Grain-free (and unintentionally vegetarian) Lasagna
Update: Please see my updated Grain-Free Lasagna recipe here!
What was once therapeutic and relaxing for me, has now become chaotic and stressful! My son is crawling everywhere, gets bored of an activity after 5 minutes, and loves to climb the stairs. Needless to say, cooking is not as easy as it used to be. This recipe will take you about 30-40 minutes (plus baking time), but today, it took me over 2 hours! Lasagna is a process in itself, with all the layers, but try doing it while you’re chasing a little one around. Here’s what my process looked like:
Step 1 – make the sauce… then get the baby in the highchair and give him finger food to distract him
Step 2- batter the zucchini… then puree baby’s food
Step 3 – Feed baby… that’s all, because you can’t do two things at once
Step 4 – Fry the zucchini… then clean up baby and put him down on the floor with anything that will distract him (tupperware in my case)
Step 5 – Mix up the DCCC mixture…. Shoot! Baby made his way to the stairs and has one hand up ready to ascend
Step 6- Start layering… after layer one, run out to living room to take away the drool covered dog toy that baby is just about to put in his mouth
Step 7 – Do second layer of lasagna, go to pick up crying baby who tried to walk and lost his balance
Step 8 – Third layer… baby is tired of playing alone… put him in jumpy
Step 9 – Fourth layer… 5 minutes later, baby sick of jumpy
Step 10 – Fifth layer… keep baby from standing up on the oven which is now preheated and hot to the touch
Step 11 – Finish layering… finally daddy is home to play with baby so I can finish! Only, it was such a hectic experience, I completely left out the meat!
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill zucchini lasagna. The zucchini is “breaded” and fried briefly before baking to give it more substance and taste a little more like noodles. I use dry curd cottage cheese with a little yogurt, eggs, and seasoning to mimic ricotta cheese. If you’d like, you can add ground turkey or beef to the sauce before layering.
For the Zucchini
5 large zucchini
2 cups almond or coconut flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups oil, for frying (grapeseed or safflower work well)
For the Layers
Directions (the real ones)
Follow instructions to make marinara sauce. Let simmer for 40 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare zucchini. Remove both ends of the zucchini, and using a mandoline or a steady hand, slice them into 1/4 inch slices.
Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Place almond flour in a shallow bowl. Beat the 6 eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Dip each piece of zucchini in the flour, then in the egg mixture. Working in batches, fry the zucchini on both sides until golden brown. Place slices on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.
Mix the DCCC, yogurt, 2 eggs, salt, pepper, parsley and Parmesan cheese.
Spoon 1/2 cup of the marina sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish. Begin layering the zucchini, slightly overlapping each piece.
Spread another 1/2 cup of the marina sauce on top of the zucchini. Then, with a rubber spatula, spread 1/2 of the cottage cheese mixture over the entire pan. Top that layer with 3/4 cup of the provolone. Continue layering with zucchini, sauce, cottage cheese mixture, and provolone. End with a the layer of provolone cheese one top. The amount of layers will depend on the size dish you use.
Cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove foil, and bake for another 15 minutes to brown the top. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes.