Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Yeah, thanksgiving was almost a week ago, but who cares!  I still have pictures I want to share and better late then never right!
The Sissys and their Mom in the kitchen
We had Thanksgiving for the first time at our house, so I was able to de-gluten a lot of dishes without anyone knowing!
Winning the prettiest cousin award 

We might have had 3 different kinds of green bean casserole whoops.  I even had time in the morning to fry my own onions in gluten free flour for the gluten free green bean casserole!  With only probably 20 people we had enough food to keep us going for months.  Seriously SO many left overs. 

Roasted brussel sprouts, b nut squash, cranberries, apples, and onion in a balsamic dressing stole the show! Thanks for the recipe Tash!

3 LARGE Turkeys

Corn casserole, smashed b nut squash, more brussel sprouts

Mashed potatoes, 2 types of stuffing

Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing!

ANOTHER Turkey that was smoked oh so good.

My inside out apple pie
The best part of the day was spending super awesome family time with my awesome fam though.  I can't even believe its this guys second Thanksgiving!

The cutest boy in town

Nothing is cuter.
I am so grateful and thankful for many things in my life, but family always trumps everything else.  I had the best Thanksgiving break and cannot wait to go home for the full christmas break! 

Oh and this happened over break as well.

Ignore my after run face, and pay attention to Theodore aka Teddy!

Maybe he gives me more of an incentive to want to go home for xmas break too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gluten Free Eggplant Lasagna (No noodles)

I only have a couple weeks left of this semester and then one more semester until I am a college graduate.  Which means I should start planning my future, huh?!  Oh man!  I can't even believe I will have the freedom to do whatever I want.  I know culinary school is in my plan somewhere, but I'm just not sure if I want to jump right into it after I graduate or work a little first and get experience in a kitchen. 

Now that I have switched my major and can relax, I have been cooking up a storm in the kitchen.  It also doesn't hurt that in my new house we have the cutest and largest kitchen!  I find myself getting home from school and going straight to the kitchen to experiment.  And I would say these experiments have been going mostly well!

I got the idea for this recipe from the most delicious eggplant parmesan I had in Naples this summer.  I asked the waiter about gluten and if the eggplant was breaded.  Somehow in my broken Italian and his broken English we established it had no breadcrumbs and was definitely gluten free.  When the dish came out it looked like straight up lasagna.  I was so confused, but I thought why not and dove in.  The whole time I was eating it I kept getting scared that I was inhaling mass amounts of gluten, but it was really just the eggplant's texture matching the texture of noodles so well!  After dreaming of that amazing meal since I've been back, I knew it was time I should try my own.  

Okay enough with the ramblings and on to the recipe!

Gluten Free Eggplant Lasagna

Serves 3 hungry Rachel's 

1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise in 1/2 in. strips
1 T olive oil
1/2 lb lean ground turkey 93/7
1/2 medium, onion diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 t. italian seasoning
1 t. dried basil
2 c. Trader Joes organic marinara sauce
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Cut off ends of eggplant and slice lengthwise into 1/2 in. strips.  Salt strips generously and put in a colander for an hour to drain off excess liquid and remove the bitter taste from the eggplant.
2.. As you are waiting for the eggplant to be ready. Heat 1 Tbs olive oil over medium heat and add diced onion.  After a couple minutes add the garlic.  Finally add in the ground turkey and spices.  Brown meat until no longer pink and drain the excess fat out of the pan.
3. After the eggplant has set for an hour rinse and pat dry with a paper towel.  
4. Preheat the oven to high broil. 
5. Broil eggplant for 3 minutes on each side under high heat.  Let cool. 
6. Preheat oven to 350F. 
7. Now the layering begins!  Start with 1/4 cup of TJ's marinara on the bottom of a 9in circle casserole dish.  Then add 3 slices of eggplant. Then on top of that 1/4 of the turkey and then 1 oz of cheese.  Continue layering until all ingredients are used up. Top with remaining cheese.
8. Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbly!

Why yes that is an instagram picture with a massive chunk removed.

This recipe definitely stands up to the authentic eggplant parmesan in Naples, but I would still kill to go back to have it again!