The trouble with having a Tray of Bliss a day in the true sense of the word, is that my tray sometimes contains...ahem...more bliss than it should!
No question, I love food. I have trouble not thinking about or consuming some sort of food all day long. How it is that I'm not as big as a house is anyones' guess.
I've also had to rethink some of our most blissful meals here as the Dancing Diva is Gluten Intolerant.
One of those is Lasagna.
Now, who, in their right mind, can eat just one piece of Lasagna. Like Garfield, the famous Lasagna Loving cat, we all sigh with anticipation when a good lasagna is in the oven. And, needless to say, stopping at one piece of lasagna is very difficult. Even when you're stuffed to the gills, the lasagna calls to you from the kitchen bench..."C'mon. Ya KNOW ya want another piece of me....yeeeesssssssss.'
So, how to make lasagna gluten free, AND manage the portion sizes at the same time. Well, I know that there is such a thing as GF lasagna sheets. But I didn't have any on hand when this particular lasagna craving hit. And besides, I'd already decided to do mini lasagnas in my Muffin Pan, so trying to fit a square lasagna sheet into the proverbial round hole was going to prove difficult.
Now being the organised woman I am, I happened to have a large container of plain steamed white rice in my refrigerator. I do this at the start of each week, knowing I then have the makings of a quick fried rice for dinner, or a snack for the Diva. She loves rice.
So here's what I did.
I sprayed the muffin pans with spray oil. I then spooned some cooked rice mixed with grated cheese, into the base of each opening. I then layered the bolognaise sauce, rice, and bechamel sauce in exactly the same way as I would do with a normal lasagna, finishing with a generous dollop of bechamel and some grated cheese. Then into the oven for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven when bubbly and golden, and allow to sit for ten minutes, covered with foil so they firm up.
Run a sharp pointed knife around each, and carefully lift out with a spoon, onto your serving plates.
The essential flavours of lasagna are all there, but in a lighter format, and even going back for seconds of this little morsel, won't break the calorie bank.
I won't bore you with my bolognaise recipe, as I'm sure you have your own favourite. But I will give you my tips for perfect steamed rice, and no fuss microwave Bechamel sauce.
In a large saucepan for which you have a tightly fitting lid, combine rice and water at the ratio of once and a half cups of water to each cup of rice. If you like your rice fairly moist and plump, add an extra 1/8th of a cup of water for good measure, along with a good pinch of salt. For this recipe I would do 2 cups of rice and 31/4 cups of water.
Bring the rice and water to the boil, stir well to loosen the grains, put the lid on and SWITCH OFF.
Leave the pan with the lid on, for 20 minutes. If you have an electric or ceramic hotplate, just leave it there so it cooks with a bit of residual heat. If you have gas, check after 15 minutes and if it's still watery, turn the gas back on, bring back to a simmer, switch off and replace the lid.
After 20-25 minutes, you should have perfect fluffy rice....that's if you haven't peeked!
Use or freeze as desired.
THE BECHAMEL SAUCE:
In a microwave safe jug, melt one tablespoon of butter or margarine.
In a separate jug, then heat one cup of milk to steaming.
Add one tablespoon of plain flour (Gluten Free in this instance, or use non-wheaten Cornflour), to the melted butter and stir well to combine.
Add the steaming milk to the butter/flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
Return to microwave for 3 minutes, whisking every 60 seconds.
Add seasoning and/or grated cheese to taste.
This yields one cup of bechamel or white sauce. Multiply quantities accordingly for a larger batch.
What's on your Tray of Bliss today?