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

Fried Mozzarella

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You know, sometimes, there comes a day when you just want to fry some cheese.  When those days come along, I say go for it!

What you will need:

  • Olive Oil or Coconut oil
  • 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella (dried with a paper towel) and cut into bite size pieces
  • Salt
  • 3 eggs
  • Coconut Flour or All purpose Flour
  • Gluten Free Breadcrumbs or Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Optional additions: Homemade Marinara, fresh basil, fried bell peppers.

How it’s done:

  1. Dredge the mozzarella in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs (I like them really crunchy, so I do this step twice) Set them aside.
  2. Heat oil on medium in a pan.  Once oil is hot add the mozzarella and lightly brown all sides.  Takes about 2 min. 
  3. Serve immediately

Cauliflower Crust Pizzettes

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With parties and family gatherings on the horizon this is a great alternative (no grain) “finger food” or appetizer!! 

I’ve made the “cauliflower crust” in the past and I promise that THIS one works…the trick is making sure that the Cauliflower Rice is REALLY, REALLY dry.

What you will need:

Crust:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (cut into small floretts, you should have about 3 cups once processed)
  • 1/2 c of Mozzarella cheese shredded (I used fresh, it was tricky to “shred” but worth the trouble)
  • 1 egg  (I only use Pastured Eggs)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Olive oil

Topping:

  • More shredded Mozzarella
  • Tomato slices (I used what I had, grape tomatoes, sliced thin)
  • Fresh basil

How it’s done:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F, line cookie sheet with parchment paper, and grease with Olive Oil
  2. Take the raw cauliflower and process it in your blender or food processor (until riced)
  3. Heat large sauce pan (to cook processed cauliflower) of water to boiling, add Cauliflower…let cook for 5-8 min…until tender.
  4. Place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze out as much moisture as you can (I squeezed out more than 1 cup of liquid). This is very important. The cauliflower rice needs to be dry. Otherwise you’ll end up with a mushy dough, not a crusty one.
  5. Transfer Cauliflower to a large mixing bowl and let it cool slightly (you don’t want to cook your egg just yet) 
  6. Add egg, mozzarella, oregano, sea salt and pepper. Mix well.
  7. Scoop one tablespoon of cauliflower mixture and drop onto the baking sheet. Pat into a thin round circle about 2-inches wide. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  8. Cook for about 20 min, or until slightly golden.
  9. Remove from oven and top each pizzette with shredded cheese, tomato slices.

10. Broil until the cheese melts and the tomatos are slightly roasted (3-5 min)

11. Remove from oven, let them cool (5 min), top with fresh basil…and Serve!

Recipe inspiration from : www.theironyou.com

Roasted Margarita Spaghetti Squash

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Such a pretty looking dinner. 

This may qualify as one of my new comfort food dishes… Fresh flavors and super filling…and SO easy!

What you will need:

1 large spaghetti squash
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 Roma tomatoes
1/2 c. Finley chopped fresh basil
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. each salt & pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder

How it’s Done:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Using a large knife or a cleaver, slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise down the middle. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and center strings.
Drizzle the two halves with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place the squash, open side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven, check to see if the squash is soft and easily comes up with a fork into a spaghetti like texture. (If it’s too hard to remove, cook for another 10 minutes.)
Remove from the oven, scrape and fluff the stringy squash with a fork. Leave the squash in the skin.
Turn the oven up to broil. Add the tomatoes and fresh basil into the squash, stir and top with the mozzarella cheese.
Place in the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving the squash.

Recipe inspiration: http://acurvygirlsjourney.com