Friday, October 24, 2014

Zucchini Lasagna (Low Carb)


One of my favorite dishes in the world is a meaty and cheesy lasagna.  But ever since I gave up eating pasta I have had to come up with alternate versions of this beloved dish.  I decided to use zucchini slices in place of the pasta and it worked out perfectly.  
I also made Lasagna Stuffed Peppers to satisfy my lasagna craving a few months ago and that got me thinking about what other vegetables I could use to replace the pasta in this dish.  I knew that zucchini has been making a big splash in the low carb world as a replacement for spaghetti noodles, so why not try them out for a lasagna. 

The key is to give the zucchini some color, but not cook them all they way through when you grill them.  You want the integrity of the zucchini to still be there so it can be used like a noodle and create your layers.  If you over cook the zucchini you will have a mushy lasagna and that's not good in my book. 

I love coming up with low carb ways to enjoy my favorite dishes.  I have a load more to try to recreate, but it's a delicious job as I conquer one dish at a time.

Zucchini Lasagna

by Curry and Comfort
Prep Time: 45
Cook Time: 30
Serves:  (6-8)
Meat Sauce:
  • 1lb of your favorite lean ground meat (I used beef)
  • large jar of tomato pasta sauce (45oz)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic minced or grated
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-2 tsp of brown sugar (to taste)
  • 1 onion diced
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Ricotta filling:
  • 16oz of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • black pepper
  • 4-5 large zucchini sliced 1/8th inch thick (tops cut off)
  • salt and black pepper
  • oil or cooking spray
  • 8oz of shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Make the meat sauce by browning the lean meat well. Then add onions and garlic and salt and cook for 1 minutes. Add jar sauce and all remaining ingredients for sauce and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and finish sauce.
2. Next mix ricotta filling ingredients together and set aside.
3. Cut ends off zucchini and slice to 1/8th slices lengthwise. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Cook in a frying pan or griddle to slightly brown both sides, but not completely cook the zucchini through (zucchini should not be falling apart and slices must remain intact).
4. To assemble zucchini: place a little meat sauce on the bottom of an oven safe casserole dish. Then layer some zucchini slices (as you would lasagna pasta). Place half of the ricotta mixture then some grated cheese. Repeat layers (sauce, zucchini and ricotta). Finally end with meat sauce then some zucchini slices and remaining cheese.
5. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Allow to sit for 20 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy.
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