Friday, October 4, 2013

Lasagna w/ Grain-free "Noodles"

This evening I tried an experiment using my grain-free tortillas to make "noodles" to make lasagna with. In case you haven't read my blog this week, I will give you a recap on my "tortilla extravaganza" by beginning with Tuesday when I created grain-free tortillas to wrap around my Grilled Beef Fajitas w/ Chipotle Lime Marinade (they worked fabulously). My tortilla extravaganza continued on into Wednesday when I tested the tortillas as "noodles" in my Mexican Style Beef & Tortilla Noodle Soup (they turned out awesome as noodles for soup). If that wasn't enough, my tortilla streak continued on into Thursday when I tested them as oven baked NOritos, a grain-free snack chip modeled after Doritos (a quick and easy healthy chip substitution). Well, tonight I capped off my tortilla extravaganza with Lasagna w/ Grain-free "Noodles"...which used the tortillas as lasagna noodles instead of using the typical eggplant or zucchini substitution for noodles (it turned out great).

Since I wasn't sure how they would work being baked in a lasagna casserole, I made a very small "test lasagna" using a 1 quart pyrex baking dish instead of making a huge regular sized pan of lasagna. I made a thick meaty sauce (using DelGrosso pasta sauce). It's important when making "alternative lasagna" without wheat noodles to minimize liquids as much as possible. Veggie noodles and these tortilla noodles don't soak up juices the way traditional wheat noodles do. The difference between using these tortilla noodles and veggie noodles is the tortilla noodles don't ADD juices to your lasagna as it bakes (which often happens when using zucchini, eggplant, etc.). So whatever liquids you add (sauce) are what liquids you will have in your end product. When you use veggies as lasagna noodles, you typically end up with additional liquid that cooks out of the veggies as the lasagna bakes, which sometimes make it watery.

The tortilla lasagna noodles held up beautifully -- I used 3 layers of "noodles"  In addition to the meat sauce layers, I added a layer of fresh mozzarella, ricotta cheese and topped the final layer with meat sauce, shredded regular mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano. I did not cover the lasagna as it baked so it would not get soggy. I baked it for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F. The only "issue" I encountered was that I filled my little casserole pan too high and it bubbled over a little bit into my oven (but I frequently had that same issue when I made traditional lasagna in the past until I bought a super deep lasagna pan). The little casserole dish I used really isn't for lasagna -- but it worked perfectly for my "test lasagna" to see how the "noodles" would hold up. The final test came from my husband (who still eats wheat)...he said it had more of a "pasta-like" mouth feel and thought it tasted good..just like "regular lasagna". These noodles are "lighter" and not as dense as wheat noodles would be...and you don't walk away from the table feeling like you want to slump over and not eat again for 2 weeks!  ;-)  The lasagna was a success! I will try them next time on the rest of my wheat-eating family without telling them beforehand and see if they notice -- I'm guessing they won't!  I snapped a few photos for you to see below. Enjoy!

P.S. -- the only modification I made to my "grain-free tortilla recipe" was omit the ground chipotle chile and increase the Parmesan by 1 teaspoon (the revised recipe for lasagna noodle tortillas is below).

Can you tell the difference?




My "lasagna noodles"...that I cut to fit my casserole
Before going into the oven...
After coming out of the oven...
Freshly cut after sitting for a bit to let the cheeses set so they didn't run out
BOOM!
P.S. -- How NOT to fill a pan of lasagna before baking...unless you like cleaning your oven!


Grain-free Tortillas for "Lasagna Noodles" (makes one 8-inch tortilla "lasagna noodle")

Ingredients:
1/4 cup egg whites or Egg Beaters
2 tablespoons blanched almond flour
2 teaspoons ground golden flax
2 teaspoons finely grated Parmesan
Dash of sea salt
Dash of garlic powder or onion powder, optional

Directions:
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl to form a smooth, thin batter. Lightly spray a 10-inch non-stick skillet with olive oil spray and heat over medium-high heat. Pour batter into hot skillet, tilting the pan and using a circular motion to evenly distribute the batter in the bottom. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until very lightly browned and cooked around edges. Carefully loosen and flip using a rubber spatula; cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Cut to fit the lasagna pan or casserole dish used to make lasagna.

*Note: To make 4 tortillas, use the following amounts: 1 cup egg whites/egg substitute, 1/2 cup blanched almond flour, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoon of ground golden flax, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons finely grated Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon optional seasoning (or to taste). Pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter in hot skillet to make each tortilla.

   

11 comments:

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

You've really hit the jackpot with this one! This is amazing ... and no, I can't tell the difference! I really like eggplant, etc. lasagna, but, let's face it, it's a different dish. Even though it's a perfectly yummy, stand-alone dish in it's own right, it's still "pretend" lasagna (wink, wink)! However, *this* is Lasagna!

I really appreciate your helpful hints, especially regarding keeping the liquid to a bare minimum. Always good to be reminded that we're working with somewhat different ingredients that don't behave in quite the same way as what we've been accustomed to.

Well done, GGC. Well done, indeed! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis! Thanks...I really do love the veggie lasagnas too, especially the eggplant...but I also really love eggplant and know not everyone does. I would probably even reduce my sauce further when making this one again to keep it neater. Extra sauce can always be ladled on or the lasagna could be placed on top of a little puddle for those that like more sauce. I overstuffed my little casserole dish in case you didn't notice...LOL -- story of my life! I think this lasagna will be especially enjoyed by those that aren't so crazy about veggie lasagna. Can't wait to ambush my family members with it to see if they notice! ;-)

Jayne in the Midwest said...

Fabulous recipe! I used powdered egg whites in the recipe & spread the batter in a rectangular shape on buttered parchment. I baked it until firm to the touch, then used a pizza cutter to make noodles. My husband could not tell the difference from my old recipe made with wheat noodles. It even tastes better the next day. I think I will make a few batches and freeze some for future meals. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks, Jayne! So glad you and your husband enjoyed it. What a great idea you had to spread it out and bake the mixture and cut into noodles -- I'm sure that is a time saver, especially when making a full sized lasagna! I just made a mini-test batch. It is a nice change from using veggies as noodles -- thanks for your kind words! :-)

Anonymous said...

First you brought back Chicken pot pie in my life and now Lasagna that actually taste like Lasagna. I've thanked you before, but thank you again for making eating low carb so tasty

Luc

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi there Luc! Thanks so much for your kind comments -- I am so glad you enjoyed the grain-free lasagna and chicken pot pie! You are more than welcome. Thanks, again! :-)

Tessa said...

Jayne, what temperature did you bake your noodles at, and for about how long?

finishfit said...

What temperature did you bake your noodles at and how long?

Francine Portelance said...

I keep coming back to your site because I simply LOVE everyone of your recipes that I've tried. Today, it's "noodle" lasagna. Best thing is, I already know it will be amazing! Thank you gourmetgirlcooks!!

Anonymous said...

Do you think it will matter to much if I only have an ~ 7 " skillet instead of 10" ? They perhaps just be a bit thicker or I can use less mixture per batch?

Thanks

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi,

7-in should be fine. It will just take more smaller ones to make a full layer. :-)