Frank Baldassare is a leading figure in the gluten-free and allergy-friendly cooking movement. He is the creator and host of the cooking show series The Missing Ingredient® which provides creative, delicious, everyday recipes for those seeking gluten-free, allergy-friendly recipes. His expertise in the Health and Wellness industries has led him on his way back to health from Celiac Disease by creating these innovative and easy gluten-free recipes which he wants to share with others. Read More »
Recipes by Frank Baldassare
3 large Zucchini with skin sliced horizontally (about ¼ inch thick)
1 ¾ cups fresh Ricotta Cheese
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano (don’t use cheap Parma)
¾ cup grated fresh Mozzarella Cheese
1¼ cup finely chopped Cremini Mushrooms
2 large Carrots finely chopped
2 stalks of Celery finely chopped
2 large Garlic Cloves pressed
¼ cup chopped Shallots
3 cups Spinach chopped
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used Calvi Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
¼ teaspoon of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
I can Roasted Tomato Sauce
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Preparing the Filling.
1. Heat the two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat then add the garlic and shallots. Cook about 2 minutes.
2. Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, and spinach. Stir occasionally.
3. Cook the mixture 10-15 minutes uncovered.
4. Remove from heat and let cool.
5. Place the fresh Ricotta in a large mixing bowl and stir in the cooled veggie mixture. Combine thoroughly.
6. Stir in the Parmigiano and sea salt until combined.
Preparing the Zucchini
1. Cut the zucchini lengthwise creating slices that are roughly ¼ inch thick.
2. Place cut zucchini slices on a large cookie sheet and roast for 5 minutes at 425. Repeat until all the slices have been roasted. This is an important step to remove some of the moisture from the zucchini.
3. Remove the zucchini strips for the cookie sheet and press between cheesecloth or two paper towels to remove excess water.
You’re ready to put it all together
Reduce the oven temperature to 375.
1. Lightly coat the bottom of a baking dish with some of the tomato sauce. (Less is more in this case.)
2. Place zucchini strips side by side until the bottom of baking dish is covered.
3. Add a layer of the cheese/ veggie filling.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have used all the mixture.
5. Cover the top layer of zucchini with roasted tomato sauce.
6. Cover the sauce with mozzarella cheese.
7. Sprinkle with torn basil leaves and freshly ground pepper.
8. Tightly cover with tin foil and bake for 30-45 minutes depending on your oven.
9. Remove from oven and let stand approximately 10 minutes uncovered before cutting.
10. Cut the lasagna straight down the middle first.
Then cut across, in between the zucchini slices making a total of 6 servings, each consisting of two zucchini slices.
Note: If you let this sit over night in the refrigerator it pulls together nicely. Then reheat and serve. I think most baked Italian dishes are always better the second day.
More About Frank Baldassare
Frank is a sought after national speaker on the topics of living with Celiac Disease and the gluten-free lifestyle. Known for his motivational speaking style and easy to follow plans for getting yourself back to good health, he is a regular guest speaker at The Celiac Foundation Annual Conference and Gluten-Free Food Fair. Frank’s message is clear: “For people living with Celiac Disease gluten-free food is our medicine — not a fad diet. It’s a ‘medical must’ for us. Reading labels, understanding the manufacturing processes and educating the public to ensure that people with food allergies and Celiac Disease avoid cross contamination is the only way we can stay healthy.”
Frank has received media attention for his work in health and wellness and for his work with Celiac Disease and Food allergies, such as: Martha Stewart Living Today, NBC News 4, Today’s Dietitian, Vogue magazine, Heart and Soul, etc. and appears in the PBS special “Gut Check”. His story about healing will appear in the book by Jane Doyle, “Expect Your Miracle”.
After his diagnosis of Celiac Disease in 2001, Frank was driven to create a cooking show and Lifestyle Network for those living with Celiac Disease and for others that require special dietary needs. His desire to share his successful search for health has led him to devote his life to educating people on the joys and benefits of a gluten-free lifestyle and raising awareness of food intolerance and food allergies. The Missing Ingredient® in Frank’s recipes is gluten but he demonstrates how to adjust these recipes to accommodate those viewers with other food allergies.
“My goal is to use my three decades of experience in the Health and Wellness industries, my love of cooking and the knowledge I have obtained from my own journey back to wellness to help people by providing them with some tools to bring about positive well-being through gluten-free food, exercise and support. I want to remind people that are not feeling well and are feeling like they will never feel like their old self again that tomorrow could be the day you’ve been waiting for, the day you reconnect your mind, body and spirit and create a new self.”
So hang in there!
To view The Missing Ingredient® Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly cooking show and to learn more about Frank Baldassare, visit www.themissingingredienttv.com, the Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Lifestyle Network.