just a drop of simple sunshine


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Eggplant Lasagna

I don’t honestly remember eating lasagna all that much growing up, but somewhere along the line, I decided that I really liked it. I had never made it prior to my gluten-free existence, but over the summer, I had the thought that eggplant would probably make a very good pasta substitute in a true veggie lasagna. A quick Google search proved that I wasn’t alone, & I soon had a pretty easy recipe!

It seems that for some people, lasagna is a pretty involved, hours-long process, but I whipped this up pretty quickly. I’m not going to include exact amounts, mainly because how much you make depends a lot on the size of your pan! I used a rather small square glass pan (it’s 22cm by 22cm – yay for Canadian merchandise from Big Lots!), & just used what I had until it was gone.

Eggplant Lasagna

Makes six servings; gluten-free, grain-free

What you need:

  • Fresh eggplant
  • salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tub ricotta cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • meat sauce
  • fresh herbs & spices as desired

 

How to do it:

  1. Prepare eggplant by cutting into thin slices, about a half inch thick. Lay slices flat & sprinkle with a bit of salt. Allow to rest for about 30 minutes or so – this draws some of the liquid out.
  2. While this is happening, prepare your meat sauce!
  3. Blot up the moisture from the eggplant, then drizzle a pan with some olive oil & roast the eggplant at 400° for about 15 minutes.
  4. Combine ricotta with the egg, & any other herbs & spices you’d like to include.
  5. Once eggplant is done, you can begin the layering process! Grease your pan with some olive oil, then begin with a layer of eggplant. Although I tried to keep the pieces whole, I did cut a few in half so the bottom would have a nice continuous layer of eggplant. Then I slathered on about half of the ricotta, some sauce, then repeated. I only had room in my pan for two layers of eggplant, but the end result was deliciously hearty, so I think it worked great!
  6. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top, then bake at 350° for about an hour or until completely heated through. I’d suggest placing your lasagna on a baking sheet while it bakes, as some juice may bubble up to the surface & over the side. Messy ovens make people sad.

 

Serve with some salad & enjoy!


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Coconut flour banana bread

Is there anything so delicious as butter smeared on just-baked banana bread? Personally, I’m not so sure. With a few bananas well past their edible-as-is state, I decided to try my hand at a gluten-free banana bread. The husband didn’t like it so much – “I think I’ve lost my taste for bread. Except for muffins. I still like muffins. Hint hint.” were his words, but I declared loudly: More for me!

This totally hit the spot. As with many things I thought I’d given up for good, I didn’t even realize how much I missed it. Now, to be fair, it’s been so long (a year & a half, at least) since I’ve had the real stuff that I can’t honestly say it tastes just like the real thing. Frankly, I think I’m just so used to the consistency & taste of coconut flour that that tastes “normal” to me now. But try it out, & let me know what you think!

This recipe might look familiar, as it’s basically the same one for my gluten-free coconut flour muffins. Hooray for easy recipe transfers!

Banana bread

gluten-free, high fiber

What you need:

  • 2-3 very over-ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup butter, plus more for pan
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup nuts (optional; I used sliced almonds)

 

How to do it:

  1.  Melt butter. Stir in eggs, bananas, vanilla, & honey.
  2. Add flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, & baking powder.
  3. Gently mix in nuts
  4. Generously grease a bread pan, then pour in batter.
  5. Bake at 350° for about forty minutes, until a knife comes out clean. This won’t raise like the traditional stuff does, but I personally found it just as tasty.

 

This was breakfast for about a week. I personally love to eat it with some cheese & cold meat, maybe a few fresh strawberries. Delicious!


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Egg drop soup

I confess, I love noodle soup. Somehow, my chicken soup just isn’t the same without noodles. Mrs Grass’ soup was always a comfort food when I was sick, & somehow winter just isn’t the same without it. Cue the egg drop! Did you know this stuff is super easy to make? Really & truly, as easy as making scrambled eggs. If you’ve got some broth, you’ve got what you need to make egg drop soup.

Egg drop soup

Makes 2-4 servings

What you need:

  • 3-4 beaten eggs
  • Soup! You can easily use any stock/broth you might have – I actually used turkey stock made from the Thanksgiving turkey. Everything but the tail & all that! I added carrots, onions, & mushrooms to mine, but that’s up to you. This is definitely a “stone soup” moment – it’ll taste lovely by itself, but added veggies & bits of meat will only make it heartier.

 

How to do it in three easy steps:


1. Thoroughly heat your soup to a good simmer, & if you’ve added meat/veggies, cook them through. Remove from heat.


2. Drop in egg using a fork. It’ll make the egg bits more “noodle-y,” rather than just one egg clump.


3. Stir until egg is cooked through for a few minutes. Serve!

This is so good, & so hearty! Next time your little one is sick, or you feel a sniffle, definitely give this a try. I think I’ll be having for lunch today!


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Gluten-free coconut & rice flour pizza!

Back where I grew up, there’s this fantastic pizza place: Lorenzo’s. Man oh man, it’s to DIE for – which is probably what would happen if I ate it now. Combined with one of their antipasta salads coated with their pink house Italian dressing… it was one of my favorite things about life.

What is it about pizza? We can let go of so many things – sandwiches, pasta, cereal – but there’s something about the ooey-gooey mix of sauce, cheese, & meat that just brings us back for more. For me, I think it truly is about the sauce-cheese-pepperoni, but for my husband… he wants the real deal. I’m perfectly happy with the oopsie crust, but something about the texture doesn’t sit well with him. Since I took away most of his favorite foods last year, I’ve been on a quest to find an acceptable crust.

I think I’ve done it!

Coconut & Rice Flour Pizza

Makes one large pizza

What you need:

  • 4 eggs OR 3 eggs + 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 1/2 cup milk (of any variety)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • herbs & spices, as desired.

 

How to do it:

  1. Beat eggs well, then add milk.
  2. Add dry ingredients. Allow to rest about five minutes, then mix together until smooth.
  3. Butter the heck out of a pizza pan or stone.
  4. Scoop mixture on top. It’ll be more like pancake batter than pizza dough, but just as tasty!
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350° until cooked through & a bit brown around the edges.
  6. Add toppings (easy on the sauce; this is a dense crust) & throw back in until cheese is bubbly & a bit browned.

 

Enjoy! I served with a delicious Antipasto Salad of romaine, pepperoni, salami, black & green olives, mozzarella & bacon. Yum!! Almost like Lorenzo’s…