Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gluten-Free Spaghetti Pie

In an effort to meet my "almost daily" quota of grass fed beef/bison or other hormone free meats as prescribed by my nutritionist, I've started cooking with grass fed beef a little here and there. I was pretty reluctant at first. We never at red meat prior to this, except for the occasional filet while dining out at a restaurant. I was all about cooking really low cholesterol meals, which is great for heart health....not so good for promoting fertility. Turns out your body actually NEEDS cholesterol to make sex hormones, more specifically LDL, the so called "bad cholesterol."  This is true for both men and women. Men use LDL to make testosterone, and women need LDL to make estrogen and progesterone.

My goal is to have red meat at least twice per week. The first month I tried including some red meat into the mix, I stocked up on all kinds of grass fed beef steaks, filets, etc. Well, the fact that we don't own a BBQ grill proved to be challenging in producing something edible. I just have not mastered cooking filet mignon on a George Foreman grill apparently. By the way, you do realize I am risking my own life by publicly announcing I am a Texan and do not own a BBQ grill right? I am going to be sleeping with one eye open tonight!

So, I gave up on steaks for now and have opted to make some meals using grass fed organic ground beef. That is one type of meat that is completely idiot proof. I made one of my favorite meals tonight and thought I'd share it. I opted to make it completely gluten-free...not because I need to. I don't have celiac disease and am not under any recommendations to go gluten-free (although many women with certain conditions do improve their fertility by going gluten-free). I just feel like there is complete overload of gluten in the American diet as it is, so I use gluten-free products whenever possible to balance it out a bit.  Besides, I just like experimenting with new foods. I've made this recipe with Ancient Harvest quinoa noodles before, but tonight I tried it with Lundberg brown rice spaghetti noodles.

                                                  Look at this yummy goodness!!!

I serve it alongside a spinach salad with vinaigrette.

Here's the recipe in case you'd like to try it...

Ingredients (all organic):
1 box Lundberg gluten-free brown rice spaghetti noodles (or quinoa noodles)
2 eggs
10 oz. grass fed organic ground beef
1/3 cup diced onions
1/3 cup diced green peppers
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. garlic salt
6 oz. can tomato paste
2 cans water (using empty tomato paste can)
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup part skim shredded organic mozzarella

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 F. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water, drain, and set aside.

Step 2: Meanwhile, in a large skillet brown ground beef at medium high heat. Drain excess fat and return to skillet. Add onions, green peppers, mushrooms, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, tomato paste and water, and stir well. Bring to simmer and allow to cook 3-5 minutes.

Step 3: In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs and stir in parmesan cheese. Add cooled spaghetti noodles to egg and parmesan mixture and toss to coat evenly.

Step 4: Spray a 9.5 inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line pie pan with noodles. Spread ricotta cheese over noodles. Then top with meat sauce.

Step 5: Cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Top with shredded mozzarella, and cook another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly golden brown. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

No way you'd ever taste this pie and think it was gluten-free. It's like a mix between spaghetti and lasagna. YUM! Well, my belly is full, the kitchen is clean, and we've got an episode of Breaking Bad to catch up on. Until next time...


  1. Okay, I was very stuck on the whole "you don't own a BBQ grill" and you live in Texas!! At first I thought it was a typo until you announced the danger in admitting that, LOL! I am just, wow! Grilled food is low in fat and stuff and you can season your own meat, so it does surprise me... You can do steak in the stove though, just FYI.

    As for your meal, that does look incredibly delish! I am so going to have to try that!! Drooling just looking at it.

  2. I am well aware of the danger in my BBQ grill confession! I just tend to grill everything on my George Foreman. I do LOVE my George! It's so fast and easy, and easy to clean. It works great for everything, EXCEPT steaks. I have done bacon wrapped filets broiled in the oven though, and they are quite tasty.

    Let me know how you like the pie if you try it. The leftovers are even better the second day. Mmmmm

  3. Haha! We JUST got a grill, and though MS isn't as well known for grilling, my family at home was really upset with me that we didn't have one. As far as the cholesterol, I was surprised that when I had mine checked, both my "good" and "bad" cholesterols were very low. My acu said that she was scared that it could be affecting my hormone levels, but I already eat real butter, red meat, and things like that, so she didn't really have any recommendations. That dinner looks AWESOME! I have found that gluten free pastas are maybe even better tasting than regular!

    1. I'm glad your acu even alerted you to the possibility your cholesterol could be affecting your hormones. Neither my PCP, OB or RE ever said anything to me about it! You'd think a reproductive endocrinologist would at least look more closely at that. Just another example of how they treat symptoms and not the CAUSE of imbalance necessarily.

      Some people just tend to have low cholesterol and that sounds like it might be the case with you if you're already including full fat products. Just keep including them I guess! I agree, some of the gf products are even better as far as texture and taste. Still eating leftovers of this pie. See, this is why I need a family...takes us 3 days to finish leftovers in this house!