Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Gluten-Free Lasagna with Tofu and Vegetables

August 5th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN


This lovely, satisfying lasagna is very rich in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin A with the health benefits of lycopene and antioxidants.

Ingredients
  • ½ box (8 oz.) gluten-free lasagna noodles, cooked as directed and drained
  • 2 cups soft tofu, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
  • 1 cup mozzarella or manchego (sheep) cheese, grated
  • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, separated into small pieces, or zucchini slices
  • 2 ½ cups tomato sauce

Equipment

1 ½ quart glass baking pan or casserole dish.

Process

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare or have ready tomato sauce. Prepare noodles and set aside.

While noodles are cooking, prepare cheese mixture. In a medium bow, combine tofu, egg, parsley, pepper and Manchego cheese and beat until fluffy.  

Assemble lasagna.  Spoon ¼ cup of tomato sauce onto bottom of pan, then lay 2 noodles over it. Spread tofu/cheese mixture over noodles.  Pour ¼ cup tomato sauce, and top with 2 more noodles. Arrange mushrooms and broccoli evenly over noodles then cover with mozzarella or manchego cheese.  Add ¼ cup sauce and top with noodles.  Pour remaining sauce over the top.  Sprinkle with the remaining Romano cheese.  Cover with lid or aluminum foil to prevent evaporation.

Bake 45 minutes, or until bubbly.  Remove lid or foil and bake 5 minutes more.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 4 to 5 servings.


Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Gluten-Free Stuffed Jumbo Shells The Easy Way

August 5th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Love stuffed jumbo shells, but don't want to use the oven? Here is a handy way to make shells in 35 minutes. What you need is a deep-sided large skillet with a lid -- a nonstick electric is ideal. Reheat leftover shells to make a deliciously satisfying lunch.

Ingredients
  • 8 oz. box Grand Shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 24 oz. tomato sauce (3 of the 8 oz.cans)
  • 2 cups cooking liquid from shells
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or ½ teaspoon dry basil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. ricotta cheese or soft tofu for dairy-free (add 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar and a rounded teaspoon honey or fructose to flavor the tofu]
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella or Manchego cheese (sheep)
  • ½ cup grated Romano cheese (sheep)

 

Equipment

Large non-stick skillet.

Process

Cook Grand Shells according to package directions.  Before draining, remove and reserve 2 cups of the cooking water to add to sauce. 

Meanwhile, heat large skillet on low medium. Add oil, garlic and onion and cook until golden, about 2 minutes.  Add tomato sauce, pepper and basil. Simmer 10 minutes.  Stir cooking liquid from pasta into tomato sauce, then remove 1 cup to add later. 

In a medium bowl, mix ricotta or tofu with eggs, vinegar, parsley and pepper. If using tofu, add extra vinegar, ½  teaspoon  honey or fructose and ½ teaspoon salt to flavor. Fold in grated cheese or tofu.

To assemble:  Spoon 2 rounded tablespoons of cheese or tofu mixture into each shell.  Arrange stuffed shells in sauce, supporting, them to keep upright.  Sauce should not submerge the shells. Cover with lid and cook over low heat 20 minutes.  Add reserved cup of sauce and sprinkle with grated Romano cheese, cover and cook a few more minutes until cheese melts.  Serves 6. 

Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Gluten-Free Cabbage Leaves Stuffed with Ground Turkey

August 5th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

For thousands of years, people all over the world have found myriad ways to prepare this health-giving vegetable. Stuffed cabbage is a favorite with good reason -- it's so satisfying -- to smell, to see and to taste! Cabbage is a great source for important vitamins like vitamin C, K and folate, minerals like calcium and potassium, plus fiber and bioflavanoids. Recipe also provides complete protein, iron, zinc, vitamin A, magnesium and riboflavin.

Ingredients
  • 12 to 14 large cabbage leaves
  • 1 pound fresh ground turkey
  • 1 cup raw rice
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

sauce: 

  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 4 cups reserved cooking liquid
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Equipment

Large pot with lid.

Process

Core a head of cabbage, soak in hot water for 10 minutes then carefully peel off leaves.  Fill a large pot with 4 inches water and bring to boil.  Add half the leaves to soften but not enough to cook.  Remove to a platter.  Add the rest to soften, then remove.  Reserve 4 cups of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, mix the meat, rice, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Place ¼ cup of meat mixture onto the inside of a leaf where it was attached to the core.  Roll the leaf over while tucking in the sides and roll again to secure the contents.  Repeat with each leaf until filling is used up.

Add 4 cups of tomato sauce to the reserved cooking liquid.  Lay a few cabbage leaves on the bottom to protect the rolls from sticking.  Now arrange the rolled cabbages around the bottom, repeating until all are placed in the sauce.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to cook gently for 40 minutes. Serves 4-5.

Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Gluten-Free Carob Peanut Smoothie

August 5th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

All smoothies are quick to make and enjoy, but this smoothie is full of natural protein and the  vitamins and minerals needed for muscle strength and vitality plus carbohydrates for energy.

Ingredients
  • 8 oz. milk or milk substitute (rice milk, nut milk, soy milk)
  • 1 tablespoon natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon carob powder or 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey or fructose sweetener
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran
  • 1 tablespoon rice protein powder
  • ¼ teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • sprinkle salt as desired

 

Equipment

Blender.

