Category Archives: Sunday Rituals

My Sunday lunches. My Sunday rituals.

Slow Cooker Gluten Free Lasagna

Yesterday I made lasagna in a the slow cooker. I have been told that this works out really well and based on how the au gratin potatoes came out I’m more than willing to attempt this. Heck I even picked up a couple of slow cooker cook books with non-traditional recipes from the library to play around with.

My sauce is really not much more than a down and dirty red sauce made from diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, meat, and basic Italian seasonings. You could use a commercial sauce if you don’t want to make your own. I really like using beef/pork blends even though today its plain beef as well as mixing up my cheese selections so for this dish we are using a Colby/Jack and a 90% lean beef. I also used Tinkyada gluten free lasagna noodles. These noodles held up well, but had they cooked any longer they would have been mush.

Lasagna Plated

The finished meal. It was a bit dry, but excellent non the less.

I was very happy with how this turned out and I’m pleased with this method of cooking lasagna.  I really love the thought of not turning on the oven in the summer or at all for that matter.

I look forward to trying this lasagna with a bechamel (white) sauce. Nummm.

Divider Bar

Slow Cooker Gluten Free Lasagna

Prep Time: 60-ish min
Cook Time: 3 to 4 hours
Total Time: 4 to 5 hours
Servings: 8-10

 

Ingredients

  • 1 box Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles, ucooked

Sauce:

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 3 (14oz) cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, smashed
  • 1 small Onion, cut in half & thinly sliced
  • 1 packet of Sugar/Stevia/Splenda
  • pinch of Cinnamon
  • pinch of Coriander
  • Red Pepper flakes to taste
  • Herbes de Provence to taste

Cheese Filling:

  • 1 (32oz) container of Ricotta cheese
  • 16oz Colby/Jack, grated with 6oz set aside
  • 1/2 TBLS Celery Seed
  • 1/2 TBLS Dill
  • 2 Eggs

Directions

1. Sauté onions and garlic in a frying pan over med-high heat till onions start to become soft and translucent. Add the beef and cook till meat is done. Drain off any excess grease if you choose. Add in tomatoes and seasonings, simmer to the sauce starts to cook down and get thick. Remove from heat.

Lasanga Sauce

Still a little wet, but just about there.

2. While sauce is cooking mix all filling ingredients together in a bowel.

Lasanga Cheese Eggs

This picture was not really necessary to the instructions, but it looked cool.

Lasanga Filling

Ricotta, eggs, seasonings, and Colby/Jack cheese.

3. Start assembling your lasagna by placing just enough of the sauce in the slow cooker to cover the bottom.

Lasagna Meat Layer

Just covered.

Cover the sauce with a layer of uncooked noodle strips.

Lasagna Large Noodle

If the noodles are to long for your slow cooker, but break them down to size.

On top of the noodles you want to spread out a layer of the cheese filling.

Lasagna Cheese Layer

Spread out as thick or thin as you like.

Next add a layer of the meat sauce. Just spread it around till it covers the cheese. Repeat the layers one or two more times as desired. Top with reserved cheese.

Lasagna Cheese Top

Top with the cheese you set aside.

Cover with lid and set temp to low. Cook for 3-4 hours, till noodles are tender.

 

Lasagna Done

Nice and gooey cheese top.

Tips & Variations

  1. Your cooker may not be big enough to lay out one whole noodle, thats ok, just break them down to size and fill in as much as you can. Its lasagna, not rocket science.
  2. I use a large serving spoon to scoop filling and the back of the spoon to spread it across the noodles. The filling is thick and moves the noodles about a little, I found that this was minimized if you dropped the filling the ‘seams’ where two noodles met.
  3. This dish is great for variation, try different meats, cheeses, vegetables or seasoning styles. Just add the vegetables in layer rotation. Other goodies can be placed it the sauce as well.

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Au Gratin Potatoes… in a Crock-Pot!

Yea, ok I know how that sounds, but I did tell my Sunday group we were gonna have au gratin potatoes.  I did not feel so great last night, so a dish that does not need to be closely monitored was looking appealing (I feel better today, but decided to carry on as planned and see what happens).

