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|
|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")
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
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.