National Day of Lasagna – July 29

Today is the National Day of Lasagna.  Lasagna is one of my favorite foods; I was looking forward to creating a delicious dairy-free lasagna.  I hope you enjoy it too.  This will make a 9″ x 13″ pan.

 

12 ounces beef links, sliced

1 large onion, shopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, slightly drained

8 ounces tomato sauce

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

approximately 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

6 no boil lasagna noodles

1 egg, beaten

“Ricotta” – see recipe below

1 package Daiya cheddar*

1 package Daiya mozzarella*

 

 

Make Ricotta & set aside in refrigerator (can be made up to 24 hours before).

Blend Daiya cheeses in blender until finely ground; cover & set aside in refrigerator.

Cook sausage & remove from skillet & set aside, leave oil in pan.

Add onion & minced garlic to skillet/sausage oil & cook until translucent, add to sausage.

In a large saucepan combine diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, parsley & black pepper; heat through & add in sausage/onion mixture & heat through again.

Create filling by combining beaten egg with “Ricotta”.

Layer in baking pan as follows:

1 cup sauce (spread around bottom of pan)

noodles

filling

Daiya cheese

Repeat until baking dish is filled

 

Cover/tent baking dish with foil, bake in a 375°F for 30-35 minutes.  Stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

Non-Dairy “Ricotta”

 

10 ounces firm tofu

6 ounces soft tofu

teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

salt & pepper to taste

 

Wrap firm tofu in a clean towel; place between 2 cutting boards & place a heave object on top (eg:  28 ounce can). Rest 20 minutes.

Cut open soft tofu top, turn upside down in bowl & allow to drain while firm tofu is resting.

Unwrap firm tofu & pat dry; crumble in bowl & add remaining ingredients.

 

If you wish a creamier consistency, use a smaller amount of the firm tofu & add a small amount of the soft tofu.

 

 

 

To prepare a day ahead:

Prepare to filling the dish & covering it.  Chill in refrigerator.  When ready to cook, bake at 375°F for 40 minutes.

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Comfort Food: Pot Roast

This is one of the ultimate comfort foods – pot roast and vegetables with gravy.  This is reminisce of “Sunday Dinners” that our grandmothers & mothers made each week.  It is made easier & summer friendly by using the crock pot!

 

3 to 3.5 pound chuck roast

1 pound potatoes, in large chunks (or use whole small ones)

1 medium onion, quartered

3 ribs celery, each halved

1 pound carrots (chopped or use baby carrots)

salt

pepper

3 to 5 cloves garlic, crushed

3 bay leaves

1 medium to large Serrano chili, washed, ends cut off & thirds

water

 

 

In a crock pot, place veggies, Serrano chili in bottom.  Salt and pepper meat well on both sides & place on top of veggies.  Cover with water & add bay leaves.  Cook on high 1 hour; flip meat, stir veggies slightly & cook on high another 3 hours or until meat is cooked through.

 

 

Enjoy!

Moroccan Kefta with Creamy Herbed Sauce

In my research for this post I found out that there is a basic recipe and many different optional spices & multiple ways of prepping/cooking the kefta.  Kefta can be grilled as a kabob or made as meatballs & simmered in a simmering liquid.  Kefta means chopped meat; it can be served with a creamy herbed yogurt and/or a herbed tomato sauce.  I am using just a basic recipe with no add-ins for this recipe.  I noted the optional spices at the end of the recipe.

1 pound Ground Beef (and/or lamb)

Medium Onion, grated (or finely diced) & well-drained (squeeze through cheesecloth)

2 teaspoon Paprika (not smoked)

1 teaspoon Cumin

1 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon Pepper

1/8 teaspoon Cayenne

1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped

1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped – – (use additional parsley for those who don’t like cilantro)

 

Combine all ingredients; set aside in refrigerator at least an hour (for flavors to blend).  Shape into a sausage shape & skewer the meat; mold to skewer.  Cook over hot coals (gray in color) about 5 minutes each side or until cooked through (watch carefully so they don’t dry out).  Serve immediately.

 

 

Creamy Herbed Sauce

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1 cup plain Greek non-dairy yogurt or sour cream

1/2 bunch cilantro, minced

1/2 bunch mint

2 hot peppers, seeded & diced

zest & juice of 1 lime

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin

 

Combine onion & yogurt (sour cream); combine the remaining ingredients & pulse until lightly blended; fold into onion/yogurt mixture & serve with Kefta.

 

 

Optional spices:

1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon Cinnamon

3 teaspoons Fresh Mint (especially with lamb)

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Have you every had Kefta?  Did you like it?

Couscous Herbed Salad

This is a hit salad with my family and regularly requested. I hope you enjoy it too.

