I had been toying with the idea of making a paleo lasagna for a while when Maida challenged me on Facebook to do it for real. Challenge accepted!
Often, I will directly take a recipe from something I find online and just recreate it with minor adjustments (I always credit my source). This time, I am proud to say that this is all mine! It took me a while to explore a few recipes that seemed to have pros and cons, then take all of the good ideas from each recipe and discard the bad ones. I was pretty nervous to see how it would come out, but I just made it and... It. Was. Amazing. I know that's braggy, but I don't care. For tonight, at least, I am a genius.
Paleo Ricotta (This IS a borrowed recipe. It is not required, but definitely recommended!):
I prepared the ricotta and zucchini noodles the night before I made this recipe. You don't have to do it this way, but it was really helpful, and the earlier you cut your noodles and allow the moisture to drain, the better.
Start by slicing your zucchini noodles to your desired thickness. I wanted them really thin, so I used a mandolin on the thinnest setting possible.
Place your noodles between layers of paper towels or cheesecloth to absorb as much moisture as possible. This will prevent the lasagna from getting to runny.
Overnight was perfect for me. I wouldn't do longer, but less would be fine. Another option when in a hurry is to place them in an oven at 350°F for 10-15 min.
While I was doing that, I was boiling the cauliflower until tender.
When done, drain and let cool for a bit, then gently squeeze out extra moisture from boiling. Place in a blender or food processor with the garlic powder, salt, pepper, vinegar and nutritional yeast.
Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides at least once.
I stored in the fridge overnight and added the egg before assembling the lasagna.
When you're ready to assemble and bake the lasagna, preheat your oven to 450°F and throw your sausage and onion in a pan to cook. I used a potato masher to break up the sausage. With a few minutes to go, I added the mushrooms.
Now it's time to assemble! Start by spreading a layer of marinara on the bottom of your pan (I used 9" x 13").
Next, add a layer of half your meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the spinach and some ricotta.
Add marinara sauce on top and another layer of noodles, then repeat the meat/spinach/ricotta step again. Top that with another layer of sauce and zucchini, then a final layer of sauce and ricotta.
Just to sum that up, here is the order:
It's really not that important, I'm just OCD. Also, do as many layers as you want.
When you have it completely assembled, put the pan in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until cooked through. Thicker noodles will need a bit more time than thinner ones.
Get yourself as large of a serving as possible so you won't have to get up for seconds, because you're guaranteed to want some! I made this for myself, my zucchini-hating boyfriend, and both of our mothers. We were all so impressed at how well it tasted and how close to lasagna it was. And let me tell you... I was a little iffy on the paleo ricotta, but as soon as I tasted it I was totally surprised! It tasted just like ricotta, and the texture was unmistakable.
You better make this, and I better see pictures on the group wall. If not you are so missing out.
Also, this is proof that I will take your suggestions into account. Keep giving me wonderful ideas!
Until next time... Happy paleo eating!