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…
Here we go!
First 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:
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!
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.
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!
- 3 zucchinis
- 2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- 1/4 of an onion (diced)
- salt (to taste)
- tomato sauce of choice
- 900 grams of ricotta cheese
- 300 grams of mozzarella cheese
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- 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).
- While your sauce simmers, slice zucchini lengthwise as thinly as possible.
- Add one layer of sliced zucchini, overlapping slightly or very close together. Add meat sauce, ricotta cheese and mozzarella in layers.
- Repeat first step.
- For the third step, add just zucchini, small amount of meat sauce and lots of mozzarella.
- Put in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
- Optional: go vegetarian - just make sure you double the amount of tomato sauce you use.
- 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.
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!