Friday, December 30, 2011

GFCF Hearty Chicken & Veggie Lasagna

My recent visit to my in-laws house for Christmas inspired this next dish. My mother in law, makes her famous lasagna once a year, on Christmas eve.  My immediately family was unable to partake due to our GFCF restrictions. I ended up making another GFCF pasta dish that was pretty tasty but we sure missed having lasagna with everyone else.  So I came back home with a mission to make my own version of lasagna just for my family, GFCF southern style. I started with Whole Foods basic GFCF lasagna recipe and added my southern twists. My additions are highlighted purple.  I made this for dinner tonight and received rave reviews from my family. It was sooo good, if I do say so myself. Go ahead and try it, you will be pleasantly surprised.  My husband had 3rds, both of my daughters (4 & 6) had seconds and my 1 year old son had 3 small portions and wanted more.  I love finding ways to make old recipes work! Until next time...enjoy!  Janice

You will need:

1 (14 oz) package of soft tofu, drained
4 italian GF chicken sausage links (if you buy them fresh from the meat department, you can just peel off the casing) or you can just use ground turkey or chicken. I like Sprouts because they make fresh GF sausages everyday.
1 large onion, finely chopped
3/4 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 diced yellow squash
1 cup of Daiya Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds (ooh ooh, while I was looking up this link, I found this recipe for Lasagna Roll ups).
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped or 2 tsps of freeze dried garlic
2 tbs of freeze dried oregano
1 tsp of season all
1 bunch of baby spinach coarsely chopped
2 tbs of freeze dried basil
5 cups of GF marinara sauce (I use Ragu's garden combo**)
2 eggs beaten
1 can of chili pinto beans (Yes that's right!)
1 pkg of GF uncooked lasagna noodles (I use DeBole's rice Lasagna- no precooking required)

To prepare the filling, coarsely crumble the tofu onto two layers of a lint-free dish towel. Wrap tofu in the towel and lightly press out excess moisture; set aside

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until tender. Add Chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until just brown. Add diced squash, mushrooms, garlic, oregano, season all and cook, stirring occasionally until liquid has evaporated.

Add spinach in 2 batches and cook until just wilted. Stir in basil and marinara sauce, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 mins. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Open 1 can of Chili Pinto beans. Drain. Puree or mush up beans really good. Set aside.
Whisk 2 eggs and pour into bowl with pureed pinto beans. Mix and blend well, until thick. Unwrap tofu, crumble it into small pieces and add to egg/bean mixture. Add in 3/4 of Vegan Mozzarella Shreds. Stir well; set aside.

Preheat oven  to 350 F. To assemble Lasagna, ladle 1/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a medium size casserole baking dish and spread it out evenly.  Arrange 3 Uncooked lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Place 1/3 of the tofu mixture on the lasagna sheets along with a 1/4 of the sauce, distributing evenly. Repeat layering two more times. Finished last layer should be a final layer of noodles covered with remaining sauce, taking care to spread sauce evenly all the way to the corners. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 of Vegan Mozzarella Shreds on top.  Cover dish tightly with parchment paper and bake for 60 minutes.  Set aside, uncovered, to let stand for 15 minutes.

**Ragu GF sauces ( I really like Ragu because a good portion of its Sauce line is GFCF and I can use it for quick pizza sauces. These listed below are GFCF)
Chunky: Garden Combo, Mushroom & Green Pepper, Roasted Red Pepper & Onion, Sundried Tomato & Sweet Basil, Super Chunky Mushroom, Super Vegetable Primavera, Tomato Garlic & Onion
Light: No sugar added Tomato & Basil, Tomato & Basil
Old World Marinara
Organic Garden Veggie
Pizza: Homemade Style, Pizza Quick Traditional
Robusto: 7 herb Tomato, Chopped Tomato Olive Oil & garlic, Roasted Garlic, Sauteed Onion & Garlic

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

GFCF Birthday Cupcakes for Joshua

Happy Birthday to my beautiful son, Joshua!!

We had gluten free, casein (dairy) free cupcakes and he thought they were yummy. Since we were traveling, we used UDI's chocolate chip muffins and Duncan Hines whipped cream cheese frosting. (its GFCF as well).  For his birthday meal, we had buttery brown rice (Earth's balance vegan butter) and sautéed veggies (Diced zucchini, yellow squash, different color bell peppers, red onion) with a little Season All for flavor. He, his sisters (2, 4 and 6) loved them. They had little honest kids juice boxes to wash it all down.   We followed it up with a family puppet show. Lots of fun!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas from the Connolly Family!!

Christ-mas is the holyday that celebrates the "symbolic" birth of Christ; God in human form. And since God is Love, a time to celebrate LOVE. "Mas" in Spanish meaning "more". Christ-mas or Christ-more therefore meaning LOVE MORE. So my prayer for you this holyday season is to LOVE MORE!!!! Leading By Example...I present to you a gift of LOVE. Don't let it stop there...add to it and pass it on to someone else. Have them do the same thing and let LOVE increase. Lets begin 2012 with MORE LOVE Than ever. For if LOVE conquers all, then I can't think of a better gift to share. MERRY CHRISTMAS you and yours...I LOVE YOU!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

25 min Meal- BBQ Rotisserie, Veggies and Potatoes

Hello GFCF Family!!!

Just had an amazing quick meal tonight. It was done in 25 mins.

Grab one of those natural or organic Rotisserie chickens from Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joes.
1 jar of Stubbs GF BBQ sauce (I like any of their Sweet ones), 1 tupperware full of sliced or diced veggies kits that I showed you how to make in advance in an earlier posting.

