As you probably know by now, I am not one to hold back the slightest bit of excitement when it comes to food and the sublime flavors that emerge from my kitchen. Even the simplest meal with few ingredients is capable of transforming my mood to an all-time high when it both amuses my tastebuds and satisfies my belly's strict demands. Since giving up gluten, I am relentless in my attempts to alter my favorite dishes into a nutritious, praiseworthy feast without losing flavors in translation.
Basil, and its spry ability to brighten even the most bland dishes, light my fire, which is one of the main reasons I love the idea of Italian food. However, I usually avoid it like the plague because of the massive amounts of cheese and flour involved in the cooking process. So, I decided to try my hand at a classic lasagna without the dairy, gluten, grains, or meat. I was ecstatic when I tasted the first bite of homemade ricotta cheese made with macadamia nuts. It was divine and so easy to make! I packed it full of basil and Italian parsley to give it some gusto and plenty of nutritional value. Basil contains cinnamanic acid, which is known to stabilize blood sugar, improve circulation, and treat respiratory tract disorders. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and used to reduce fever brought on by infection. The benefit of basil I am most elated to mention is its capacity to repel insects. Mosquitoes are bigger in Texas and I will need all the help I can get keeping them off my skin this summer. Italian parsley is known as a natural diuretic, which assists in the elimination of water and sodium, cleansing the kidneys and liver.
For the sauce, I used tomatoes grown in my grandad's garden and canned by my grandmother's nifty hands. It turned out so yummy and knowing where it came from made it 100 times better. I threw in tons of fresh oregano for depth and an appetizing aroma. This herb is used to treat indigestion and soothe stomach discomfort. I also add to it my heavenly Cauliflower Pizza Crust.
The recipe for my Vegetable Lasagna may look a bit overwhelming with all the steps, but I assure you that it's quite simple with a little patience. I replace the noodles with zucchini squash and layer in broccoli and spinach for a veggie boost. This reheats nicely the in the oven, so make ahead if you have the time or eat as leftovers the following day.