Process

Add the milk or substitute to blender then add rest of ingredients.  Blend on high speed 1 to 2 minutes, or until thick and creamy.  Makes one serving.

Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Gluten-Free Banana Orange Smoothie with Peanut Butter

August 5th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Whip up this smoothie for a fast, nutritious breakfast that is rich in calcium, protein, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc and probiotics. Peanuts are a significant source of resveratrol, a chemical studied for potential anti-aging effects and also associated with reduced cardiovascular disease and reduced cancer risk. Ounce for ounce, peanuts contain almost 30 times as much resveratrol as grapes, which often are touted as being one of the few good sources of the antioxidant.

Ingredients
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ¼ cup silken tofu
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup calcium fortified orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon rice protein
  • raw honey to taste, about a teaspoon

 

Equipment

A blender.

Process

Put all ingredients into a blender and liquefy.  Add some ice if you like it colder. Pour into tall glass to serve.

Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Gluten-Free Brazil Nut Risotto

August 5th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Try this flavorful dish for a whopping dose of selenium from uniquely soft, crunchy Brazil nuts -- with a texture reminiscent of water chestnuts.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup Arborio or short grain rice
  • 4 cups gluten-free chicken broth
  • ½ cup Brazil nuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup romano (sheep) cheese, grated

 

Equipment

Heavy bottomed medium pot with lid.

Process

Add oil to heavy bottomed medium size pot. Heat to low medium then add onions to saute golden. Do not let brown. Add nuts then rice. Heat until rice whitens, then add a cup of broth and parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Stir frequently as broth is absorbed. Add more broth until all is used, about 20 minutes. Rice will retain its shape well but should not be hard in middle. Fold in cheese and serve as side dish. Serves 4.

Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Gluten-Free Savory Shrimp Soup

August 5th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

This wonderful, complex soup is rich in taste and nutrients. The delicious aroma will entice the family straight to your kitchen table. Provides potassium, calcium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup thinly sliced Vidalia onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce like Hunts®
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 20 large shrimp, peeled and rinsed
  • ½ fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or substitute
  • 1 1/3 cup hot, cooked rice
Equipment

Large pot.

Process

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add mushrooms, garlic and onions.  Saute vegetables until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add tomato sauce, water, bay leaf, parsley, salt and pepper.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Do not boil. 

Add raw shrimp.  Cook 5 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice, saffron water and butter.

To serve, place 1/3 cup rice into each bowl, then ladle soup over it.  Makes 4 servings.  

Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Gluten-Free Risotto with Fresh Herbs

August 5th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Risotto is a unique rice dish with a full-bodied creamy mouth feel. Try it once and you are sure to make it often.

Ingredients
  • 5 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 ¾ cup Arborio rice (fat short grains)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

 

Process

Add oil to large heavy pot over medium heat.  Add onions, sauteing until golden. Using a large wooden spoon, stir in the rice.  When the rice is coated with the oil, add a cup of the hot broth and stir frequently until absorbed. 

Add another cup of broth, stirring.  Repeat until all the broth is stirred in and the rice is cooked, about 18 minutes.  Do not over cook.  Rather than being mushy, the rice should be firm yet soft.  Fold in the parsley, basil, and black pepper, and cheese.  Taste before adding salt since the cheese is itself salty.
Serves 4.

Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Gluten-Free Pineapple Raisin Sauce

August 5th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

This rich, nutritious velvety sauce takes mild fish, ham, pork and chicken to a higher level of satisfaction and digestibility. Try it over fried tofu for a vegetarian treat.

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup water
  • ¼ cup juice from pineapples
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple tidbits
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or white rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter or gluten-free margarine
  • sprinkle salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon prepared gluten-free horseradish mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free soy sauce (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons fructose or sweetener of choice

 

Process

Mix juice from pineapples and water with cornstarch or rice flour and set aside.

Add rest of ingredients to a medium saucepan, stir to combine and cook over medium low heat 4 minutes.  Whisk in cornstarch mixture and raise heat to medium high.  Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Stir in butter or margarine.

Makes one cup / serves 2

Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Gluten-Free Sauteed Beef Liver and Onions

August 5th, 2009 by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Beef liver is the best source of copper, as well as, protein, iron, potassium, selenium and vitamin A. This recipe will help you appreciate the sweet flavor and smooth texture of health-giving liver, organic, of course.

Ingredients
  • 1 pound organic beef liver
  • 1 large mild onion
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ cup fine rice flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

 

Equipment

Large heavy skillet.

Process

Rinse liver under cold water.  Carefully remove any large white veins by cutting or pulling them away from the liver.  Dredge liver pieces in rice flour then salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Heat pan over low medium flame then add oil.  In a minute, arrange liver in skillet.  Saute one side until golden.  Turn over and add onions.  Saute liver and onions untill golden.  Onions should be soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook since this will make the liver tough. 

To make sauce, remove liver to heated platter.  Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch or rice flour to 2 cups water and add to the skillet with onions. Bring mixture to boil.  Turn down heat and cook 2 minutes to thicken.  Pour over liver.  Serves 4.