Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dairy, Egg, and Wheat Free Italian Turkey Bake

  I love cooking from scratch! I love taking whole ingredients and turning them into something yummy. But I'm also a busy mom and often have to find something that can be made without much thought, time, or prep work. I thought I was on to something with chili until my darling dearest husband revealed that he actually doesn't care for chili all that much, so now he's sleeping on the couch (just kidding!) and I'm onto the next thing!
  As a side note, since finding out Jack is also allergic to rice, bread-type products (including cookies) have become even harder to find. We did find one great bread, Food For Life's White Rye. It's all of our allergies-free and while it's tougher than wheat breads, it had that 'gluteny' quality that gluten free rice based breads simply lack. Pasta wasn't quite so difficult, we found lots of corn based pastas and even some made from a quinoa/corn mix by Ancient Harvest that is very good. The only pasta that we haven't found is a non-wheat, non-rice lasagna noodle. We're still on a search for a good, non-crumbly cookie that travels well.

  Anyway, tonight was one of those nights where I was very uninspired and wanted to find something quick and comforting, and this meal definately fit the bill! There's nothing really 'from scratch' about this recipe, except the bread crumbs, but that was fine by me tonight. Everyone loved it, even Jack had seconds!

Italian Turkey Bake

1 lb ground turkey
2 cups dried corn/quinoa pasta (whatever shape you like except spaghetti)
1 can italian seasoned stewed tomatoes, drained
1 cup soy/dairy free pasta sauce (We used Bertolli garlic and mushroom)
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup Daiya mozzarella shreds
1 clove minced garlic
1 Tbl italian seasonings
6 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup wheat/dairy/egg free bread crumbs*

Preheat oven to 350.
Add 6 cups water and a shake or two of salt to medium saucepan and heat over medium high heat. Once boiling, add pasta, reduce heat and cook 6-8 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat garlic for 30 seconds and then add turkey meat, stirring frequently to break it up while it browns. Once brown, add stewed tomatoes, pasta sauce, and spinach. Stir well and cook over low heat until spinach is wilted. Add pasta to sauce/meat mixture and stir well. Place pasta in medium casserole dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and mozzarella shreds. Bake 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

  Some sauteed onions and/or bell peppers would be nice thrown in here. I also sprinkled mine with red pepper flakes for some extra kick. I can't get enough of spicy food lately.

* I made bread crumbs by placing 2 slices of Food For Life brand White Rye bread into the food processor with 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp parsely, and 1 tsp onion powder, that I then processed until it was all evenly broken up, and then spread the crumbs onto a cookie sheet and put them in the oven while it preheated (10 mins or so).

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