It was initially going to be ham and fried potatoes with onions, when a friend of mine suggested cheesy potatoes.  I was like ‘hmmmm’ and lunch was born.  We started with 3-5 med. sized potatoes (I used some Yukon Golds as I like to leave the skins on), sliced kinda smallish, but not thin.  This is when I love to whip out the Mandoline as it makes potatoes and onions a snap.  To this we added 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar mixed with onions and seasonings to taste.  I mixed that up with the potatoes and tossed it all into the pot and started on the sauce.

 

Crock-Pot Potatoes

Waiting for sauce.

Now, before we get to far into this rambling description of what is sizing up to be a pretty tasty lunch, let me tell you that I did NOT make a white sauce or anything for this.  I am using a cheap and dirty recipe that uses cream of mushroom/chicken/cheddar cheese soup as a base.  This worked well for me today so were trying it.  So I mixed the soup up with water (yea, I would have preferred milk as well, but I did not have any) and poured it over the top.  Set the cooker to high and went back bed. 🙂

Two hours later I went down to check on it and it was looking pretty good. The cheese was melting nicely and the potatoes were covered and bubbling away.

 

Crock-Pot Potatoes

As the the cheese starts to melt into the sauce.

Two hours after that and I was starting to get a little worries that it was not going to thicken up.  I know it would never be the kind of thick that a baked dish would be, but I did want it thicker than soup.  I was wondering if I had added to much waster to thin out the soup.

 

 

Au Gratin potatoes.

Very think and watery.

Another hour after that. however, it thickened up and got creamy (it seems potatoes can stay hard for hours and be done in minutes).  The potatoes were soft without being mushy and the ham was tender and juicy. Mmmm.

 

 

AuGratin Potatoes w Bread

Au Gratin Potatoes w Bread, plated to serve.

 

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Experimental Bread

Todays is a bit of an experiment as I was adding in the flour blend I was using only to discover that I was short about 3/4 of a cup.  So I substituted a coconut flour for the difference.  I was just going to use an AP, but decided that if I’m gonna blow it I wanna see what happens if I do “X”.  It blended a little smoother than I was expecting and had a kind on ‘Playdoh’ texture.

As you can see, even in the pan it looks more like clay than bread dough.  It did not rise and made a somewhat dense loaf.  It was completely edible and actually had a mild coconut taste that was not bad, but I did not care for it as well as others I have done.  I would still like to use the coconut flour when I blend it in a more balanced ratio.

I did have one small piece with peanut butter and it was better that it was plain.  Might make great bread crumbs.

 

 

 

 

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Pigs in a blanket… NOT!

So when us kids were growing up mom used to make theses things called pigs in a blanket. They were a hot dog wrapped in a fridge biscuit and baked till plump.

EDIT:  A friend of mine asked me what other dish I was referring to if not this one as ‘Pigs in a blanket’.  I looked at my info again and discovered that I was indeed looking at a different page. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Now I know that pigs in a blanket is an entirely different dish, and these are probably closer to bagel dogs.

I had the necessary leftovers and decided I was gonna revisit this family treat and see if I could modernize and jazz it up a bit.

Crescent Brats

Crescent Brats

First off hot dog gets replaced with a Bratwurst. Yum! The fridge biscuit is now a fridge crescent roll. Next, we add cheese and season with apple smoked sea salt.

To this I added oven chips and for desert gluten free brownies (different post).

Crescent Brats

Crescent Brats

My goodness what a tasty Sunday lunch.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes
michelle w., on February 21, 2014, posted:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

I made sweet corn muffins last week for my Sunday lunch group, but never got around to posting it, so this was and excellent challenge to show off the pictures I took.  I usually take pics of Sunday lunch, but I have been very remiss about posting lately.

The first one is of the left overs that I brought home from a salad I had the night before.  It consisted of blue cheese, crasins and candied walnuts.  The recipe only called for toasted walnuts, but I thought the candied walnuts would be nice.  The cheese had gotten mixed up with it on the way home so I just tossed it all in.  They were pretty good.  None came home.

The second image is the cut away of the muffin.  Most of the ad-ins settled a bit on the bottom, but it was ok.  The last image was the presentation to my Sunday lunch group.

The last image (yea, I know it was supposed to be three, but it was there… I was there…) is lunch all pulled together.  It seems very dis-jointed, but they liked it.  They are a wonderful test group.  Thanks guys.

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Filed under GF Baking, Sunday Rituals, Weekly Photo Challange