I really believed lasagna was going to be a thing of the past for us. I almost bought a frozen organic lasagna just to have something easy on hand. I was going to do it even though it was not gluten free, but after checking the ridiculously high price ($5.99 for one serving!), I realized that I can make my own. And so began my quest.
Disclaimer: I am not a particularly great cook. I’m just now learning to be more relaxed about it all and I’m having a ball trying new things. I share with you exactly what I do and what I know or discover.
It came out SO GOOD!!!! I’m trying to get veggies into Em in new and exciting ways, so that was the priority. I used ground beef too, but could have easily just made it veggie.
A note about beef: I really believe it’s important to eat good quality meat. Organic, no hormones or antibiotics, grass fed for beef and air-chilled for chicken. Oh and line caught for tuna. Trader Joe’s has a really good organic, grass fed ground beef. I would rather we eat less meat at this higher quality (and higher price.)
I just learned that Costco also has Organic Ground beef, which is great. But if it doesn’t say Grass Fed, it could be cows fed wheat. Even if it’s organic wheat, it could affect someone with Celiac. Just F.Y.I.
So.. here is the recipe as I made it. It had a lot to do with what I had in the fridge and getting as many veggies in as I could.
1 pound organic ground beef
2 cans Whole Peeled Tomatoes – 28 oz each
1 can organic tomato paste
1 can organic tomato sauce
1 yellow onion
1 large zucchini
1 yellow squash
8 oz mushrooms (one package)
Red Chard 4 leaves with center vein/stem removed and chopped
15 oz Ricotta cheese
8 oz Fat Free Ricotta
Smoked Mozzarella 12 oz. (one package and a half- I get it from Trader Joe’s, you can use any cheese really.)
Salt and Pepper
Gluten Free Brown Rice lasagna noodles
1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
2. Brown beef in large saute pan, drain whatever extra fat you can.
3. Add chopped onion and mushrooms and saute until softened.
4. Add two cans whole tomatoes (break them up as much as you like. I like to squash them pretty good.) and one can tomato paste. Then add zucchini, yellow squash, and red chard. Let it simmer until all veggies are cooked. They can be al dente or mushy as you wish.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. In a separate bowl mix 15 oz of Ricotta cheese with 8 oz of Fat Free Ricotta and two eggs.
7. In baking pan spread the tomato sauce to cover the bottom in thin layer. Then lay lasagna noodles (uncooked) side by side to cover entire area. I tried these two kinds to test them out, but only have the best ones (IMO) in this recipe. The package says to cook them first, but I didn’t and they were great.
8. Next scoop layer of sauce, meat and veggie mixture to cover.
9. Then layer of Ricotta. I just glopped it on and sort of pressed it to cover.
10. Another layer of noodles, sauce, meat and veggie mixture and ricotta. I added thinly sliced Mozzarella on this layer. By now it was very saucy and when I lay the last layer of noodles I just pressed them down to allow the sauce to cover them. Make sure to get them covered so that they cook well.
11. Slice the rest of the Smoked Mozzarella and lay it over the top.
12. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.
Calories? I have no idea. I try to have a reasonable portion and leave it at that these days. My priority here is to feed my family whole, healthy foods and this is packed with them. I would add more veggies next time though. (And when I’m really in “diet” mode, I’d take mine out before adding it to the lasagna. The mixture in the saute pan was fab on its own and low fat, low carb and nutrition packed.)
This was my first cookbook as a kid, Buffy’s Cookbook (For those of you who remember Family Affair in the 70′s… Orphans Buffy, Jody and Cissy, their Uncle Bill and Mr. French) Good Times. I loved this book and actually baked from it, as much as a 7 year old can. So that’s my training.
Full disclosure…. check.