Okay drop what you’re doing and just look at the picture below.
Looks inviting isn’t it? Yes, it’s lasagna. Will you believe me if I tell you this recipe contains no dairy, no starch and is, in fact rich in vitamin C and fiber? You don’t? Oh come on! We’ve been doing this swap game for quite some time now! Going Paleo doesn’t mean giving up on foods you used to enjoy so today, you’ll kiss and make up with Italian cuisine which you bid farewell to because you took the Paleo road. Don’t forget to thank me later! 🙂
Grains is pretty much avoided in Paleo diet. Yes, anything with grains. That includes, but not limited to: cereals, bread, muffins, toasts, sandwiches, biscuits, triscuits, quadscuits (is there such?), crackers, oatmeal (sadly), wheat, pancakes, hash brows, all kinds of pasta and beer (I think I just heard someone cry.). So technically, this recipe is not a lasagna because it is missing the important thing that makes it lasagna – lasagna noodles but the form, layers and over all feel of the dish makes it feel like one.
Paleo Lasagna Recipe
What You Need for the Beef and Tomato Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt (sea salt if you may)
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- 500g ground beef (opt for grass-fed)
- 2/3 cup dry red wine
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2/3 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 2/3 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups tomato puree
What You Need for the Lasagna Layers:
- 1 large parsnip, peel and then slice thinly
- 1 large eggplant, slice into 1/2 inch circles
- 1 teaspoon salt (sea salt, yes)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and another 5 tablespoons which will be used later on
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, tear them with your hands (it’s therapeutic, try it!)
- 7 button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves (don’t tear them)
- 2 large zucchinis, slice them vertically into thin ribbons
- cherry tomatoes for garnish
Puree cooked cauliflower, cashews and olive oil until smooth. For low-carb and ketogenic dieters, you can add a last layer of a combination of 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese and 4 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
- Preheat that oven to 180C (355F) and lay out a layer of parsnip slices (it’s okay if they overlap a bit) with a little ghee in a deep lasagna tray and pre-bake for 15 minutes. Parsnip is a tough root vegetable and pre-baking softens it as we cook the rest of the layers together. Set aside.
- Open a bottle of wine. Pour some in wine glass. Take a sip.
- Let’s make the sauce! Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and saute diced onion with a little bit of salt for about 8 minutes or until slightly caramelized then add 1 teaspoon of ghee and increase the heat. Add ground beef and cook until it’s evenly brown, usually takes up to 6 minutes.
- Add red wine, pepper, garlic, salt and paprika to the meat and cook for another 5 minutes. Add tomato puree, let everything boil then reduce the heat. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Take a sip from your wine glass. Reminisce fun college days.
- While all that is happening, sprinkle salt to your eggplant slices and let it do its magic for 10 minutes. Salt draws out some water out of the eggplant. Rinse and dry with a kitchen towel.
- In another frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon ghee. Fry the eggplant slices for 2-3 minutes on both sides until lightly brown in color. Don’t over lap them, fry them in batches. Add more olive oil and ghee as you do another batch since eggplants absorb some of them. Set aside.
- Take a sip from your wine glass because finally, all of our layer ingredients are ready!
- Take your lasagna tray with the pre-baked parsnips, top it with 1/3 of the tomato meat sauce then top with the eggplant slices, basil leaves, mushrooms, pour in the remaining meat sauce, press then down gently as we go along, add spinach leaves, zucchini, drizzle some olive oil and add some pepper. Bake at 180C (355F) for 40 minutes. If you want a layer of cheese or mashed cauliflower, add them at the 20 minute cooking mark then increase the temperature to 200C (390F) and keep baking for another 15-20 minutes.
- Garnish with cherry tomatoes and some more basil or spinach.
- Take another sip from your wine glass. Triumph slightly.
That’s a lot of work isn’t it? But it’s so worth it! This is a great dish you can make with your family, friends and significant other. I read somewhere that cooking with another person strengthens the bond between you and I think it’s true! This dish definitely nourishes both the body and relationships. Can you think of someone you want to cook this dish with? Share your story in the comments section below! Eat well, be well, farewell!