Lasagna 100% Noodle-Free

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I absolutely LOVE lasagna, at least I used to…I have tried to “cheat” and eat the traditional dish, but I pay for it dearly!  I had to figure out a way to capture the flavors of this much beloved dish.  There are many variations of this meal out there but I think this recipe has me pointed in the right direction, and I am thrilled!!  Unfortunately, this was not the MOST photogenic meal, but just had to share!

What you will need:

  • 3-4 zucchini (depending on size) skin on, sliced thin (I used a mandolin)
  • Salt
  • 2 Lbs Ground Beef(I used 85/15, 100% grass fed)
  • 2 tbsp ground pepper
  • 6 cloves of garlic crushed or chopped very fine
  • 2 roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1 onion, diced fine
  • 1.5 c. tomato paste
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/4 c red wine
  • 4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 15 oz of Ricotta cheese
  • 4-5 tbs fresh parsley
  • 16 oz of frozen (organic) Spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 1 lb fresh mushrooms, I like them chopped fine
  • 16 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 10 oz fresh grated parmesan cheese

Cook Temp 350 degrees

How it’s done:

  1. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper
  2. Slice zucchini (length wise) very thin with mandolin.  Sprinkle slices lightly with salt, set aside and let drain (this allows them to lose some of their water before cooking)
  3. Prepare meat sauce:  In a large pan cook beef and pepper for about 5 min.  Add in red pepper, garlic, and onion; cook and stir until meat is no longer pink.  Stir in tomato paste, sauce, wine, basil and oregano.  Bring to a boil, then reduce and let simmer for about 20 min.
  4. Preheat Oven now
  5. In a med bowl, mix together Ricotta, egg and parsley…combine well, and set aside.
  6. Slice mushrooms
  7. To assemble Lasagna:  Spread 1/2 of meat sauce on the bottom of baking pan.  Then layer 1/2 of the zucchini slices, 1/2 the ricotta mixture, ALL of the spinach and ALL of the mushrooms; Then 1/2 the mozzarella.  Repeat by layering the meat sauce, zucchini, ricotta, and mozzarella.  Spread parmesan evenly over the top and cover with more parchment paper.
  8. Bake for 45min to an hour (depending on thickness), then remove parchment paper cover and bake for an additional 15 min.  (I ended up turning on my broiler near the end of the 20 min to get desired color on cheese)
  9. Let stand for at least 5 min before serving

Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

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This is the dish that used to make me miss potatoes like CRAZY…until I found that this works so well!  It is a Fantastic cold weather dish, although I am pretty sure I made it 3 times this summer!  We love it!  Legumes and all!! (gotta cheat sometimes, right?)

What you will need:

  • 8 oz Grass fed Butter (I use Kerrygold)  
  • 2 lbs Grass fed Ground Beef or Bison
  • 2 c. Fresh Peas (yes, these are legumes…we make an exception on this dish)
  • 3  Heads of cauliflower
  • 1 yellow or white onion
  • Yellow Cheddar cheese (grass fed)
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • Salt

 

How it’s Done:

Preheat 350 degrees

  • Make Cauliflower Mash: rinse and cut cauliflower, steam until VERY tender.  If you are short on time you can mash these by hand.  I will add salt to taste and about 4-5 oz of butter to them as I mash.  IF you have time to let them cool a bit I will “mash” them in my Blendtec…just creates a smoother texture.  Both ways taste GREAT!
  • In a large frying pan add oil, chopped onion, & ground beef.  Only cook Ground beef about 75% of way…you should still see a bit of pink. Drain meat of grease, set aside.
  •  I usually just wipe down the same pan … add the remaining butter and peas.  I sauté them for about 5-7 minutes.  You basically just want to get them a little soft.  Drain off excess butter.
  • In a 3 qt Corningware dish I layer:  The ground beef & onion, the peas, then cauliflower mash. 
  • Bake for 30-35 min.  The edges with slightly brown and pull from the sides of the dish.  I shred the cheddar cheese and sprinkle on top generously and bake for an additional 5-10 min   … until I like the way it looks 🙂
  • Let in sit for at least 5 minutes, contents will be VERY hot!