FOR THE LOVE OF COMFORT FOOD
Whether you go gluten-free for health reasons, or not, it is a difficult and daunting experience. Foods that you grew up with and are used to eating, probably everyday, become your worst enemy and you’re suddenly feeling, confused and scared.
For me, growing up Italian, the switch over from eating pasta and bread, was the worst. We ate meat and lots of vegetables as well, and my Mother was an incredible cook, but most of our meals were pasta based. We also did not eat anything other than the food my Mother cooked, so we were pretty limited in what we ate and the tastes we had acquired. So not being able to eat that way anymore, makes it very difficult, when you don’t know of any other choices. Learning about other food types is like learning a foreign language, but as you get familiar with it, it becomes easier, and when you start feeling better, well, that motivates you to learn more!
The thing about wheat based foods, is that, they don’t really have that much flavour on their own. It’s what you put on them that allows you to make them tasty. For example, it’s not the pasta itself that most people are addicted to, it’s the various sauces and embellishments that we put on them. Therefore, making it, the perfect vehicle for numerous dishes. Now, there are a lot of alternative pasta choices these days, but few come close to the wheat kind. I’ve tried them all. My favourite is the brown rice pasta from Tinkeyada. It’s the closest I’ve found to the wheat.
But now I’ve found Quinoa! and I decided to try to make one of my all time favourite dishes with it, Lasagna! I’ve tried to make lasagna out of cabbage, eggplant, spaghetti squash and Zucchini. All were successful but left me feeling like something was missing. Yes, of course, the pasta, silly! Joking aside, it’s true, they were delicious but, I felt like I needed some bread or something to eat with it. So, I had a brainstorm! Try the Quinoa with it! And behold……..a beautiful thing!
QUINOA SPAGHETTI SQUASH LASAGNA
1 large Spaghetti Squash or 2 small cut in half, oiled and baked at 375 for 30 min
2 cups cooked Quinoa, cooled
1 lb org lean ground Meat, seasoned, browned and drained (optional)
Goat cheese, soft
4 cups Tomato Sauce, at least, and as much as you like for later (I like to add chopped eggplant and mushrooms to my sauce as its cooking)
Pour a little Olive Oil in a casserole dish and spoon a little more than a cup of Quinoa and flatten tightly, you can use the palm of your hand and gently flatten to about a 1/2 inch
Ladle a little Tomato sauce on top of Quinoa, but not too much
After the Squash has cooled, scrape and place on top, not too thick
Sprinkle ground meat all over (you can use mushrooms)
Then the soft Goat Cheese
Then the chopped Parsley
Pour sauce on top, covering everything well
Do another layer of the Squash
Add the remainder of the Quinoa all over the top
Add Goat mozzarella to the top
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 30 min, uncover and broil the top till brown
Sprinkle with chopped Parsley and let cool for 10/15 min if you can wait that long, heehehe
Hope you enjoy!
Till next time……………………..