[Disclosure: As co-owner of The Recipe Redux, I was compensated to manage this contest. I am not eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. Opinions expressed are my own.]
With Mother's Day tomorrow, I figure most people are either thinking about themselves as moms or our own mothers. I find myself thinking about my kids.
I've been blessed with two beautiful children. They're smart, inquisitive and talkative to a fault.... they're the best of friends and the worst of enemies. One loves football and Legos, and the other is obsessed with the color blue. They are the source of my happiest moments and my biggest frustrations. My life has changed SO much since I become a mother. In many ways, I'm the same person I've always been, but being a mom challenges me to be selfless (a quality that does NOT come naturally for me, unfortunately), relinquish control, balance the desire to nurture and protect versus allowing a few skinned knees... and then sometimes, it's just an exercise in seeing how much chaos I can handle. And never is that more true than at dinnertime.
If you are a mom, it sounds all too familiar, right?
This month's Recipe ReDux contest is sponsored by Dare Foods the makers of Breton Crackers. In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, they shared samples of their new gluten-free crackers with ReDux members and challenged us to create innovative new gluten-free recipes with them (Which, by the way, are THE best gluten-free crackers I've ever tasted. Honestly, they taste just like the Breton crackers I've always bought and enjoyed. Really. they're that good.)
And what, you might be asking, does any of that mean for Mother's Day. Well, if you're a mom putting dinner on the table every night for your family and you want/need that meal to be gluten-free -- it means everything. As the owner here at Healthy Aperture, I see TONS of AMAZING gluten-free recipes. Seriously... good stuff that's award worthy.
But what I don't see is a ton of really simple, quick and easy gluten-free recipes geared towards kids. While I'm not necessarily a believer that we should always "cook down" to our children, my experience with my little guys is that they do like a lot of "kid food" -- dishes that aren't overly seasoned, that are easy to eat and not too elaborate.
Enter my new favorite food hack -- lasagna cups.
Wait, what? A food hack?
Yeah, you know... like a #lifehack, but with food. Making life a little easier with a simple shortcut or creative approach.
Lasagna cups aren't the most complicated of cooking techniques, I get that. But there's time involved in boiling the noodles. And then, how do you fit them into the cups? Do you drain, cool and then cut them? How do you get them round? Do you just let them hang over the sides? And where do you find gluten-free lasagna noodles? And... well, that's just too many variables for me.
So instead, I've used crackers as the starchy layer in these cups. Amazing, huh? (Yeah, even I was kind of surprised).
One word of caution though, it's important to let them stand before they go in the oven, and then stand (but not too long) when they come out. The crackers need to soften enough to meld together with the filling, but not get so soggy that everything falls apart. I tested these three times, and depending on how long I let them stand either before or after cooking made a big difference in how well they stayed together.
But it didn't make a difference with taste. They were delicious every single time. So if you try them and they don't get that "cup" shape as well, just spoon them out and consider them your #LifeHack Lasagna Casserole.
And if tomorrow marks Mother's Day for you, consider this my life food hack present. Quick and Easy, Gluten-free Lasagna Cups. Enjoy!
ad: Lasagna just got easier with this simple, Gluten-free Lasagna Cups! Kid-friendly and perfect for dinner. Tweet this
Gluten Free Lasagna Cups
- 18 Breton Gluten-free Herb-and-Garlic or Original with Flax Crackers
- 1/2 jar pasta sauce
- 1/2 cup cooked, ground meat
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese blend
Coat 6 muffin cups with cooking spray. Gently press two crackers into the bottom of each muffin cup (for regular size muffin cups these won't fit perfectly into the bottom. Your goal is to push just enough that they break just slightly and fit to the bottom. Avoid crushing the crackers into small pieces). Spoon a small amount of pasta sauce over the crackers. Layer meat, cottage cheese, Italian seasoning and more pasta sauce gently and evenly among each muffin cup, being careful to avoid spread too heavily and stirring up the crackers in the bottom of the muffin cup.
Top with remaining crackers, pressing down slightly to gently pack all ingredients in muffin cups. Top with remaining pasta sauce, spreading to edges to allow extra pasta sauce to run into and around sides of muffin cups. Sprinkle with cheese.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Let cups stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 20 minutes.
Carefully run a knife around the edge of cups and using a small spatula gently remove to a plate. Serve warm.