Beef and Kale Lasagna – Gluten Free-zer Friday
I love lasagna. It is so simple to toss in any thing you like or might have on hand. It is, of course usually a gluten and dairy free nightmare, BUT it is super easy to make dairy and gluten free. It still takes a bit of time to assemble, just as traditional lasagna, but not any more to make a delicious, satisfying comfort food classic you can feel good about and is safe for your family to eat.
Because assembly and prep takes a bit of time, I like to make as least two whenever making this dish. One for the day and one for another day. If I have a lot of gumption, I may make even more. It doesn’t take that much time to prep for more than one pan, so I usually go for it. Having a lasagna to pop into the oven from the freezer is wonderful and a welcome treat for us on a cold night after a long week of school and work.
This lasagna has kale mixed into the meat mixture. You can skip it or replace with another green (such as spinach) as you choose. My littlest picky girl will gladly eat kale when it is mixed into a tasty dish like this one. 🙂
The Recipe: Gluten Free Dairy Free Beef and Kale Lasagna
- 2 boxes gluten free lasagna noodles, I like Tynkiyada brand
- 3 pounds ground beef or bison
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 cups bell peppers, I used mix of red, yellow and orange snacking peppers
- 3 cups packed finely chopped kale, stems removed
- 2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 28 ounce can tomato sauce
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
- tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoons thyme
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup gluten and dairy free margarine or 1/3 cup coconut or olive oil
- 1/2 cup corn starch, or sweet rice flour, arrowroot, or tapioca flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups gluten and dairy free plain yogurt, I like using my homemade coconut yogurt
- 4 cups unsweetened milk substitute of choice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups dairy free cheese substitute of choice, shredded (if using my cashew or pizza "cheese" sauce, it need to be warmed enough to drizzle when it is time to assemble the lasagnas)
- Prepare lasagna noodles: In a deep 9x13 pan, place the dry gluten free lasagna noodles. Cover with boiling water and set aside until needed to assemble lasagna.
- Prepare meat sauce: In a pan over medium-high heat, cook beef and onion together until onion is translucent and beef is browned. Remove excess grease if needed (I like using grass fed when I can afford it, and there is usually nothing to remove- yay!) Add peppers and kale, cooking until kale wilts. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, garlic, basil, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and allow mixture to simmer while assembling the rest of the lasagna ingredients, stirring occasionally until sauce has thickened a bit.
- Prepare "ricotta" layer: in a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the margarin and cornstarch. Cook together until bubbly then add salt and dairy free yogurt. Whisking constantly, add milk substitute and lemon, stirring until well blended. Allow to cook, whisking often until mixture thickens.
- Assemble lasagnas: Taste sauces and adjust salt and pepper seasoning if needed. Oil 2 9x13 pans. Lay 3 soaked gluten free lasagna noodles in the bottom on each pan (this should be 1/3 of the noodles available). Top noodles with 1/4 of meat and tomato mixture in each pan. Sprinkle mixture with slightly less than 1/4 of dairy free cheese substitute. Top meat layer with 3 more lasagna noodles in each pan. Dividing mock "ricotta" mixture between the pans, dollup the lasagna noodles with still warm "ricotta" mixture (half in each pan). Smooth mixture. Top with 3 more lasagna noodles per each pan (this should use up the remainder of the noodles available). Dividing between the pans, top with remained of the meat sauce and sprinkle with the remaining cheese substitute. Tent with foil (not touching the lasagna with the foil) and bake at 375 degrees F for about 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes. Allow lasagna to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing so the layers stay together without sliding.
- To freeze: After assembling and before baking, cover well, removing as much air as possible, seal, label and freeze.
- To serve from thawed: Thaw. Bake in 375 degree oven tented with foil, for 55 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes. Allow lasagna to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing so the layers stay together without sliding.
- To serve from frozen: Bake in 375 degree F oven, tented with foil for 1 hour and 45 minutes, until heated through. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes. Allow lasagna to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing so the layers stay together without sliding.