Italian Casserole

So, I know it has been a while, and I’m I sorry! I say this all the time when my schedule is hectic, but I’ve been living off of paleo “fast food” the past few weeks–salads and frittatas. If anyone tells you that eating paleo on the go is too hard, they’re neglecting to experiment with these two dishes. They’re versatile (frittata and salad combinations are seriously limitless!), easy to pack, and can be eaten cold.

Anyway, enough with my rant, here’s an Italian casserole, almost a lasagna, for you to try!

Italian Casserole
1 eggplant, peeled and sliced vertically
1 zucchini, peeled (you can leave the skin on if you want) and sliced vertically
1 bunch of spinach leaves
1 bunch of basil leaves
1 bell pepper, diced
1-2 packages of mushrooms, sliced
Meat sauce (recipe here) (I made mine in the slow cooker in advance)
Extras: olive oil, Italian seasoning, pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prep your eggplant and zucchini. Dry roast them in the oven for about 5-10 minutes, then flip over. Brush with a little olive oil if you want. Remove from oven when dried out, then set oven to 350 degrees F.

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Prep your other veggies.

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In a casserole dish, place a layer of meat sauce (I should have used a larger dish!)

Begin to layer your roasted eggplant.

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Once your eggplant is layered, add more veggies.

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Add a layer of meat sauce.

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Add a layer of zucchini.

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Then finish it off with another layer of meat sauce.

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Place dish in oven for 20-30 minutes to cook vegetables.

The finished product is a little liquidy (and not too pretty), but you can drain that out. There are a lot if big flavors in this yummy dish.

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Paleo Zucchini Lasagna

I’m eating as I write this. It’s really good. The zucchini shows its versatility in this dish. If we can use it for spaghetti, why not lasagna? To achieve the uniform, lasagna-like ribbons, I cut the zucchini with a cheese slicer, not unlike this one. Since the meat gets cooked in the sauce, there is technically no need to bake this. I just baked it to soften up the zucchini a tiny bit. This is soooo delicious and you don’t need a lot to get satisfied. I love how real food fills you up and keeps you full!!!!! Hope you enjoy!

 

Paleo Zucchini Lasagna (makes one roughly 8″x8″ lasagna)

  • About .5 lbs of ground meat (I used a super lean ground beef and did not need to use additional fat. If you choose to use ground turkey, you may need to add some fat)
  • 1 package of sliced mushrooms (I was a little lazy today)
  • Celery, diced (I used about 1-2 sticks from the stalk)
  • Half a bell pepper, diced
  • About half a carrot, julienned
  • About 1 big handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 medium-large zucchinis, sliced into lasagna-like strips and patted dry
  • 1 package of diced/chopped tomatoes (I used Pomi chopped tomatoes-26.56 oz available at Sprouts)
  • Fresh basil (I just tore it)
  • Seasonings to taste: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasonings, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a large pan. Add your meat with some seasonings (season as you go!). Add your veggies, saute and season.

Add your diced tomatoes with the liquid. Add basil and allow to simmer. The sauce will reduce. Get as much water/liquid cooked out as possible. Check for seasonings.

While that’s simmering, begin to layer your sliced zucchini in your dish.

Begin to ladle your meat and veggie mixture onto your noodles. Layer, ladle, repeat as necessary.

 

Bake for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!!