noodles to pre-cook them.

CONSTRUCTION:

be lasagna construction

Spray oil on a 9x 13 glass dish (we had enough for an extra 8×8 casserole)
Spread a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish.
Place a single layer of noodles.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce, then spread an even layer
using all of the egg layer (this is why we had an extra one)
Place a single layer of bacon
Spread an even layer using all of the Spinach mixture (don’t forget your spare)
Place a single layer of noodles
Spread in even layer using all of the “Mousaka” (don’t forget your spare)
Fill the spaces around your roasted veg with tomato sauce
Place any remaining noodles
Spread out the rest of your tomato sauce on top (don’t forget your spare)
Evenly spread the remaining crumbled Cotija cheese and place in a 350F/175 C oven for 35 minutes

At 35 minutes add your over easy fried egg and smile bacon for garnished, smiling lasagna and back in the oven for 15 more minutes.

On our second attempt we didn’t pre-cook the rice pasta noodles and paid for this with at least twice the cooking time

be lasagna wrappedThis recipe also made a few extra smaller ones for our communal freezer.

be lasagna extrasAt some point in your cooking you actually get to eat some of this tasty creation.

be lasagna slice

 

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Inspired by the written word

Date: June 2013

Menu: Bacon and Egg Lasagna; Watermelon Salad; Gluten Free Focacia; Dairy free coconut milk frozen dessert w/mead, strawberry rhubarb compote. Also bubbly water with a variety of iced tea and fruit infusions for bevvies.

Creators of deliciousness: FFB & GF

This was technically GF’s turn. We were discussing menu options and decided that the fictional Bacon and Egg Lasagna was something that needed to happen in real life. Our friend is the Author of a great book that features a fictional BC town. This town has an annual contest for its residents to make foods featuring odd combinations. Bacon and egg lasagna was a fictional winner that made us readers think it could be pretty tasty.

My imagination’s first idea of what this would look like, included lasagna noodles, bacon subbed for some noodle layers and a layer of fried eggs. However, I’m very picky about how my eggs are cooked, from any visit to the local greasy spoon, we can infer that most people have a preferred type of fried egg. So my brain pondered it and decided the egg layer would need some scramble and something to hold it together, enter the shredded sweet potato. GF was the one who insisted proper lasagna tomato sauce should be used. We both agreed that the traditional spinach and cheese layer should be included. Realizing how high in protein and carbs this was becoming the “mousaka” layer became part of our plan, this was roasted tomatoes and zucchini.

Armed with our plan and a rather large shopping list we hit the stores the day before. One issue we noted with trying to create a recipe is you aren’t always sure of your quantities before you’ve tried it. We invited the Author to join us for dinner and with the Hosts both being in town we were cooking for 7 ppl. This isn’t that unusual but I think we got a bit carried away. I’m not complaining though, the leftover ingredients will make many good meals as will the leftover dinner.

be lasagne original

With our additional guests it should be noted we added to our food restrictions, already working with Gluten Free, no onions, no alcohol, we added no mushrooms and, it turns out, a strong dislike of cilantro. That last one by happy accident we worked into the meal since we had forgotten cilantro for the salad and had CTG pick it up for us at the last minute. We had already put aside an onion free serving of salad for NP, so an additional bowl was served for the Author before the cilantro got mixed in.

Starting servings of the lasagna were quite small but we all managed to grab a second helping. We had taste approval from the Author and may even have our recipe become the “official” version for her novel. The Hosts noted this may become the lasagna they create for the freezer and I will definitely make it again. We even have a small version in the freezer for a lazy dinner sometime soon.

All in all a resounding success and a good thing we had so many guests for the washing up. Their shoes were filled with leftovers so escape was much more difficult.

photo credit: GlutenFr33k

photo credit: GlutenFr33k

Author’s note: This post was written wayyyyy back in June 2013 but writing out the recipe in an easy to follow way took a lot of time. We are beta testing it this week and stocking our freezers with more deliciousness for future.

 

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Have food, will travel

Menu: Gluten Free Pork Tortierre; spinach & strawberry salad; Paleo Friendly, gluten free lemon honey cake

Creators of deliciousness: FFB and GF

Admittedly, we sometimes brag about how awesome our dinners are. We have friends who will be leaving town soon, who noted that sharing an MND or two would be a good way to visit, before they head to other parts of Canada for a few years. We agreed, this is a great idea. Since these friends are owners of an actual house, but new to MND, GF and I (FFB) picked a menu and showed up with groceries and recipes ready to go. NP got roped into food prep too since we carpooled. We did get Long Island Iced Teas, while prepping, as our hosts bar tended and pointed out where to find dishes.

The spinach and strawberry salad was prepared with lots of spinach and strawberries. Also there were bell peppers and cucumber. GF made a quick oil and vinegar dressing using a peach balsamic reduction that she made and canned last fall.

We were demonstrating, tasty and easy Gluten Free cooking and added another food restriction of no mushrooms or fungus. GF has been working with this millet flour pastry recipes and I believe it’s been perfected. This is a pastry that really requires the time in the fridge, and the directions of rolling it out between layers of wax paper are also helpful. One thing I will take from my gluten free pastry handling is rolling with sweet rice flower. Sweet rice flower is quite fine and ideal for helping any pastry stop sticking to surfaces.

