Monday, January 30, 2012

Primal Zucchini "Noodle" Lasagna

Recipe number 4 of the day!  The chocolate chip cookies and lasagna were both made last night when we had friends over who requested the recipes.  So I figured if I was going to write them out and send them, might as well post on here where everyone else can see them too :-) .  Thanks to Wellness Mama for the original recipe that served as the inspiration for mine.  I am a subscriber to her weekly meal plans and have fun trying out several new dishes (at least) each week!

Primal Zucchini "Noodle" Lasagna

4-5 medium zucchini
1 pound ground meat or sausage (chicken Italian sausage or ground beef are both good!)
1 jar organic pasta sauce
1 jar diced italian tomatoes
2 cups almond pulp "ricotta" (recipe below)*
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (opt)
4 eggs, beaten
Italian Seasoning
Garlic Powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Slice zucchini lengthwise using a mandolin to 3/8" thick.  Lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil.  Place zucchini slices on baking sheet leaving a space between each slice.  You will have to do 2-3 batches.  Spray or brush olive oil on zucchini slices and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and italian seasoning.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until brown on bottom and starting to cook through.  Repeat until all zucchini is cooked.  Reduce oven temp to 350.  Meanwhile, brown meat of choice in large skillet.  If not pre-seasoned sausage, add seasonings of choice (try 1/2 tsp each of garlic, onion, basil, oregano, salt, pepper).  Then add diced tomatoes to pan.  Cook for several minutes until liquid begins to evaporate.  Add jar of pasta sauce.  Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes.  Mix almond pulp "ricotta" with eggs, 1/2 cup parmesan (is using dairy) and 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp basil and pinch of nutmeg.

Assemble lasagna in layers in large (9x13) baking dish.  Start with a thin layer of meat sauce on bottom.  Top with layer of zucchini slices then layer of "cheese".  Repeat until all ingredients are used.  Top with additional 1/2 cup parmesan cheese if desired.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.  Enjoy!

* Almond pulp is leftover from making almond milk.  For the amount in this recipe, I soak 2 1/2 cups raw almonds in water for about 3-4 hours, draining and rinsing several times until water runs clear.  "Pop" almonds from skin (should remove easily after soaking, but if not can pour boiling water over for 1-2 minutes to help loosen them), then place in high powered blender (Vitamix, etc) with 6 cups water.  Process for 1-2 minutes until you can't hear almond chunks anymore.  Pour into a nut milk bag, several layers of cheesecloth, or fine fabric kitchen towel and squeeze out all liquid.  To almond milk you can add vanilla and sweetener if desired and will keep in fridge up to a week.  The leftover pulp is what you use for the ricotta.  Add the juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 - 1 tsp salt, and 2 Tbsp olive oil.  Stir and add a bit of water if needed to desired consistency.

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