If anyone knows me, they know that when I’m in the kitchen, sometimes I just make stuff up. Take tonight for example. I am currently following the 21 Day Sugar Detox* (21DSD) from Diane Sanfilippo. She has a recipe in the 21DSD cookbook* for a veggie lasagne. I would say that was my inspiration for this paleo lasagna but I took it a few steps further. For one, I added a macadamia nut ricotta as well as meat to the tomato sauce. I also topped it with almond meal. Let’s just say I was pretty much in heaven with my meal. I really can’t believe this is how I’m eating. I do not (and I’m being very honest) miss the pasta.
*Note: these are affiliate links. Clicking on them will take you to amazon.com. If you purchase that item, I will receive a small percentage from amazon. This does not affect your price or cost. Thanks.
The 21 DSD (that’s a regular, old link) basically eliminates all carbs including gluten, dairy, and sugar. This recipe uses none of these. It’s what I call “paleo plus” or super strict. This recipe also happens to be naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. Not nut-free though as the “ricotta” is made from macadamia nuts.
Now if you don’t eat meat, omit it. Don’t like mushrooms? Use more eggplant or zucchini. Can’t have nuts? Skip it.
Let’s just cut to the chase and discuss how I made it. Here are the layers from the bottom up:
- Bolognese sauce on the bottom
- Roasted eggplant
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Macadamia ricotta with a little tomato sauce
- Roasted zucchini strips
- Bolognese sauce
- Almond meal topped with olive oil
Here’s how I did it. I used a 10″ oblong baking dish. This would probably work in an 8″ x 8″ pan as well. This dish probably serves about 3-4 people.
There are a million recipes for sauce. I tend to make a simple version that’s quick, easy and delicious.
1 lb ground meat, like beef, pork, chicken thigh or lamb (or a combination)
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings (or use a combo of oregano, thyme, and parsley)
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
28-ounce can crushed Italian tomatoes (alternately, substitute with a pre-made tomato sauce without sugar)
8-12 ounces water
1. In a large saute pan heated to medium, brown ground meat with spices, salt, and pepper. Add garlic and stir. Cook for 1 minute.
2. Add tomatoes and water. If you are using a pre-made sauce, use it instead of the tomatoes and water. Simmer 10-15 minutes.
Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini
1 medium eggplant, peeled
2 small or 1 medium zucchini
1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Slice eggplant into 1/2″ pieces (circles, not the long way). Place on a paper towel with salt under and on top. Place another paper towel on top.
3. Slice zucchini into long, thin slices. Place on top of the eggplant with salt. Top with another paper towel. Place the baking tray on top of it to help absorb the moisture from the eggplant and zucchini.
4. After about 10 minutes, place the eggplant and zucchini on the baking tray, removing the paper towels. Blot excess moisture. Drizzle with a few teaspoons of olive oil. Bake 10-15 minutes or until both are softened but not overcooked. Remove from oven and leave on the tray to cool slightly as you prepare the rest of the dish.
2 teaspoon olive oil
8-10 ounces mushrooms, clean and sliced
1. Heave saute pan to medium. Add olive oil, wait about 3 seconds then add mushrooms.
2. Cook until mushrooms are brown and softened. The less you move them in the pan, the better.
Macadamia Nut Ricotta
I used this recipe.
For this recipe, use a few tablespoons of almond meal and drizzle a teaspoon or so of olive oil on top.
Assembly: Once you are ready to make the lasagna, preheat the oven to 350F. Place enough sauce on the bottom to cover. Add the eggplant, then the mushrooms. Top with the “ricotta” and a tablespoon of sauce. Spread evenly. Top with zucchini then more sauce to cover. Top with almond meal and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil. Bake 20-30 minutes or until bubbling. If you’d like, broil for a few minutes to make the top brown. Let rest 10 minutes then serve.