My aunt owns an adorable little motel in rural Kansas. Whenever she goes on a date, she always tells the guy, “I come with two dogs, about a dozen cats, a motel and a dad.” She says that narrows down the playing field really quickly.
So I’ve been seeing a really darling guy for a week or two. And I realized before too long I was gonna have to warn him, “I come with a food blog.” Already for a second date, I was like, “So would you help taste test this recipe for me?” He very kindly obliged, and he even helped me take pictures.
Of course, food is included with the food blog, and
some most of it turns out edible delicious, so that probably can’t hurt.
I’d say I’ve yet to meet a guy who didn’t like to eat. But that’s not quite true. I had a good guy friend who struggled with disordered eating. The National Eating Disorder Association estimates that, while women are about twice as likely to have clinically significant eating disorders, men exhibit subclinical disordered eating tendencies about as frequently as women. Fascinating, since disordered eating is so often considered a “women’s problem.”
But I digress. A food blog probably isn’t the worst thing a potential sweetheart would have to be concerned about. A potential roommate, maybe. (My roommate is very patient about the proportion of our tiny kitchen I take up.)
In fact, he probably should be more concerned about the fact that I’m a writer.
But anyway. Shall we talk about lasagna?
A couple of times before, I’ve tried to make a gluten-free lasagna. The thing about gluten-free lasagna noodles is they just fall apart into shreds. One of my favorite cookbooks stated that no-boil lasagna noodles weren’t any good, but when I went to the grocery store nearest my house here in Ft. Collins, the DeBoles brand was all they had. So I just added a little extra water to the sauce, and…it turned out just fine! I wondered why I hadn’t been doing no-boil lasagna noodles all along. So, so much easier.
I was also inspired by recipes I’ve seen lately that use zucchini in place of the lasagna noodles. I decided not to go for that option because this girl needs carbs to function. (Actually, we all need carbs to function, and plenty of them. But I’ll save the low-carb diet rant for another time.) However, I did include zucchini in this recipe since I like to eat meatless a fair amount of the time, for environmental reasons.
Finally, my secret favorite ingredient: farmers’ cheese! It has a texture a lot like ricotta, but it’s mostly lactose-free, making it safe for FODMAPers and anyone else with lactose intolerance. It’s a bit hard to find–I had to ask Mom to bring me some from Kansas last time she visited. I’m sure that if you couldn’t find it, you could substitute lactose-free cottage cheese or ricotta, if you can tolerate some lactose.
Also, plenty of mozzarella and parm. Because…well, cheese!
- 8 to 10 no-boil gluten-free lasagna noodles
- 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 tsp. garlic-infused oil
- 1 Tbsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (or dried herbs of choice)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 oz. lactose-free farmer cheese
- 8 oz. grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 large or 2 small zucchini, sliced into thin discs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together the crushed tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, and the garlic-infused oil.
- In a smaller bowl, stir together the farmer cheese, egg, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, basil, Italian, seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spread about 1/3 of the sauce mixture in the bottom of pan.
- Break your lasagna noodles into pieces that will fit in your pan and place about a third of them in the bottom layer. Don't worry if they're not perfect; it's just kind of a collage.
- Spread 1/3 of the farmer cheese mixture over the lasagna noodles. Lay out 1/3 of the zucchini slices over the farmer cheese, and top with 1/3 of the mozzarella.
- Repeat the layerings twice more. For the top layer, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan on top with the last of the mozzarella.
- Bake 1 hour, until golden brown on top.
- You can sub the garlic-infused oil for regular olive oil and about a teaspoon of minced fresh garlic if you are not on the low-FODMAP diet.