Monday, February 15, 2016

Low Carb Lasagna

On Valentine's Day, my love woke up and immediately said that he wanted something "meaty, cheesy, and 'casseroly'" for dinner.  We have been eating quite low carb for a while so some of the more tradional options really didn't fit. This Zuchini based lasagna was fun to make, and tasted rich & delicious! 
I'm going to start posting some of the fun low carb recipes that we've come up with because many of you have shared that the struggle for keeping it interesting is quite real. I'd love it if you share your ideas with me as well! We have had a great time meeting the challenge of finding new and fun things to cook that are low carb AND tasty!

Zuchini Lasagna

2 Large Zuchini 
1 container sliced mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1.5 lb ground beef
Shredded Mozzerella
Shredded Italian Cheese blend
1 jar Marinara sauce (we used Mario Batali "Tomato Basil")
Olive Oil

Slice Zuchini thin and lay on paper towels. 
Sprinkle with salt and let set at room temp to "sweat"
In a large pan, sauté chopped onion in olive oil until translucent, when it's done, set aside in bowl to cool.  
In same pan, sauté mushrooms in olive oil. When done, add to onion bowl to cool. 
In the same pan, brown ground beef (you can mix this with Italian sausage if you wish) breaking it up as it cooks. 
When meat is done, add jar of sauce and cook over medium low heat until bubbly. 
In a 13x9 pan, drizzle some EVOO in the bottom and add about 1/4 cup of sauce. Spread around the bottom of the pan. 

Lay the Zuchini "noodles" in the bottom of the pan, slightly overlapping the edges. 

Sprinkle 1/2 the mushroom/onion mix over the first layer. 
Spread 1/2 of the meat mix over that. 

Sprinkle liberally with cheeses. 

Layer Zuchini noodles over cheese layer just like the first layer
Sprinkle with mushroom/onion mix
Top with remaining meat sauce mix. 
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes covered (375 degrees)
Bake uncovered for 10 mins until bubbly. 
Just before serving top with generous amount of cheese and bake until cheese melted. 
Putting the cheese on last minute keeps your cheese from getting tough and rubbery.  

Allow to set for about 10 minutes makes it easier to cut.  

Notes on "sweating" the Zuchini - The reason for "sweating" the Zuchini, is to draw the water out of it which makes for a denser "pasta" like texture.  We only let the Zuchini set for about 10 minutes and should have let it sweat for about 30 minutes. By not allowing it to sweat more completely, it made for a bit of a wet consistency to the final dish. 

Want to go "over the top" with your lasagna? You can add in a layer of fresh spinach, Parmesan cheese, shredded carrot, roasted garlic, or even ricotta cheese.
I haven't completed the actual carb count, but know that the biggest concern in this one is the marinara sauce. We used Mario Batali's "Tomato Basil" which was the lowest carb count on the normal grocery. Kudos to Chef Batali for a beautiful sauce that tasted fresh & bright without all of the added sugar & preservatives that tend to corrupt many of the prepared sauces. 
I didn't include a measurement for the amount of cheese that we used, mainly because the best quantification that I have is that it was an "offensive" amount (Haha!) but it made for a lovely Valentines dinner.
Enjoy this amazing lasagna and know that it is also a great one to eat now & freeze in individual servings for later.  The leftovers are delicious after having a little time to "marinate" letting the gorgeous Italian flavors meld.