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Friday, January 12, 2018

Gluten Free Instant Pot Lasagna

If you haven't joined the Instant Pot bandwagon, it's time to hop aboard. Not every recipe is a time saver, but you can do so much with it. I've prepared many lasagnas over the years and this is now my favorite way. When you are cooking for two, you get two good meals and less headache and clean up. I admit that I was skeptical about this technique, but I have embraced it. Taking the sides off of the spring-form pan was scary the first time, but the end result is a beautiful layered, baked pasta dish. I have tried different combinations for this recipe and I have landed on all sausage. The first time I used all ground beef, but felt that it lacked texture and flavor. The next two times I went with a half ground sirloin, half Italian sausage blend and was satisfied with the flavor and texture. This last recipe, I went with all Italian sausage and decided it was the winner.
In the past, I have always made my own sauce, but to save time I went with a jarred sauce. Going with a pricier jar was the logical choice for me, knowing that it would come closer to homemade. I found this Michael's of Brooklyn Home Style Gravy at Sprouts and it comes pretty close to home made.

Gluten Free Instant Pot Lasagna 

  • 1/2 lb bulk  gluten free Italian sausage
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese - divided in half
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. Italian spices
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Gluten free lasagna noodles
  • 1 jar gluten free pasta sauce
  1. Using Saute function, brown Italian sausage, breaking up the clump. Remove to plate lined with paper towel to drain.
  2. Mix ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 egg, and spices.
  3. Line bottom of 7" spring form pan with lasagna noodles, broken into pieces to fit the pan.
  4. Add enough pasta sauce to cover the noodles.
  5. Add layer of half of meat mixture.
  6. Add layer of half of cheese mixture.
  7. Repeat with another layer of noodles, tomato sauce, ground beef, and cheese.
  8. Top with layer of noodles, and additional tomato sauce.
  9. Add remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  10. Place trivet in Instant Pot insert, and add 1.5 cups water.
  11. Loosely cover pan of lasagna with foil to keep out water.
  12. Place lasagna pan on top of trivet in pot.
  13. Lock lid on pot, and set valve to seal. (make sure to insert the silicone ring)
  14. Press manual, 20 minutes high pressure.
  15. When finished cooking, allow to naturally release (NR) pressure - approximately 10 minutes.
  16. Remove lasagna after pressure releases. Broil on high for a few minutes to brown cheese, watching so that you don't burn the top.
  17. Let rest for a about 5 minutes, run a knife along edge to release and remove ring.
  18. Slice and serve with additional sauce.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Gluten-Free Ricotta Cake

I came across this recipe in the May 2017 edition of ITALIA! magazine. It's simple to make and and tastes great too. I prefer to eat it at room temperature, but it can be served cold. I ended up beating my egg whites by hand because I used my Kitchenaid stand mixer for the cheese mixture, so keep that in mind if you do not want to bring egg whites to stiff peaks by hand. The cake had
a nice spongy texture that is not overly sweet with a light citrus taste. It also converted to gluten-free by substituting All Purpose Gluten Free Flour. #italia #italy #baking

Gluten- Free Ricotta Cake

24 oz Ricotta Cheese
6 large Eggs, separated
1/3 cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
1 cup Super-Fine Sugar
Grated zest of  2 Oranges
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of Salt
Powdered Sugar, to dust

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place ricotta in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, blend until smooth. Add egg yolks, flour, 6 Tbsp. sugar, orange and lime zest and salt. Whisk to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites on low speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add remaining sugar, whisking until stiff, glossy peaks form: this may take up to 3-4 minutes.
Gently fold one-third of the whites into the ricotta mixture using a spatula until just combined. Gently fold in the remaining whites until just combined.
Pour the mixture into a springform cake pan greased with butter and sprinkled with sugar, bake 45-50 minutes, or until the center is firm and the top is golden brown. The mixture will rise and then drop slightly during cooking.
Allow pan to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to release from the pan, then turn out and allow to cool completely before serving dusted with plenty of powdered sugar.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Instant Pot Pork Sirloin Tip Roast

This is the very first meal I prepared in my new Instant Pot and I was very happy with the end result. I had prepared one of these pork roasts from Costco the traditional way and ended up with a tough and dry piece of meat. The one prepared in the Instant Pot turned out tender and juicy. You can season the roast anyway that you prefer, the following is what I did.
Pork Sirloin Tip Roast
Season a 2 pound Pork Sirloin Tip Roast with Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder and Horseradish Powder . Set the pot to Saute and add a Tbsp of Cooking Oil and when it is shimmering,  brown the pork on all sides and remove from pot. Add 1 chopped Onion, 4 or 5 chopped Sweet Baby Bell peppers and stir until soft. Add  1/4 cup Hard Apple Cider and deglaze the pot. Return Roast to pot and add remaining 12 Oz. Bottle of Hard Apple Cider. Close and lock the lid, hit the cancel button. Press the Manuel button and set for 45 minutes. Let the pressure release on its own.
We went for a walk and it was waiting for us.  It actually went to the warm setting and it turned out tender and delicious.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