In a baking pan, lined with parchment paper (NO Aluminum foil (heated aluminum causes Cancer and Alzheimer's)).  Turn the oven to 450 to preheat. Smother chicken in the barbecue sauce as much as desired. set aside.
In another baking sheet, add cut up chunk potatoes, line the pan with parchment paper.  Add a little bit of olive oil onto the parchment paper. Layout potatoes on the pan, season with season all. Put in preheated 400 oven for 25 mins on bottom rack.  Add cooked chicken at 15 mins mark.

Saute veggies in a stainless steel skillet with either Earth's Balance butter or Olive oil.  Add Season all and/or pepper to taste.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Gluten Free Dairy Free Cake Pops by UDIs!!!!

WOW, I just discovered this by UDIs-

To make it Dairy free, I made a few modifications to the original recipe. Click any of the links to find the original GF only recipe.  My Modifications are ** below.  Enjoy! 

Soulfully yours, Gluten Free Momma

Holiday Cake Pops - Udi's Style

Friday, December 9, 2011 by Leigh Buckley
What’s better than a cake pop?  How about a gluten free cake pop...Udi’s style!  This whimsical confectionery trend is in full swing.  Little bite sized morsels of sweet cake wrapped in chocolate and planted on a lollipop stick has been a huge baking hit lately.  But who says the gluten free world can’t take part in this fun sweet treat?  We'll show you how to make some Udi's cake pops perfect for the holidays and entertaining.  Bonus: we’ll give you instructions on how to make these delicious treats without any baking!

Gluten Free Cake Pops
(Gluten Free, Nut Free, Soy Free)

Ingredients:Udi's Cake Pops
  • 1 Package Udi's Gluten Free Muffins (any flavor)
  • **3/4 can of gluten free frosting/dairy free frosting (I use Duncan Hines Creamy homestyle: The Buttercream, Dark Chocolate fudge, lemon supreme, classic chocolate are GFCF)
  • **1 Package of Enjoy Life (dairy, nut, soy free) Semi Sweet chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Parchment paper
  • Block of Styrofoam 

  1. Take Udi's muffins out of container and either crumble with hands or in a food processor until muffins break into very fine crumbs.  Place in a large bowl. 
  2. Mix in frosting or buttercream until the mixture is pliable and spongy but not runny.  If the cake mixture needs more moisture, spoon in extra frosting until you reach desired consistency.   
  3. Place entire mixture into the refrigerator and let firm overnight.  If not using right away, you can cover the container and let the mix sit for up to several days.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Take muffin mix out of refrigerator and start rolling the muffin dough into small balls.  Place each finished ball onto the parchment lined baking sheet.  Each container of muffins will yield approximately 12 large cake balls or 16 small cake balls. 
  6. Place finished balls back into the refrigerator for 1 hour to set.
  7. In the meantime, pour your package of chocolate candy disks into a small microwave safe bowl.  Melt chocolate in the microwave in 1 minute increments, stirring in between, until chocolate is smooth and runny.
  8. Take cake balls out of the refrigerator.  Dip 1 lollipop stick into melted chocolate and push into each individual ball.  Dip each cake round into chocolate.  Let excess chocolate drip off and then poke each lollipop into Styrofoam to finish drying.  While hardening, sprinkle the chocolate with colored sprinkles.
  9. Repeat until all cake balls are finished. 
  10. Either leave cake balls decorated in sprinkles, or drip additional colored chocolate across cake pops (pictured above). 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Holidays...are you having fun yet?

Hello my fellow Gluten/Casein free mommas!!! I hope everyone had a successful Thanksgiving and that you were able to keep up your lifestyle choice for your family. We had a great time with my family in Oklahoma.  My mom was pretty awesome, she had alot of our items ready so that it would be an easy transition when we arrived. I made only 3 trips to Whole foods while I was there for the week. (only for little things) It was good to feel as though I had practical options. The key to traveling with a GFCF family is to be prepared with a backup. Rule of thumb for our household: Always have a bag of snacks on hand for the kiddos. If you don't want spontaneous relatives sticking candy and cookies in your kiddos faces, have a pack of GF cookies or candy available to offer as an alternative. I tasted a really good coconut ice cream bar this past holiday that I quickly ran out to grab at the local Whole foods one evening. Another surprise that I found was these delicious Rolls by Gillian's.

I didn't have time to make any rolls, so I grabbed these in the frozen food section of Whole foods. They are Wheat, gluten and dairy free. They have no preservatives so they have to stay refrigerated.  They were awesome!!! They come in plain and cinnamon raisin. Let's just say I am addicted and have grabbed them a couple of times now. You heat them in the oven on 300 for about 5 mins and then spread some Earth's balance Vegan butter on it....Yummy!!!  How did your holiday diet go? What worked and didn't work for your family? What can you do better during the Christmas break?

So as we transition into Christmas, I have just been so busy preparing for traveling and conducting photo shoots.  My husband and I are heavily creative and artists, so we have been busy little bees taking photos and designing through our new business together, BHD Collective (its an art collective of design, photography and fine art). BHD stands for Bad Hair Day.  :-)  We thought it was a cool artistic name since we are earthy bohemian type people with WILD hair. LOL!!!!  So we had a lot of fun creating our logo below. He He! We are in the process of creating a website that will showcase our work...I will let you know when its up and ready. It will be Hopefully it will be up and running by Xmas. Yay!  In the meanwhile, here are a couple playful shots of my hubby and I. Perhaps we can educate our clients on the perils of Gluten and Dairy through this Art Collective. Until my next post....stay consistent and stay away from processed foods......

Soulfully yours,

Gluten Free Momma!