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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Zucchini Lasagna & Gluten Free Italian Breadsticks

When I first went gluten free, I was so worried about finding replacement pasta. There are plenty of gluten free pasta options out there that taste great. I have plenty in my cabinets but I find myself trying different alternatives. I really like replacing pasta with different types of squash. Sliced zucchini is a fantastic replacement for lasagna noodles. It is low fat, low carb, grain free, gluten free, etc. It softens up nicely while baking and makes gives the dish and extra boost of flavor. We made this vegan but you could easily add ground beef or turkey to make it a little heartier. As always, you can substitute regular cheese for the dairy free kind. Serves 4-6

1 medium-large zucchini, sliced into 12 slices lengthwise (use a mandolin!)
1-2 cups pasta sauce
½ cup mushrooms, diced
1 cup swiss chard, kale or spinach, chopped (use a combination!)
¼ cup diced onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp parsley
½ tsp basil
2 cups shredded dairy free cheese (I like Daiya brand)

  • In a large skillet, sauté onion, mushrooms, chard and garlic in olive oil. 
  • In a 9x9 baking pan, spread about 1 Tbsp of pasta sauce. Place 4 slices of zucchini over sauce. Top with ½ of the mushroom mixture. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over veggies. Top with about ¼ cup pasta sauce. Repeat layers one more time. 
  • Top with the final 4 slices of zucchini and any remaining pasta sauce (as much or little as you desire). Top with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle over basil and parsley. 
  • Bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly brown. Let cool about 10-15 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Just saying – these go PERFECT with my Zucchini Lasagna. These are lightly and fluffy but still filling and as always, gluten free. These are actually made with non-soy flours and no dairy as well. My biggest suggestion with these is that you form them nicely, otherwise they can look like many things, some not so appealing. Either way they still taste great! Customize your toppings to what you like!

½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup amaranth flour
¾ cup potato starch
¾ cup tapioca starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp basil
1 pkt of active yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
additional basil or other seasonings for topping

  • In a small bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water. Whisk together and let sit for 5 minutes to let yeast activate. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine rice flour, amaranth flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, salt and basil. Add in olive oil, vinegar and yeast mixture until and mix over medium-high speed for about 30 seconds or until dough ball forms. 
  • Separate dough into small dough balls and form into bread sticks (I made about 8 medium sized breadsticks. The best trick to this is to have wet or lightly floured hands to help keep dough from sticking to you. 
  • Lay breadsticks onto a greased baking sheet. Let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes. Brush with olive oil and add any desired toppings (Salt, pepper, seasonings, cheese, etc) 
  • Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Best if served immediately.

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