August 28, 2011

Eggplant Lasagna

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We can't eat grains or dairy in this house due to allergies. I know - you're feeling bad for us aren't you? Not to worry! It was a hard transition in the beginning,  but now it's no big deal. I have actually really enjoyed learning to cook with new foods and find substitutions for grains and dairy, which are normally pretty big staples in most recipes.

I've never shared a recipe on this blog. This blog is more for fun stuff like making slipcovers, repurposing old furniture and great vintage finds. But this meal was so good that I couldn't not share it! And before you go thinking this couldn't possibly be tasty, I promise you won't even miss the noodles and cheese. Everyone that has tried it has LOVED it! And if you have anyone in your family who has a gluten or dairy allergy this is perfect for them!

Ok, so here is is:

2 large eggplant
1 onion, diced
4 oz mushrooms, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 lb ground beef (or turkey or sausage or whatever you like)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp italian seasoning
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
3 cups of fresh baby spinach

Preheat oven to 500 degrees and line 2 or 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Peel and slice eggplant.

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I tried to slice it pretty thin. The idea is that it's subbing for the noodles. You could use a mandolin, but I'm always worried I will lose a finger so I just used my knife. (I rarely find eggplant this large in the store. If yours are smaller, you may need 3 or 4).

Arrange eggplant on lined cookie sheets and drizzle with EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and salt & pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

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Meanwhile, add EVOO to a large pot and heat on medium. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes.

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Then add zuchinni and mushrooms. Continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add beef, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add garlic, italian seasoning and salt & pepper. When beef is no longer pink, add crushed tomatoes. Simmer on low for 20 minutes to thicken.

When sauce is ready, add a thin layer to the bottom of your pan.

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(I love my Le Crueset lasagna pan, but a 9x13 glass dish would work too. Or if you are making for 1 you could half the recipe and use an 8x8 glass dish).

Next layer eggplant, another thin layer of sauce, then spinach, more eggplant, the remaining sauce and more eggplant for the top layer.

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Cover with foil and cook on 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until bubbly.

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I hope you try it and I hope you love it as much as my family does!

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