Noodle-less Lasagna

Noodle-less Lasagna

It’s Susan again and let me tell you, this recipe had some problems. Fortunately taste was not one of them. One problem is that this dish does use cheese – a lot of it.  So if you are eating dairy, give this one a try.  If not, wait till tomorrow’s recipe!  Another problem was that I lost the photos that I took!  So sorry, just imagine a beautiful lasagna in your head… Here goes:

What I liked:  The lasagna was good.  The taste was rich and satisfying.  I have not frozen any of this dish, but I am willing to bet it would be a great freezer recipe.  I think I would add more spaghetti sauce if I was going to freeze it, just to keep from drying out.

What I did not like:  The ingredient list on this recipe could have used some serious finagling.   I’m not sure about you, but where I live I cannot get 25 ounces of spaghetti sauce – my jars come in 24 ounce size.  I can’t get 1.25 pounds of ground turkey or beef without buying two pounds and splitting a package.  Also, the recipe called for 6 zucchini to be cut up for ‘noodles’ and there was no way that my lasagna pan could have held more than four zucchini’s worth.  Not a real problem, because left over zucchini is great, but still… I like to know exactly what I have to buy.

The recipe called for two cups of frozen broccoli, spinach and cauliflower to be added to the meat sauce and cooked until the veggies were tender.   This did not work for me.  I actually fished the frozen lump of spinach out of the sauce and microwaved it before adding it back.  I wish I had microwaved or steamed the broccoli and cauliflower beforehand also.  That way, I could have cut the veggies up into bite size pieces instead of having big chunks in the lasagna.  No one liked that.

Also, to be completely honest, I did use more mozzarella cheese than was called for to top off the lasagna.  I found it hard to get the whole thing covered with just ¾ cup of cheese.  Maybe you are better at that sort of thing than I am!

Here’s the recipe.  I found it at Dashingdish.com

http://www.dashingdish.com/2011/01/no-noodles-about-it-the-best-low-carb-lasagna/

Ingredients:

–         6 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/8 inch strips.  Should resemble thick lasagna type ‘noodles’ (Again – I only used four)

–         1.25 lbs of lean ground turkey meat (I had to use ground beef because my grocery store was suspiciously out of ground turkey.  Really.  I thought maybe there was a recall or something!)

–         1 large onion, diced

–         2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli (steam it first people and then cut into bite size pieces!)

–         2 cups fresh or frozen cauliflower (again, steam it and cut it!)

–         2 cups fresh or frozen spinach (steam again or you’ll regret it!)

–         1 (25 ounce) jar of spaghetti sauce (or if you shop where I do, just use the 24 ounce jar.)

–         1 tblsp garlic powder

–         Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

–         1 (16 ounce) container ricotta or cottage cheese ( I used ricotta)

–         ½ cup grated parmesan

–         ¾ cup shredded mozzarella

Preparation:

 

–         For the Noodle layer:  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray, arrange zucchini slices and season with salt and pepper.  Bake zucchini slices for 5 minutes on each side, then remove from the oven.  Set the zucchini slices aside and lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

–         For the Meat Sauce Layer:  In a large non-stick skillet, cook meat until it’s browned.  To the skillet, add the veggies, seasonings and the entire jar of spaghetti sauce.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

–         For the cheesy layer:  Mix the ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese together.

–         Put it all together: Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Begin by spreading 1/3 of meat mixture sauce in the bottom of the pan.  Follow the meat sauce with a layer of zucchini slices, followed by a layer of cheese.  Repeat until casserole dish is full.

–         Finish it off:  Sprinkle to mozzarella evenly over the top.  Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove foil and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until the cheese is browned.  Remove from oven and let rest about ten minutes before slicing and serving warm.

There you have it!  Would I make it again?  Yes!  In fact, since the recipe is a bit fiddly, what with having to bake the ‘noodles’ and all of that, I would actually double the recipe the next time and just freeze half of it.  On those days that nothing goes right, it is nice to know you can come home to a healthy meal from the freezer.  You can eat real food in less time, and for less money, than ordering pizza.  This recipe is perfect for that!

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