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As my husband and I are scaling way back on flour, I have found ways to still make some delicious, filling meals. This recipe is one of them. It's a lasagna recipe but exchanges zucchini in for the traditional pasta. I still used cheese, but if you are eating Paleo you can easily leave off the cheese. You could also shorten this recipe by using a pre-made sauce. However, I enjoy making my own sauce that adds in much flavor. It takes a little longer, but certainly worth it in my opinion. I hope you enjoy!
Start off by slicing two zucchini into long, thin strips. These will serve as your pasta. If you have one, use a mandolin slicer. No worries if you don't have one though. I was able to slice these by hand. You do want to make sure that you get them about the same thickness. That way they will cook evenly.
Pour just a bit of olive oil in a grill skillet and put your zucchini in it. Season with salt and pepper and cook on medium for several minutes. You want them to be fully cooked, showing grill lines. Flip them over half way through to make sure they cook on both sides. Once you remove them from the skillet. Pat dry using a paper towel in order to remove excess moisture. This keeps your lasagna from being unnecessarily moist. Cooking them beforehand also ensures better flavor and makes it easier to slice pieces of lasagna.
While the zucchini is cooking, prepare the sauce. If you are short on time, you can condense this skip by only using a jar of pasta sauce, not adding any extra elements to it. Although I use a jar of pasta sauce as a base, I add in several different ingredients to give it it's on flare.
Start by browning garlic, onions, and fresh herbs (I just grabbed a few small leaves of Basil and sprigs of Rosemary from my garden) together in a sauce pan with olive oil.
I like to wait until the garlic is just starting to darken in color, being sure not to burn it, then I add in the pasta sauce from a jar. I stir this all together, getting the ingredients well mixed. Then, while it cooks on low/medium heat, I chop up one very small leaf of kale and add it into the sauce. Next, I add about 1/2 pound of cooked hamburger meat and about two handfuls of mozzarella cheese. I stir all these things together, getting them to evenly distribute and the cheese to melt.
Now I take the zucchini and begin to lay it across the bottom of a large casserole dish. Don't worry if there is a little space in between each one. You are going to put another layer on top of it, giving you plenty of zucchini. After the zucchini is in, I pour a little more than half of the sauce on top. Now, if you didn't add cheese into your sauce already and you are going to use cheese, then I would recommend layering cheese over the sauce. However, if you did put cheese in the sauce, then it's not necessary to add in more cheese for this layer.
Do the same thing with your remaining ingredients: place the zucchini over the first layer and then add the remainder of your sauce. I topped it all off with a generous layer of cheese.
Then cover the casserole with foil and place into the pre-heated over (set at 375 degrees F) for about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. You can add Parmesan cheese for the last few minutes of cooking, if desired.
And the finished product was delicious. It tastes surprisingly close to lasagna pasta. You just have to try it to believe it!
- 2-3 Medium Lasagna, Sliced long, thin (preferably using a mandolin)
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Jar of Pasta Sauce
- 1/4 Onion, Chopped
- 1 small clove Garlic
- 1/2 pound Hamburger Meat, Cooked, drained
- Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
- 1 medium leaf Kale, Chopped
- A few leaves/sprigs of fresh Basil and Rosemary, Chopped
- Parmesan Cheese
- Begin with zucchini (sliced long and thin). Pour a splash of olive oil in a grill pan and grill zucchini, turning zucchini over half-way. Season with salt and pepper.
- While zucchini is cooking, in a sauce pan brown garlic and onions in a small amount of olive oil. Add in fresh herbs. Then add in sauce, then kale and hamburger meat. Stir until well mixed. Add in cheese, stirring again. (You can skip this step if you are only using a regular jar of sauce)
- Once zucchini is done, remove from skillet and pat dry. Layer half of them in a casserole dish. Layer in a little more than half of the sauce (since I add in cheese to my sauce, I do not add cheese here. If you are using a jar you may want to add a layer of cheese here). Next, layer the rest of your zucchini slices and the rest of your sauce. Top with a generous amount of cheese.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven, covered in foil, at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. You may add in Parmesan cheese, if desired, and cook with the foil removed for 15 minutes.