|Gluten Free Dairy Free Lasagna|
People are out in full force around Santa Monica. Bikers in skin tight racing gear or ambling along leisurely on beach cruisers dot the streets, the parking structures along 4th street are buzzing with perfect-spot anticipation and the beach front is filling out with the toweled squares of families and friends laughing with reckless abandon in the constant ocean wind. Girls strut down the promenade in their Uggs, bright sundresses billowing and snaking around their tanned legs, weighed down with the happy satisfaction of spring packaged up in boastful bags. And they keep saying "it's spring, spring is here!". Which, I suppose it is. Technically. So what else is there to do but make a Gluten Free & Dairy Free Lasagna?
I think I could catch a little more of the Spring Frenzy...if I didn't feel as if it were Spring for THE LAST SIX MONTHS. Let me clarify so you snow-bound souls don't think I'm complaining. Coming from Massachusetts, the land of sleet, snow, environmental and emotional frigidity, and people who are unable to speak about anything other than a certain sports team - I have cherished each and every day of our gorgeous (amazing, blissful, miraculous, spectacular) SoCal weather. I'm just surprised because the 'busy Santa Monica' that I thought was busy...is really nothing compared to the flow of people on a Spring day. I'm just not sure how 65 degrees and sweetly sunny isn't worth going out while 70 degrees with a heady breeze is the state alert to shop. Which just leads me to my conclusion - Los Angelinos are incapable of appreciating their superb "winter" weather. It's been beautiful since June, people! Let's see some appreciation!
And thus, since I'm pretty sure I'll never see Fall again as I know it (boo. hoo.) I've almost given up entirely on cooking seasonally appropriate dishes and make potato salad in the dead of (sunny, blissful, balmy) winter and dish up GF/DF lasagna on a warm Spring (summer-ish) night. And we like it.
Gluten Free & Dairy Free Lasagna
|Super Yummy, Very Comforting. I'm there.|
Lasagna Pasta (about 9 pieces) - I use Tinkyada
1 Jar of your favorite pasta sauce - I use Whole Foods 354 Tomato Basil (or homemade if you're feeling saucy)
1 lb. Natural Free Range Ground Beef (or buffalo)
1 finely chopped Bell Pepper
1/2 a finely chopped sweet onion
Finely chopped zucchini, carrot, squash, eggplant, spinach whatever you've got going on in the fridge
Roughly 1/4 pound of Daiya Cheese
Set your oven to 375 degrees.
To get your pasta ready - get a pot of water boiling. Grab a baking pan and layer your pasta into it. Pour the boiling water over the pasta and cover with a cookie sheet. Let sit for about 20 minutes. This is a spectacular tip from Nat over at The College Housewife.
Chop your veggies, get your ground meat into a hot pan, toss in the veggies with some salt, pepper, onion powder, basil - whatever gets you going. Let it brown but not shrink up.
Grab a casserole dish - I used a 9x6. Pour a little olive oil in the bottom and swirl it around. Turn to your now-steamed lasagna and layer the bottom with the pasta.
Note: It was at this point that I noticed many of my pasta pieces had unhelpfully stuck together in the steaming pan. To avoid this - try to place them in so they don't touch very much. Additionally, if you have another trick to avoid this, please let me know :) I steamed a little extra pasta, anticipating this issue.
layer in your beef/veggie mix, sauce and some cheese and add another layer of pasta. Repeat this process to the top and cover with sauce and cheese.
Pop it into the oven for about 35 minutes, you can cover it toward the end if you feel the cheese is browning.