RECIPE: Simple Gluten-Free Lasagna


Who doesn’t like warm, crisp, gooey, melted-cheese? OK, I know dairy-free folks won’t back flip at this, but for the rest of us…this healthy lasagna will blow your mind! Savory and delicious minus the inflammatory, sleep-inducing, belt-busting pasta.  Even your Italian friends’ll be gesticulating “Benissimo!”


1 cup Quinoa

6 large Chard leaves

5-6 ounces of goat cheese (small sleeve, plain or spiced)

16 ounce jar marinara (organic, no sugar added preferable)

Cheese of choice: muenster, provolone, parmesan. (I prefer Muenster!)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp ground pepper

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 organic chicken breast or sausage (optional)



Preheat oven to 375.

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add 1 cup of quinoa and lower heat, cook until water is gone.
  2. While quinoa cooks, de-stem 6 chard leaves.
  3. In a 9 x 9 or 9 x 13 glass container, place chard leaves side by side, covering bottom of container
  4. Cover chard with slices of muenster vs provolone cheese (from hormone and antibiotic -free cow’s milk, of course); use less cheese by allowing space between slices.
  5. Once water cooked away in quinoa, add 5 oz sleeve of goat cheese to quinoa.
  6. Add  sea salt and  ground pepper, crushed red pepper and thyme.
  7. Add  extra virgin olive oil
  8. Stir until creamy.
  9. Spread layer of 1/2 of quinoa mixture on top of chard and cheese.
  10. Pour marinara sauce over quinoa.
  11. Add optional layer of sliced organic chicken or sausage.
  12. Add another layer of chard, cheese and remaining quinoa and marinara.
  13. Top dish with muenster cheese.
  14. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Until cheese bubbly and brown.
  15. Serve immediately or let cool and store in refridge.

Serves 6-8.


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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

8 thoughts on “RECIPE: Simple Gluten-Free Lasagna

      1. Ha! It WILL only serve that many. Haven’t made it yet! But just finished eating my jicama salad last night over a reheated baked potato. SO good! Thanks for that recipe!

        I think my kids will like this lasagna recipe a lot. I will make it with manchego. We have found that we do okay (but I still try to keep it only occasional use) with certain goat and sheep cheeses. The ones I have available here are chevre and Manchego. I think some of the nutrients in dairy are valuable, but my hubby has eosinophilic esophagitis secondary to dairy, so not worth messing around too much.

      2. LOVE Chèvre and Manchego. Glad you have access.


        How hard was it to Dx the dairy induced eosinophilic esophagitis!?

        Enjoy. Thanks for reading!


      3. Well, it’s fascinating! Over med school and residency, he developed a chronic cough. We didn’t know why. It got bad enough to need chronic inhaled steroid and albuterol! I always knew he was coming around the corner in the hospital (he’s an orthopod and I was working as a hospitalist) because I’d hear him coughing! Anyhow, we didn’t know why. But when I started this diet thing, the rest of the house followed along since I’m the cook and they’re all troopers with me. We noticed several months into it, my husband’s cough was gone! Then, when he ate dairy at a restaurant, it came back! Eliminate, reintroduce, eliminate, reintroduce—and back it came every time with butter, cheese, cream, etc! So he cut it out mostly, except for my occasional homemade yogurt and mild occasional excursions. He has also had pretty bad GERD since residency that he had come off of medicine for with our diet change.

        A year ago, we visited family at home and there’s this wonderful ice cream stand that we grew up with and love. I was loosening up on my food restrictions for everyone in the family, to let them see what they could “tolerate” in the real world. 🙂 Well, my husband decided ice cream every day qualified as loosening up. After our vacation was over, he came home from work right after we got back and said he couldn’t swallow. He’d also had a bad case of GERD a couple nights before. So he got his scope and biopsy and there was eosinophilic esophagitis, which is almost always a food “allergy.” Since we’d done a pretty careful food elimination diet in our house, we knew what he needed to stay off of. So he doesn’t eat mainstream dairy, but he does okay with the cheeses I said, and he just tried a little of my homemade yogurt (from cow’s milk) again and did okay.

        Well, that’s our long story. Hope it made sense. Typing in this little rectangle for WordPress comments makes it tricky to go back and read for clarity.

        Take care. Sorry for the long stories.

      4. Fascinating!

        Love the verbosity!

        Bc I’m sure I’ve had patients dxd with GERD, who likely have eosinophilic esophagitis.

        I was talking about you and your blog last night at a dinner party, and a guy at the table said, “Oh I have eosinophilic Esophagitis…what foods should I avoid!”

        You’re healing people, gal!


      5. 🙂 Just FYI, my hubby took Prilosec for years (as I said, until we started eating different four years ago). Then, as he weaned off because he had been symptom-free eating clean, he had pretty bad acid rebound from it. He transitioned off with OTC Tagament to help stop the rebound. He used that daily until he just kind of forgot one day and had no symptoms. He was nervous (his GERD was so bad for years that he didn’t eat after about 5:30 pm, no beer after 5:30 pm, etc.), but he tried just not taking it. Did fine for about two years or so. Until the ice cream saga. 🙂 He’s back to diet controlled again. He has found gluten doesn’t affect him, so he eats that if we go out. I think it’s helpful for people to know that all those foods don’t need out forever. Just as trials.

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