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!

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

Comfort Food: Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Comfort food at it’s best.  This is a go to recipe for me – I originally created it a couple of years ago in an attempt to re-create my favorite frozen entrée, but without all the extra & unnecessary ingredients.  Originally, I wasn’t pleased with the gravy, so this post gave me a great excuse to go back & re-create it.  I succeeded.  My family tried it & there was almost nothing left when we were done!

 

Salisbury Steak

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup low-sodium beef broth/stock

3/4 cup bread crumbs (I use Trader Joe’s brand bread crumbs – no dairy)

1/4 heaping teaspoon garlic powder (be generous, if you like garlic)

dash pepper

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon Homemade Gravy Mix (Beef)

1 tablespoon dried onions

generous pinch powdered mustard

approximately 1 pound ground beef

 

Mushroom Gravy

3 tablespoons flour

2-4 tablespoons Earth Balance (or your choice of butter substitute)

8 ounces chopped mushrooms

1/2 small onion, diced

1 cup cold water

1 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules

5 tablespoons Homemade Gravy Mix (Beef)

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

salt & pepper to taste (definitely taste before adding salt!!)

 

 

Directions

In a large bowl, combine egg, 1/3 cup low sodium beef broth, bread crumbs, garlic powder, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon Homemade Gravy Mix, minced dried onion and mustard; whisk until thoroughly combined.  Add ground beef & combine, making sure bowl contents are well-distributed throughout beef (best way is to use your hands).  Shape into 6 large patties or 12 smaller patties, cover & set aside.

 

Add beef bouillon to boiling water & set aside; to a large skillet, add about 1 tablespoon Earth Balance or your choice of butter substitute & add in chopped mushrooms & onion; cook until vegetables are tender; scrape to sides of pan. Add beef patties to a second skilled over medium-high heat & cook 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through.

Add remaining Earth Balance & flour, cook until browned in center of pan; slowly add cold water, bouillon and remaining brown gravy mix (2 tbsp); whisk until combined & stir in mushrooms & onions.  Bring to a boil & stir constantly until thickened.  If too thick, add a small amount of beef broth.  Transfer cooked patties to gravy pan & heat through; serve hot.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Comfort Food: Beef Stroganoff

It could be argued that this is the king of comfort food; creamy, beef, mushrooms, noodles, flavorful… So many descriptions of this dish.  A favorite of the middle of my three brothers, here is my non-dairy version of Beef Stroganoff.

 

1 1/2 pounds beef steak, 1/2 inch thick slices

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

3 cups cooked egg noodles

1/4 cup Earth Balance or non-dairy “butter” of choice

large onion, thin sliced

3 cloves garlic, fine minced

1/2 cup plus 1 1/3 cup low-sodium beef broth

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cup sour cream

 

Combine 1/2 cup of beef broth and pepper; marinate beef in a bowl for 10 minutes.  Remove beef from marinade & pat dry.

Heat oil in skillet & brown beef; cook 5-7 minutes & remove to plate.  Drain grease from skillet; melt a couple of tablespoons Earth Balance; stir in onion and garlic; cook until onion is soft & translucent.  Transfer to plate with beef.

Melt 2 tablespoons Earth Balance in skillet & add in sliced mushrooms.  Cook until tender, about 10 minutes; transfer to a bowl & set aside.

Melt 1/4 cup Earth Balance in skillet; whisk in flour & cook until there is no more flour taste, about 4 minutes.  Slowly whisk in beef stock; bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to medium-low; add in Worcestershire sauce & seasonings.  Taste & if needed, add salt.  Add beef & onion; cover & simmer 1 hour.  Taste again & if needed add additional salt/seasonings.

Stir in mushrooms & sour cream about 5 minutes before serving.

 

Enjoy!

 

Do you enjoy beef stroganoff?  What is your favorite comfort food?

 

 

Comfort Food: Meatloaf

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Comfort food is the food that makes us feel good – satisfied, calm, cared for and carefree. It’s food that fills us up emotionally and physically. … Finding comfort in food is a basic human experience.  – – Ellie Krieger

Each person had what they consider comfort food – good food that brings comfort when eaten; food which may remind of a good time in our life or a special person, such as a grandmother or mother, who cooked the food.  For our family, the grandchildren remember breakfast comfort food at my grandmother’s house – white toast with butter & her homemade strawberry jelly and bacon.  It may not be the best food for you.  🙂

I’m starting this feature with a simple recipe that I turn to often – Meatloaf.   It can be put together the night before a dinner party & cooked just before serving or it can be a great weeknight dinner for the family.  Below is the base recipe I use & I follow-up with substitutions and some delicious additions.  This is a great versatile recipe with unlimited options.

 

1 1/2 pounds ground meat (I use beef mostly, sometimes turkey)

2 eggs

1 onion, diced small

1 cup oatmeal

1/3 cup tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed.  Using hands seems to mix the best – wear gloves – it is pretty messy.

Shape into a mound and place in your pan.  I use a 9 inch x 13 inch Pyrex baking dish.  You could also use a loaf pan.

Bake 30-45 minutes or until cooked through.

 

Substitutions for oatmeal:

  • Crushed up Crackers (we’ve used saltines, but butter flavored crackers would also be great)
  • Potato chips (note:  Flavored or unflavored – I’ve not been able to tell the difference once cooked in)
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Instant Potato Flakes

Substitutions for tomato sauce:

  • Ketchup

Additions – vegetables:

  • Shredded carrots
  • Shredded squash (zucchini, yellow crook neck)
  • Finely diced sweet peppers

Other spice options to add:

  • Thyme
  • Poultry seasoning (if using turkey)
  • Sage
  • Chili powder (for a spicy twist)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Liquid Smoke

 

Meatloaf is great served with potatoes, salad, rolls and whatever other vegetable side dish you cook (green beans are delicious).

 

Enjoy!

 

Do you have any unique ingredients you use in your meatloaf?  Comment & let me know.