For me, comfort food = italian food. I grew up eating my Italian grandmother’s pasta and meatballs etc. So yummy. Ditching pasta was one of the hardest things I did when I went Paleo. Now I never even crave it. Zucchini makes an excellent substitute for pasta and I used that and eggplant to make a delicious and filling lasagna. This version was modified from another Crossfit/Paleo blogger’s recipe – from Jen’s Gone Paleo blog. I tend to stay away from dairy except a wee bit in my Americano each day, but wanted to use some in this recipe to make it more indulgent. I used 100% organic Goat’s Milk Cheese, which is permissable under the primal diet. You don’t need much and a little goes a long way for adding flavour. For more on dairy and the primal diet, check out Mark’s Daily Apple post on the definitive guide to dairy.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
- 3 large zucchini – ends removed, cut lengthwise into thin slices (1/4 inch thick)
- 1 eggplant – ends removed, cut same as zucchini
- 1 red pepper – quartered, core/seeds removed
- 4 C sliced mushrooms (i used button)
- 2 C cooked spinach (i used frozen organic)
- 1 onion – sliced thinly
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1 small can of Tomato Paste
- 2 x 14 oz cans of cherry tomatoes (I like Mara’s because they don’t have other stuff in them)
- 1/2 T dried oregano
- 1 small handful of fresh basil leaves – chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 100g organic goat’s milk cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 350
- Drizzle 2 Tbsp of the olive oil over the zucchini, red pepper and eggplant slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rub it around to coat all pieces.
- Grill the veggies – You have 2 choices here: You can either roast them (400 degree oven for ~30 min) or grill them on the BBQ. I had Semi-Primal Husband grill them on the BBQ because i love them this way.
- While the veggies are grilling/roasting, start on the sauce. In a small saucepan, put 1/2 of 1 can of cherry tomatoes and 1 Tbsp of tomato paste. Let it heat up and leave it on low heat. Set aside as this is for the top layer of the lasagna.
- For the filling sauce: In a larger saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Saute for about 2-3 min.
- Add the mushrooms. Saute another 2 min. Add the spinach. Let it cook until the mushrooms have softened.
- Add the rest of the cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 can), tomato paste and oregano.
- In a casserole dish, put a thin layer of the filling sauce on the bottom. Lay 1/2 of the zucchini strips flat – like you would with lasagna pasta.
- Put 1/2 of the filling sauce on top of the zucchini. Layer the eggplant on top and the red pepper.
- Put the remainder of the filling sauce on top. Crumble the goat’s milk cheese on top of the sauce.
- Put the remaining zucchini on top and top it off with other tomato sauce you had put aside. Sprinkle with the fresh basil.
- Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
This freezes well too. My Semi-Primal Husband provided the following testimonial, “This is a winner. This recipe and the cabbage rolls are my new favourites.”