Sunday, May 1, 2011

Zucchini Lasagna


 Yes, this is a noodle free lasagna so if it makes you feel better you may call it a casserole.   But if you get the zucchini cooked just right, you almost can't tell there are no noodles and you certainly don't miss them.  This is a really tasty dish.  It went over well in our household even with the hubby who is very picky about low carb options.  And though the tomatoes may push the boundary, it is at least grain free and much less insulin spiking than traditional lasagna.  I also found that the leftovers turn into great spaghetti sauce which went to school in the lunch bag.  By request even!  The trick with the zucchini is to get it almost tender before baking so that the end result will be similar to al dente noodles.  Tender, but not mushy.  Depending on the brand of cottage cheese, the flavor may have some tang to it.  I get two different brands and one is mild and the other quite tangy.  If you don't care for that, try whole milk ricotta instead.  If gluten is an issue, make sure to check the labels on the cheeses as some cottage cheeses may have gluten.  Preshredded cheese has a starch coating but I don't know about gluten.  Hand shredded melts better anyway.  ☺  If you're hankerin' for an italian dish that isn't carb heavy, give this a try!

Zucchini Lasagna
Serves 6

3 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise in about ¼" strips
salted water
½ lb italian sausage
½ lb ground beef (grassfed if at all possible)
½ small onion, chopped
1 can (14.5oz.) diced tomatoes or sauce (my diced tomatoes were very saucy and it turned out well)
1 jar (7 oz.) tomato paste (if you can't find a jar, the 6 oz. can will do)
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
additional ½ tsp italian seasoning to taste (it will depend on the spiciness of your sausage)
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt or to taste
1 egg
¼ tsp white pepper
¾ cup cottage cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
fresh basil for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Break up the meat and brown together with the onion in a large saute pan or skillet.  Meanwhile, cook the zucchini strips in simmering salted water for a couple minutes until starting to get tender.  (Salt the water well or to taste but don't omit - you don't want bland zucchini.)  Drain and set aside.  Add tomatoes or sauce, paste, garlic, spices and black pepper.  Simmer, taste and season to taste with salt and additional italian seasoning if needed.  Simmer until slightly thickened and bubbling.  In a small bowl, combine egg, white pepper, cottage cheese and ½ cup of shredded mozzarella.  In a greased 8x8" baking pan, layer half the meat mixture and top with zucchini slices, cutting to fit if needed.  Add all the cottage cheese mixture and top with the rest of the meat mixture and remaining zucchini.  Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.  Remove and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella.  Bake for 10-15 more minutes until bubbly and starting to brown.  Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish slices with fresh basil.

Enjoy!

Adapted from Marg

This post will go up for Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist

3 comments:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

That is a perfectly marvelous idea! Looks delicious too.

Katie @ Wellness Mama said...

I just made a similar one last night and was surprised how great it was. I didn't add the sausage though... definitely going to try that next time!

The Wright Group said...

Cannot WAIT to try this!!! I just planted my seeds in the garden yesterday and thought twice about planting more than 2 zucchini plants because I just had so many last year I felt like I couldn't keep up with them. Heading out to plant a few more plants right now - this looks delish!

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