Sunday, 24 February 2013

FROZEN Lasagna! You're kidding right?

I'm often surprised at the amount of people that buy frozen lasagna then lament about how bland it tasted.. and yet they keep on buying it.

I'm sure its a time-poor thing. Yes, buying ready-made (just heat and eat) is convenient but making lasagna at home is REALLY easy AND takes less time than you think.  Plus I am yet to find a frozen GLUTEN FREE version anyway so if you want it, you've got to make it yourself!  Our family eat it at least once a week.  Do you think I would be making it this regularly if it was a chore? Pfft.. I think NOT.

So I'm happy to share what I do.

You can use fresh Gluten Free lasagna sheets if you can find them otherwise I use SAN REMO gluten free instant lasagna sheets and they always deliver a great result.  I have also used CASALARE gluten free instant lasagna sheets and they work just as well.

1.  Preheat your oven to 180° and lightly grease a lasagna dish (roughly 20cm x 30cm and deep enough to do about 3 layers - say 5-6cm) 

2.  Add a tablespoon of oil  to a large fry pan (I like to use Rice Bran Oil but that's just me).  To this add 1 teaspoon of fresh garlic (approx 1 clove OR the jars or tubes of minced garlic are really handy and keep well in the refrigerator for around 6-8 weeks).  Add your mince (approximately 800-900grams of quality beef mince ) and brown.  About 3-4 minutes.

3.  Now you can make your own sauce but there are plenty of store bought sauces that are fantastic and gluten free by ingredient.  You don't need to stick to the health food aisle of your supermarket - just use your label reading skills and you have a myriad of sauce options at your fingertips.   Need help reading labels - click here → A Guide to Reading LabelsIf you have time to make your own sauce, good for you (seriously.. good for you) - knock yourself out.  Here's even a good recipe you might like to try - Homemade Tomato Pasta Sauce (   

4.  Add your sauce to the mince, turn the heat down to a minimum and let the meat sauce simmer while you make your bechemel sauce.  Bechamel Sauce!! What! That sounds fancy and complicated.  Well it's not.  It's basically butter, gluten free cornflour, milk and a pinch of nutmeg - and it's easy. You can add some Parmesan to your mix but I figure with the amount of cheese I add on top of the completed lasagna, we could probably do without the extra cheese.. just saying.

5.  So I add 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of butter to a small saucepan (on gentle heat) & while that's melting add 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of gluten free cornflour and mix with a whisk until your ingredients thicken and become a roux.  Remove from heat, add your milk slowly and keep stirring until your mix is completely blended and smooth.  Add a pinch of nutmeg.  Return to heat and stir until sauce boils and thickens.  Turn off the heat and set aside. 

6.  Assembly time.  A layer of meat sauce, then a layer of lasagna (3 pieces is usually sufficient to fit into this size dish).  Then 2 more layers but this time with meat sauce, BECHAMEL sauce, then lasagna.  Your final layer will not require a pasta top  - instead top with a generous amount of grated cheese & finish with a sprinkling of dried Italian herbs.  Then into the oven for 45 minutes it goes. 

Bon Appetit 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

LifeStyle Bakery

LifeStyle Bakery is not a new name in the gluten free world.  We have been enjoying their bread for a while.  In fact, did you know they have over 10 years experience making gluten free bread?

I was fortunate enough recently to receive a box of the new gluten free offerings from LifeStyle Bakery.  Fortunate indeed.  I am a big fan of this bread.  I love all of the new loaves.  They are tasty. They are delicious. They are soft.  The new Soft'n'Light range includes Chia & Quinoa, White, Fruit & Soy Linseed and I can happily report that I have devoured them all (with a little help).  Whilst the Chia & Quinoa loaf is my preference & the fruit loaf remains a firm favourite in my house, the outright winner has to be the white loaf.  Why?  Simply because this bread enables my Coeliac daughter to have a normal looking (and feeling) sandwich at school.  The school sanga is important stuff.  It's important for kids to fit in and feel like part of the crowd.  So thank you LifeStyle Bakery but alas.. I still have to cut off the crusts! Pfft.. kids!

Chia & Quinoa - providing antioxidants, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and all 8 essential amino acids (this product contains soy and egg)

White - gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, preservative free, high in fibre (this product contains soy)

Fruit - gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, preservative free, high in fibre (this product contains soy and egg)

Soy Linseed - great source of protein and essential fatty acids, gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, preservative free (contains soy and egg) 

and for those of you worried about the egg component.. don't despair!  LifeStyle Bakery advised recently that they are currently working on a new product which will be yeast, gluten, dairy, egg, soy, preservative and casein free. Until then they will continue to supply the current gluten free multigrain loaf which is egg and yeast free.  Good on you LB :)

Need more information? Want to see an ingredient list?  Check them out here LifeStyle Bakery

100% Australian owned - gotta love that!