I finally joined the Instant Pot bandwagon and am very happy with the results so far. The machine can be a little intimidating, but I think it will be worth the time to figure out. One of the first things I prepared were Steel Cut Oats and they turned out perfect. They were creamy and very favorable. I used Penzey's Vanilla Sugar to sweeten mine, although brown sugar, honey or agave would have worked just as well.

Steel Cut Oats

Add 2 cups Water, 1 cup Almond Milk, pinch of Salt, Vanilla Bean and 1 cup of Steel Cut oats into the pot, locked lid into place, set Manuel function to cook for 5 minutes and let the pressure come down. Removed bean, sprinkle with Ground Cinnamon and add sweetener of choice.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gluten Free Taco Soup

This recipe comes from Dan's mom and it's one that Dan likes to make. It's pretty simple and foolproof. You can use whatever ground meat that you want and any type of taco seasoning. #glutenfree

Taco Soup

Brown 1 lb. Hamburger, drain fat. Add 1 Envelope Gluten Free Taco Seasoning, 1-15 oz. can Corn, 1-15 oz. can Chopped Tomatoes, 1-15 oz. can Tomato Sauce and 1-15 oz. can Pinto Beans. Use the liquid in the cans. Add a pinch of Sugar and a pinch of Soda before serving.
Top with crushed corn chips, sour cream and grated cheese.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Herby Chicken and Butter Bean Soup

I came across this recipe in the February 2014 edition of BBC Good Food. I made a few changes to the recipe, but I'm sure it's pretty close to the original. I know I complained some about how hard it was finding ingredients for my recipes while in England, but the same thing happens here. When I went to my local Price Chopper, there were no butter beans! If you need black beans, pinto beans, baked beans or pork and beans, then Price Chopper is the place to shop. I ended up at Hy-Vee where they actually carry butter beans and I was able to make the soup. This is a good soup, especially when the weather is so cold. Serve it up with a nice green salad and some warm bread.

Herby Chicken & Butter Bean Soup

4 chicken thighs
1.5 liters chicken stock
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
3-4 sprigs each rosemary, sage and thyme, leaves picked and chopped
2 tsp. each ground cumin and coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. anise seeds
400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle both sides of chicken thighs with salt and pepper, place on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. When the chicken is cooked, remove meat from bones and shred.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large sauce pan. Add onion and cook for 10 minutes until starting to carmelize. Add carrots, herbs and spices and stir for 2 minutes to toast the spices. Add the stock, shredded chicken and butter beans, cook, covered for 30 minutes. Using an immersion blender and blitz the soup, leaving partly chunky. Add thawed peas, heat through and serve.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Proper Pancakes w/Caramelized Apples

Dan and I said while we were in England, a person could make a lot of money by opening up a pancake house there. Of course the English love their traditional breakfast, but some proper pancakes every once in while wouldn't kill you. We actually found a place that served pancakes on Sundays the last weekend we were there, but they were served on ice cold plates and cold by the time they reached us. The flavor was good, but how hard is it to warm a plate? I came across a recipe for pancakes while we were in England, but the serviced apartment we stayed in did not have all the proper tools for cooking. I bought certain things, which we then donated to a thrift shop on our departure, but I knew I could not keep buying kitchen items for a 3 month stay. I decided to work on the recipe and this is what I came up with. They are really good! No need for butter or syrup to top these because the caramelized apples are perfect as a topper.

Proper Pancakes w/Caramelized Apples

for the pancakes:
135g/ 4 3/4 oz. plain flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. caster sugar
130ml/ 4 1/2 fluid oz. milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla paste
Cooking spray

for the apples:
1 apple, sliced
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Turn the oven on to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Lightly whisk milk, egg, melted butter and vanilla paste in medium bowl. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and beat with a fork until batter is smooth. Let stand a few minutes. Heat a non-stick skillet that has been sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat. When the pan is heated ladle batter into pan and flip when the top bubbles. The batter may seem thick, but that is what you want. Place finished pancakes in warm oven until ready to serve. (Also warm plates in the oven.)
When the pancakes are prepared, add butter, apples and brown sugar to same pan. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Serve apples on top of pancakes.