 

1 c dry couscous
1 c boiling water (or chicken stock)
2 c canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
3-4 medium tomatoes, diced
½ c fresh parsley, minced
.3 oz container of dried dill (2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped)
½ to 1 tbsp minced oregano
½ to 1 tbsp minced basil
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
6 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp olive oil
Salt/Pepper to taste

In a large casserole dish, combine the couscous and water then cover and allow it to stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool until just warm. Mix in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

 

 

Notes:  I don’t actually measure the dill or lemon juice; I combine all the veggies & couscous & then add the basil & oregano and oil; then I add the dill, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.

The chicken broth/stock gives a great flavor; for a vegan/vegetarian, use the water or vegetable broth/stock.

 

Enjoy!

Caramel Blended Iced Coffee

I loved a certain coffee chain’s blended iced caramel coffee beverage, but with going dairy free & the cost, I knew I needed to re-create a similar beverage.  When I found Avenue Sweets caramel sauce on Amazon, I knew this was the recipe for the delicious caramel.   It took 2 tries, but I’m very happy with this delicious iced beverage & will be making it several times over the hot summer!!

This should make approximately 4 one cup servings.

 

Tips:

HOT coffee

Caramel at room temperature (at least 30 minutes before blending)

 

 

1 cup strong hot coffee (I used Coffee Beanery‘s English Toffee & Cream*)

1/3 cup Avenue Sweets Dairy Free Sea Salt Caramel Sauce

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond because that’s what I had, but any ND milk should work)

3 tablespoons sugar (you could try less if you don’t like it overly sweet)

2 cups ice cubes

 

Put caramel in a blender (I’ve a Ninja) & pour hot coffee over & blend; scrape down sides & blend again.  Add sugar & blend; add milk & whirl once; finish by blending in the ice until smooth.  Serve & enjoy!

 

* This would also be great with Coffee Beanery’s Butter Rum, Cafe Caramel Cream or Sea Salt Caramel coffees.  I did check with them & they stated that all of their coffees are dairy free.

(If you get a chance, try their Michigan Cherry or Fiesta Mocha coffees…they are yummy.  If you use creamer, try French Vanilla with the Michigan Cherry! Divine!!!)

 

 

Note:  I am only recommending Coffee Beanery coffee as it is my favorite coffee – I receive no compensation to promote them.  I also don’t receive any compensation from Amazon or Avenue Sweets at this time – just sharing their link.

 

(Yes, I re-used a Starbucks bottle – shared this with my Aunt who also is dairy free – she gave it a thumbs up!)

Do you have a favorite coffee beverage?  Comment & let me know.

Egyptian Lentil Stew

When researching recipes for the Mediterranean feature, I was intrigued by this recipe.  It sounded unique & delicious.  I really like lentils; and this recipe was an excellent choice for me; it is based on 3 different recipes – I used what I had since I didn’t have all the ingredients for any of the recipes & I LOVED how it turned out.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

Oil

1/2 of a large white or yellow onion, finely diced

1 elephant garlic clove (see below) or 3-4 regular cloves, minced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 1/2 cups dry lentils

2-3 tablespoons beef bouillon (use vegetable for a vegetarian/vegan option)

water – about 5-6 cups

1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

 

Add oil to a skillet & heat over medium heat; once hot, add onion & cook 5-7 minutes or until translucent.  Add garlic & cook another 1-2 minutes.  Scrape onions & garlic to sides of pan & add seasonings; cook until fragrant & stir into onion/garlic mixture, about 3 minutes.  Add bouillon to water (4 cups) & heat over medium heat.  Pour onion mixture into water & add lentils; stir to break up any clumps in the lentils (I’ve noticed the red lentils clump when poured into water).  Simmer over medium heat until lentils are soft – about 30 minutes.  Check occasionally & add additional water (1 cup at a time), if needed.  Taste & adjust seasonings as needed.  Add lemon juice & heat through.  Serve & enjoy!

 

Note:  I didn’t use any salt in this recipe due to the bouillon.

Elephant Garlic:

     

 

Have you ever tried Lentils?  Do you like them, comment & let me know.

National Day of Sloppy Joes – March 18th

Sloppy Joes – also a comfort food.  So delicious & homemade is the best.  I like the rolls toasted in a pan before I serve with the meat sauce.  So yummy!!

 

 

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

8 ounces tomato sauce or homemade ketchup

2 tablespoons water

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

dash hot sauce

6 Potato Buns, split & toasted

 

Cook ground beef, onion & pepper; drain off fat.  Stir in tomato sauce, water, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder & hot sauce.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat & simmer, uncovered about 5 minutes.  Serve on toasted rolls.

Enjoy!

 

*for a vegetarian/vegan option – use vegetarian crumbles