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steps 1-4 zucchini lasagna

Food for Comfort: No Pasta Zucchini Lasagna

First, let me start this post with a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all of you for your kind words, thoughts, prayers, vibes, etc.  I got to spend a few hours with my parents yesterday, which was lovely, but while I was at home with Luther I kept seeing comments and messages pouring in from friends, both old and new.

On Monday evening my grandmother passed away.  I have lived away from all of my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins for the last 19 years, however, having spent my childhood with them, and having such a closely knit family as we do, major life changes are always emotional, even at a great distance.  I have always absolutely adored all of my grandparents.  I have nothing but the best of memories of each of them, and in a way I know I am lucky that when something terrible like this happens, I’m far away because I never have to see them ill or weak.  I get to keep those happy memories intact.  Distance also makes you feel helpless, and a little hopeless too.  Distance gives you no closure, until you visit and notice the emptiness in a home that used to be much fuller.

Despite the deep sadness that comes with losing someone you love so much, I am so thankful that our family comes together, that we keep one another strong, and that we can lean on one another for comfort.  I’m also thankful that this weekend is Thanksgiving weekend (here in Canada, anyway) and that we will eat turkey, stuffing, crazy amounts of goodies and dessert, and celebrate all that we have to be grateful for.

With that in mind, I am writing today’s post on comfort food (which was not originally planned for today, btw!).

I am a HUGE lover of pasta.  HUUUUUUGE!  My husband, however?  Not so much. I know.  It pains me.  In an effort to still be able to eat some of the things I love, I get creative with replacing the actual pasta with other things so that the meal is slightly healthier and husband-friendly!  I have made eggplant lasagna, also and it is fantastic but today I give you…

Zucchini Lasagna!!

Here we go!

Zucchini Lasagna - ingredientsFirst thing’s first: cut up your zucchini.  I did this by hand, but if you own a handy dandy slicer, do use it!  You need to slice it fairly thinly, lengthwise.  I used 3 zucchini, and this is the second time I have made this now.  Both times I used 3.

Now it’s time to prepare your sauce.  If you like a meaty lasagna, like me, brown your extra lean ground beef with a little bit of onion, garlic and salt to taste.  If you’re making your own sauce, go ahead and do that… this time around I used a nice jar of Classico’s Four Cheese sauce.  YUM.  Mix it all together.  Mine looks SUPER watery, and it was.  I had to let it simmer a long time.  There is meat in there, I swear.

Get your two other ingredients: Mozzarella cheese (I used the Italiano mix by Kraft) and ricotta.

Then this happens:

steps 1-4 zucchini lasagnaJust like I’m showing you up there, it’s exactly like “real” lasagna, but without the noodles.  Duh!

So it goes: Zucchini, meat sauce, ricotta, mozzarella.  Zucchini, meat sauce, ricotta, mozzarella.  Zucchini, meat sauce, mozzarella.

That’s right, just two layers of ricotta.  Unless you like it on the top layer too.  These three layers will fill your dish, believe me!

Zucchini LasagnaThrow this bad boy in the oven for about 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees.

Zucchini Lasagna platedIf you are super impatient and starving like me, go ahead and cut it up right away.

If you are a blogger and want to take pictures of your delicious meal to show your readers how awesome you are, wait until it has cooled and THEN cut your lasagna so it doesn’t fall apart and look like a HOT MESS.  Guess which one I did?

Mine is not only a hot melted mess, it also looks like it could glow in the dark!  It was a mixture of my hastiness and the TERRIBLE lighting.  Another thing to remember if you’re a blogger: take your photos in better lighting.  You can see the sun was not out to play anymore when I took this.

Zucchini Lasagna before and afterThis literally happened in about 7 minutes.

You guys, this dish is SOOOO GOOOOD!!!

So if you want a little comfort food and maybe you can’t eat gluten, this is for you!

If you want a little comfort food and your husband doesn’t eat pasta, this is for me.

Here is a neat little recipe card so you don’t have to read my ramblings next time you want pasta-less lasagna!

Zucchini Lasagna
Serves 6
A no pasta lasagna that is still super delicious! Oh, it's gluten free, too!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 zucchinis
  2. 2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
  3. 1 tbsp of olive oil
  4. 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  5. 1/4 of an onion (diced)
  6. salt (to taste)
  7. tomato sauce of choice
  8. 900 grams of ricotta cheese
  9. 300 grams of mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
For the meat sauce
  1. Heat up olive oil, put in garlic and onion and saute lightly. Add extra lean ground beef and brown until fully cooked. Add a dash of salt to taste. Once meat is cooked, add tomato sauce and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes (longer if your sauce is too watery).
  2. While your sauce simmers, slice zucchini lengthwise as thinly as possible.
Putting together the lasagna
  1. Add one layer of sliced zucchini, overlapping slightly or very close together. Add meat sauce, ricotta cheese and mozzarella in layers.
  2. Repeat first step.
  3. For the third step, add just zucchini, small amount of meat sauce and lots of mozzarella.
  4. Put in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
Notes
  1. Optional: go vegetarian - just make sure you double the amount of tomato sauce you use.
  2. You can also try this with other types of meat to change up the flavour and nutritional value. Ground turkey or chicken can be leaner and healthier, and you can go for a lower fat cheese, also.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
The Learner Observer http://thelearnerobserver.com/
And there you have it.

