Recently my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac disease, which is an allergy to wheat, rye and barley.
The following describes what Celiac disease is, the potential outcomes of the disease and the treatment:
When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body. Left untreated, celiac disease can lead to additional serious health problems. These include the development of other autoimmune disorders like Type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS), dermatitis herpetiformis (an itchy skin rash), anemia, osteoporosis, infertility and miscarriage, neurological conditions like epilepsy and migraines, short stature, and intestinal cancers.
Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. People living gluten-free must avoid foods with wheat, rye and barley, such as bread and beer. Ingesting small amounts of gluten, like crumbs from a cutting board or toaster, can trigger small intestine damage.
So as you see the only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet, therefore my wife and I researched and experimented cooking gluten-free. Out goal was to come up with some dishes that you could not tell were gluten-free. There are a lot of gluten-free foods available but they are very expensive and frankly taste horrible. This recipe for gluten-free manicotti is really good, we served them at a dinner party once, after dinner we told our guests they just ate gluten-free food and were shocked. They had no idea the manicotti were gluten-free.
You can watch me make these on the attached YouTube video.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour or white rice flour*
- 1 cups water
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Cooking spray
- 1 pound of Ricotta Cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese + 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
Your favorite spaghetti sauce
*I prefer the rice flour and that is what I used in this instructable.
Step 2: Make the Crepes
Add the flour, water eggs and salt in a blender or food processor. Mix well, the batter should be thinner than pancake batter. This recipe will give you 6-8 manicotti crepes.
Step 3: Cook the Crepes and Make the Filling
Coat a 8 inch non stick pan with cooking spray.
Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter in the pan
Swirl the pan so the batter completely covers the bottom. Once the crepe becomes solid and you can easily slide a spatula under it, flip it over. Be careful not to over cook the crepe, about 1-2 minutes per side. Once cooked remove the crepe and place on wax or parchment paper to cool off. If you stack the crepes while they are hot they will stick together.
Remember to use cooking spray between each crepe.
The amount of crepes you get from this recipe will depend on the size of the pan you use and how much batter you pour per crepe. Too little batter will result in thin crepes that won't roll well. Crepes that are too thick will end up being belly sinkers! After you make make your first few crepes you get the idea of how much batter to use to get the perfect crepe. With the 8 inch pan that I used 1/3 of batter was enough.
Once all the crepes are done make the filling:
All the egg, ricotta, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, parmesan, parsley and sugar to a bowl or food processor and mix well. I don't use salt in the filling, I feel the salt in the cheese is enough. However if you want you can add some salt or any other spices you like.
Step 4: Make the Manicotti
Coat the bottom of a baking pan with spaghetti sauce. Add the filling to the crepe and roll it, it is now a manicotti! Place the manicotti in the baking pan, cover with more sauce and top with the 1/4 cup of mozzarella.
Bake in an oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.