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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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Easy chicken parmesan

Mmm – chicken parmesan. Sad thing is, a month or two before I gave up wheat, I learned how to make a totally rockin’ chicken parmesan. It was a long process that involved a lot of ingredients, but WOW, was it tasty. I bid it adieu in January 2010 & moved on to other things, but then I stumbled upon a flour-less chicken parm recipe in the surprisingly primal-friendly cookbook Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs. It’s quick & easy, has only a few ingredients, & best of all, really tasty. Although not all the recipes in the cookbook are gluten-free, the emphasis on fresh food cooked simply is pretty rad. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly (do I ever?), but it was definitely inspiring.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand the hate towards boneless, skinless chicken breast. If money is tight & conventional chicken is all you’ve got, this is totally the way to go. & if you cook it right, it’ll be nice & juicy. At least mine always are.

Anyways! Let’s get this yummy recipe started!

Quick & Easy Chicken Parmesan

gluten-free

What you need:

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • about a cup of parmesan cheese (the best quality you can afford)
  • salt, herbs & spices to your liking*
  • olive oil
  • tomato puree (or whatever tomato sauce you have lying around)

 

*I tend to use oregano, basil, tarragon, parsley, sage, & rosemary for everything of the Italian persuasion.

How to do it:

  1. Drizzle some olive oil on a hot griddle.
  2. Throw the parmesan cheese, a bit of salt, & whatever Italian herbs you feel like using into a bowl. Mix it altogether, then place on a plate or in a bag. Dredge the chicken in the parmesan mixture. You don’t need to add anything to the chicken; it’ll stick right onto the meat as is!
  3. Place the chicken on the griddle & let it get crisp on the outside, as shown below.
  4. Once it’s nice & crisp on the outside, transfer to an oven-safe dish that’s been drizzled with a bit of olive oil. Spoon some sauce over top, then sprinkle any leftover parmesan mixture on top.
  5. Bake at 350&deg for about ten minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through!

 

Serve with a salad, some steamed veggies, or the pasta alternative of your choice. Enjoy!