An alternative to traditional lasagna, gluten-free lasagna does not contain gluten, which is a type of protein naturally found in barley, wheat, and rye. This type of recipe is beneficial for people with celiac disease, as they cannot properly digest foods that contain gluten. Some dieters also enjoy a gluten-free lifestyle as a way to keep the digestive tract healthy, and also to cut calories.
Traditional lasagna recipes share some of the same basic ingredients: noodles, tomato sauce, and cheeses. Different seasonings might be added as well, from spices to bread crumbs. The problem with traditional lasagna for individuals on a gluten-free diet is that there is gluten contained in regular noodles and the bread crumbs.
The primary substitution in gluten-free lasagna is the noodles. Instead of whole wheat or enriched lasagna noodles, cooks use gluten-free versions. These types of noodles are usually available in health food stores. Gluten-free noodles are cooked the same way as traditional ones, but the boiling instructions might vary between products. Cooks might also consider adding some olive oil to freshly boiled noodles to prevent them from sticking to each other.
Another ingredient substitution is Italian-style bread crumbs, which often contain wheat. The bread crumbs are generally used as a topping, but some cooks choose to blend the seasoning within the lasagna prior to baking. There are some alternatives to regular bread crumbs when making gluten-free lasagna; a cook might decide to substitute with a gluten-free version or instead use cornmeal or hominy grits. Some cooks forego using any breading altogether.
Aside from the obvious gluten-containing ingredients, some of the other foods needed for this recipe can contain traces of gluten. Meatballs, sausages and sauces can all contain gluten, particularly if they are processed versions. It is important that all product labels are read carefully; most will say whether the products contain wheat or not, and whether they have been processed with other wheat-containing foods.
People who are not used to eating gluten-free foods might think that this type of lasagna has a bland taste to it. Different herbs and spices, such as oregano, parsley, thyme, and garlic, can spice up the recipe, so long as they do not contain wheat, rye, and barley products. For added nutrition, cooks can also add various vegetables, such as mushrooms, zucchini, and peppers, which can make up for the absence of wheat-based noodles.
Celiac disease can be fatal for people that eat gluten-containing foods. This is why it is pertinent that gluten-free recipes, such as an alternative take on lasagna, are used. Dieters might also enjoy this lasagna as a part of a gluten-free lifestyle a way to increase the effectiveness of the digestive system.