If you try this, do let me know how it goes.  If you have anything that could make this better, definitely share that with me!!!

Love you guys!

 




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14 Comments

  • Reply nanajoy21

    Hi Thalita,
    My deepest sympathies on the passing of your grandmother. I hope the comfort of sweet and precious memories will be yours in the days ahead. I trust being with family and friends (and your darlin’ Luther) will also soften the ache. Well, my Bloggy Friend, you came back with a ROAR!!! Ohhhhh myyyyyyy, this looks yummy for the tummy!! I will need to do some converting. Ya know– the whole gram to ounces thing. But I’m confident that small task will be well worth the Yum Factor. Bravo, my dear, bravo! Can’t wait to try!! Btw, my two fur-friend, Noelle and Daisy, send a big paw-five to Luther. :)

    October 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks so much for your kindness. Family, friends, Luther… all wonderful sources of comfort as are warm comments like yours :)

      Oh darn! I didn’t even think of conversions! I’ve never attempted a proper recipe post like this one, so I’ll have to keep that in mind for next time!

      Luther is paw-fiving right back atcha ladies!

      October 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm
  • Reply April - Money Pit Love

    I’m so, so sorry about your grandmother, Thalita. I was very close to mine – she basically raised me – and losing her was the hardest thing I’d ever experienced. I’m sending you even more big, tight hugs for your loss.

    As for the lasagna, who cares about the meltiness or bad lighting?? It looks DELICIOUS! I’m always on the hunt for carb-free meals (for my better half as well, who watches his girlish figure during the week and refuses to eat noodles.) This is a great solution; definitely going to try it!

    October 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      I’ve lived apart from my grandparents for almost 20 years, and I swear, it never gets easier. All 4 of them were like the most important, influential people in my life and this is now grandparent #3 gone at a distance. It gets no easier. I do feel really lucky that we were all really close though, and it sounds like you had the kind of experience with a grandparent that very few people get to have. Still loving those hugs

      HAHA My husband warned me about the melting mess, and I said I didn’t care. It’s honestly a great dish, though especially for carb-free lovin’ people (which typically is NOT ME!).

      October 12, 2013 at 11:54 am
  • Reply Gillian

    {{{{{{{{{{ HUGS, THALI }}}}}}}}}} Losing a loved one can be so hard and it sounds like you have a wonderful support group to help you cope with her passing and celebrate her life.

    P.S. If John didn’t like pasta it would have been a total deal breaker for me and my Italian heritage. Although even I can admit this looks delicious. Mmmmmmm. Ricotta.

    October 11, 2013 at 10:38 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks for the hugs!! :)

      I almost fainted when Alex said he didn’t like pasta since he even says that I should have been Italian because I love so much of their food.

      October 12, 2013 at 9:09 pm
  • Reply Spaghetti Squash with Bolognese Sauce

    […] You guys all know what a huge part food plays in my life and in my home.  I love to eat, and I love the smell of delicious meals filling the air because it can make any place feel like home.  Remember the zucchini lasagna? […]

    October 16, 2013 at 8:00 am
  • Reply marissa

    Sorry to hear about your Grandmother. You are in my prays. Great recipe. Looks easy enough to incorporate into our paleoish lifestyle!

    November 15, 2013 at 9:44 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Thank you so much. There’s no greater comfort than that.

      I think you could definitely switch the ricotta out to make it full Paleo! Great idea!! :)

      November 17, 2013 at 6:37 am
  • Reply Gracie

    This recipe seems simple enough – I love the bolognese sauce! thanks for sharing at the CSIproject contest.

    November 16, 2013 at 10:10 am
  • Reply Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above

    I will have to give this a try. It looks delicious. Thanks so much for sharing with Wednesday’s Adorned From Above Link party.
    Debi and Charly at Adorned From Above
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com

    November 17, 2013 at 11:23 pm
  • Reply Kim

    I have yet to try this! Pinned! Thanks so much for linking up last week on Made in a Day!
    Kim

    November 20, 2013 at 11:25 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks Kim!!! You are a wonderful party hostess :)

      November 20, 2013 at 12:10 pm
  • Reply The Truth Is... - The Learner Observer

    […] understand that when bad things happen, I share them with you. When good things happen, I share them with you. Because you’re all […]

    May 4, 2014 at 9:58 pm
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