Crepe Lasagne (Gluten Free)

lasagne

When I want comfort food, I can’t think of anything more delectable than a lasagne, fresh out of the oven, bubbling with cheese. I want to completely embrace my inner Garfield, stuff my face and roll around in my lasagne-induced haze.

Like all things worth their salt, this lasagne takes time and effort, but the end result makes for a very happy tummy and smiling taste buds.

The reason I actually made the crepes in my previous post was just so that I could make this lasagne – when I saw the words “lasagna noodles” here, I instantly began to salivate!

Crepe Lasagne

Tomato sauce:

800g ripe tomatoes, halved

1tsp oreganum

2tsp Xylitol

2tsp sea salt

Other lasagne ingredients:

1tbs olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

500g mince (I used half beef, half ostrich)

3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp dried thyme

5 baby marrows, grated/ very finely chopped

1 pimento pepper or sweet bell pepper, very finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

30g fresh basil, finely chopped

White sauce: (to make the white sauce Banting, leave out the flour and replace the milk with cream)

60g butter

1/4 cup maizena / gluten free flour

2 cups lactose free milk

1 cup grated cheese such as Daily cheese from Woolworths (young, white cheese), plus extra to sprinkle over the top of the lasagne

1tsp nutmeg

salt and pepper

Crepes made with coconut flour

 

Directions:

  • Make crepes as per recipe in the link above and cut into lasagne strips
  • Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Place tomatoes on a tin foil covered baking tray and roast in the oven for about an hour
  • Blitz with the remainder of the tomato sauce ingredients and set aside
  • Fry onion in olive oil until translucent
  • Add mince and fry until browned
  • Add herbs and spices except the basil and fry for a few minutes
  • Add baby marrow, peppers and garlic and cook out
  • Add tomato sauce and stir
  • Add basil
  • Simmer for 30 minutes until it has reduced down to a delicious tasting and unctuous ragu
  • Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste
  • Make the white sauce:
  • Heat butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour to form a roux, be careful not to burn
  • Add the milk in slowly, stirring all the time to prevent lumps
  • Add in the cheese and mix in
  • Add nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir
  • White sauce should be nicely thickened
  • Start layering up your lasagne: a little mince at the bottom so that it doesn’t burn, a layer of crepe lasagne sheets, mince, white sauce; repeating until you have reached the top of the dish or run out of ingredients
  • Sprinkle with cheese
  • Bake in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes until it is golden and bubbling on the top
  • Serve with a salad if desired
  • And there you have it – a lasagne Garfield would fall in love with!

lasagne2

Advertisements

Crepes Made with Coconut Flour

crepes

Finesse is an important ingredient when it comes to making the perfect crepe.

I speak from experience. The batter on my first attempt was so beyond help, not even a Frenchman, well-practiced in the art of crepe making, could even resurrect it. (It had nothing to do with recipe and everything to do with me! More haste, less speed is the moral of the story.) That night would have been a classic winner for a Leon Schuster prank. (Damn, why didn’t I think of that! ;)) By the time we decided to admit defeat, the kitchen looked like a Jackson Pollock painting.

A slow hand from start to finish will leave you with a light and fluffy crepe – which is what I discovered on the second attempt. Victory was mine!

This recipe is adapted from a lovely blog called Against all Grain and the recipe can be found here as I am not permitted to share it on my blog.

Crepes Made with Coconut Flour

(Makes 10 Crepes)

Ingredients

  • Instead of the almond milk, I used lactose free cow’s milk from Woolworths
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca flour instead of arrowroot powder
  • All other ingredients are as per the recipe in the link above
Instructions
  • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Whisk the eggs, milk and coconut oil together first, and then slowly whisk in the rest of the ingredients.
  • Follow the rest of the directions as per the recipe

And voila! You should have the perfect crepes – every time (second time around) 🙂

Serving suggestions:

  • The classic way with lemon, Xylitol and cinnamon
  • Almond butter and bananas
  • Melted sugar free chocolate and pears
  • Berries and creme fraiche
  • As the layers in lasagne
  • As a wrap for a breakfast burrito
  • Any other savoury filling of your choice

Carrot Cake made with Almond Flour

slice of carrot cake

Sometimes in life you stumble upon things that you would never have imagined yourself doing. But, at the same time, you could never imagine yourself ever not doing again. And when you look back at the process and synchronicities that occurred in order to get you to that point, you can’t help but have a good chuckle, because life  knows you better than you ever thought you knew yourself.