Tortierre is a fancy meat pie. This week’s version had apples, ground pork, carrots, veggie soup stock and celery. In the past it’s had turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, ground turkey, ground beef (not my favourite). Really anything goes. This version it was the pastry that made it really tasty and you can tell from the photo that we had artsy fun with steam holes in the top. I was impressed with the millet pastry, it cooked through nicely on the bottom, even though we had a fair amount of extra moisture from being too generous with our soup stock.

Photos and editing by GlutenFr33k

Photos and editing by GlutenFr33k

Dessert was my (FFB) idea, inspired by a recipe I saw on the internet but didn’t pay attention to what blog I was reading. I was away from the computer on dinner day, so using my description of ingredients GF found this Almond Honey Cake recipe and I’m happy she did.

Our next MND will be cooked by our Hosts so we all get to skip a turn.

GF Millet Pie Crust

 

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Inspiration from the past, brings a meaty future

Menu: PTBM casserole; Tarty Chard; garlic mashed potatoes

Creators of deliciousness: FFB and GF

Way back, when TB was still a regular at MNDs, we had the Vegetarian substitute take the prize for best tasting piece of meal. So it was decided to put our heads together and see if we could get the same taste fusion but using meat. The original inspiration for this dish was the can of mushroom soup over pork chops in the oven from my childhood. I don’t buy a lot of canned soup anymore and it’s pretty easy to make a cream sauce.

This time around we got local free range and mostly hormone free ground pork and turkey for similar prices to the large processed ground products in our chain grocery. The local source meat was from the Root Cellar. Due to our onion free member the meat was browned with soy and Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic. We were going to use a leek in there but we forgot it.

GF and I decided to make a rue and seasoned the whipping cream while whisking it and waiting for it to thicken. Because I like the taste of pan browned mushrooms and I didn’t want the excess moisture they got precooked with butter. Also because the vegetarian dish made previously was so good, GF brought some black beans from her freezer to help us get similar flavours into the mix. When I make this dinner again, I will use my garlic mashed potatoes on top like a shepherd’s pie and have a one pot supper.

photos and editing by GlutenFr33k

photos and editing by GlutenFr33k

With all the potatoes and cream based sauce the tarty chard balanced our plates out with a healthy green.

We are messing with our schedule by teaming up on cooking responsibilities but it has been nice sharing the costs and cooking with friends. Also the method to the madness will be revealed soon.

ptbm casserole recipe

 

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Inspired from Down Under

Menu: Bakes Sweet Potatoes w/Pumpkin Curry and Lamb Chutney Sausage

Creator of deliciousness: GF (GlutenFr33k)

Now that she’s back, I will say that GF spent December in Australia. Her first MND since her return was fantastic and inspired by her travels. With the very warm temperatures and cooking for themselves the family vacation included quite a few trips to a local mall, which had the grocery store. These trips sometimes included a food court stop where GF got to experience “Spudz” baked potato bar. They offered traditional potatoes or sweet potatoes with a variety of toppings from the standard sour cream and bacon bits to the more exotic. This was what GF tried to re-create for us. It was tasty.

The sweet potatoes or maybe yams, they were orange and we all still debate the differences. Were roasted and placed in a large bowl (in AUS this would have been a to go food box); then they were cut into manageable pieces with clean kitchen scissors. Topped with pumpkin curry (in AUS pumpkin refers to all types of squash) and sausage. There was cilantro and Thai basil to add our own on the table.

All in all, a filling and delicious dinner. I’m not sure if I could have eaten as much in the 40 degree Australian summer heat, but, in the Pacific Northwest in January I was very happy.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2013 in Dinner by GlutenFreek

 

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Hearty Vegetarian Pasta Bake….on the Stovetop

Menu: Hearty Pasta; GF Garlic Focacia; chocolate truffles

Creator of Deliciousness: GF

After a week of everyone feeling kinda run-down. GF’s creation for dinner was hearty, warming and exactly what a body needed. Chick peas for protein with quinoa based gf (gluten free) pasta, this one pot wonder of a dinner was great.

We had a guest this week, Another Pat (AP) who was kind enough to provide a bottle of wine for those of us that drink to enjoy. By Cupcake vineyards it was a sweeter wine with a fruity bouquet. I think it was an excellent pairing with the pasta dish. The wine also went well with the lemon and thyme chocolate truffles.

GF Focacia was made using garlic oil, which complemented the pasta very well.

Hearty Pasta: Leeks and zucchini were sauteed in a large pot. 2 cups of broth (chicken in our case), 1 large can crushed tomatoes. 1 cup slow roasted tomatoes, 6 servings of dry pasta, diced red peppers were added to the pot. Lid was placed on and it cooked until done. Turned out delicious.

Dinner was finished off with Dark Chocolate Lemon Thyme Truffles. Made the day before by GF. These also paired well with the wine. A group of much more cheerful folks left that evening, some of us with leftovers for lunch the next day.

 

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