That’s how I feel about baking. It has become such a pivotal part of my life. I love everything about it: the challenge of using gluten free flours and healthy sweetener alternatives and combing the ingredients in such a way that you have a cake at the end of it that is moist and delicious. But, there is nothing that can compare to the sense of achievement I feel when someone, who has had to give up cake and all other scrumptious goodies for medical reasons, has a bite and you can physically see every emotion and memory running across her face. That, is pure bliss!

Carrot Cake with Almond Flour

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups almond flour (I have ground my own almonds to make the flour too)
  • 1/2 cup pecan nuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Xylitol
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs warm water
  • 1.5 cups grated carrot (excess water squeezed out)
  • Zest of one lemon

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius
  • Grease a cake tin
  • Add dry ingredients to a bowl
  • Whisk oil, yoghurt and eggs together and add to dry ingredients
  • Add vanilla extract and water and mix gently to combine
  • Add grated carrot and lemon zest and mix gently to combine again
  • Transfer batter to cake tin
  • Bake for 45 minutes
  • Turn off oven and leave cake in for a further 15 minutes
  • Take cake out of oven and transfer to a cake rack to cool
  • When cake is cool ice with the below

Icing:

  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/8 cup Xylitol
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 2 Tbs Greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation:

  • Dissolve Xylitol in the lemon juice
  • Add all the other ingredients and mix well to remove all the lumps
  • Spread over cake
  • Decorate with chopped pecan nuts if desired

carrotcakecollage

Vanilla Lemon and Coconut Cake (This recipe is not Banting)

lemoncake9

Do you need some sunshine in your life?

There was so much potential from my previous post on the chocolate cake, to create other cakes… My mind went crazy with ideas – what flavours, which beans, what ingredients could I substitute for what? And eventually, I settled on this Vanilla, Lemon and Coconut Cake. A few adjustments and I was A for Away!

Healthy, Flourless, Sugar-Free Vanilla Lemon and Coconut Cake

Makes a 23cm one layer cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of unseasoned butter beans
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Xylitol
  • 6 tablespoons coconut
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  • Spray a 23cm cake pan with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray, or just grease it with a thin layer of butter.
  • Drain and rinse beans in a strainer or colander. Shake off excess water.
  • Place beans, 3 of the eggs, vanilla extract and salt into blender. Blend on high until beans are completely liquefied. No lumps!
  • Beat butter with Xylitol until light and fluffy.
  • Add remaining two eggs, beating for a minute after each addition.
  • Pour bean batter into egg mixture and mix.
  • Finally, stir in coconut, vanilla powder, baking soda, baking powder, water and lemon zest, and beat the batter on high for one minute, until smooth. Scrape batter into pan and smooth the top. Grip pan firmly by the edges and rap it on the counter a few times to pop any air bubbles.
  • Bake for 40 minutes and then turn temperature up to 180 degrees, bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until cooked.
  • Cake is done when the top is rounded and firm to the touch.
  • Remove from oven. After 10 minutes, turn out cake from pan, and flip over again onto a cooling rack.
  • Let cool until cake reaches room temperature
  • Ice immediately before serving
  • This cake just tastes better with age – so if you let it rest under a dome or bowl, for about 8 hours it will be even more delicious!

Lemony Cream Cheese Icing

Makes enough to thickly cover one layer, or fill and ice a halved stacked layer

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup low fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoon plain yoghurt
  • 1/8 cup Xylitol powdered (grind in a pestle and mortar)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Toasted coconut and lemon zest to garnish

Preparation:

  • Dissolve Xylitol in the lemon juice
  • Add the cream cheese, yoghurt and vanilla and blend well until there are no lumps
  • Spread over cake
  • Toast some coconut in a dry pan for a few minutes, until golden, and sprinkle over cake
  • Add a grating of lemon zest for a burst of sunny colour

Doesn’t that look like the perfect cake to send away the Winter blues? I say, yes! Go on, invite some sunshine into your world 🙂

lemoncake3