Having a husband that has diabetes makes it hard to sometimes enjoy certain comfort foods. Anything that has too many carbs – aka pasta, rice, and sugar – isn’t good for his health, and if he does eat it, he’d have to give himself a large amount of insulin or just eat a tiny piece and compensate with sides to fill him up. We always look for alternatives so we can still enjoy certain foods, without compromising flavor, but compromising carbohydrates. This is basically how making this Noodle-less Zucchini Lasagna came about – comfort food the less guilty way!
We were craving lasagna, but decided instead of making the traditional kind where he’d most likely only have a small piece, we’d make the Skinny Taste version and make it with zucchini; and as any Skinny Taste recipe it was DELICIOUS!
This recipe is one that you’d probably want to make on the weekend, as there are a few time consuming steps, but I promise you it’s so worth it. We all loved it – and when I say all, I mean all. My son had two helpings which is so not like him. I of course didn’t mention that the “noodles” were zucchini but instead they were “green noodles” ;). The lasagna saved perfectly and was delicious as leftovers as well.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 medium zucchini
- Cooking spray or oil mister
- 1½ cups part-skim ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 large egg
- 4 cups shreddedmozzarella cheese (16 ounces)
- Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the meat, season with ½ teaspoon of the salt, and cook, using a wooden spoon to break the meat into small pieces as it browns, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the meat in a colander and wipe the skillet with a paper towel.
- Put the skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Return the meat to the pan, add the tomatoes, basil, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer uncovered 10 minutes, until thickened.
- Meanwhile, slice the zucchini lengthwise with a mandolin into ⅛-inch-thick slices (you should have at least 30 to 35 long zucchini ribbons). Lightly salt the zucchini with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and set aside for 15 minutes. Blot the zucchini with paper towels.
- Preheat a grill to medium heat (or preheat a grill pan over medium heat).
- Oil the grill grates or spray the grill pan with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Grill the zucchini until cooked and slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and press to absorb excess moisture.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, and egg. Spread ½ cup of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 × 13 × 2½- inch baking dish. Make a layer of the zucchini over the sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Spread ½ cup of the ricotta mixture over the zucchini and sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella. Make another layer of zucchini, top with 1½ cups meat sauce, ½ cup ricotta mixture, 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients for a total of 3 layers. Finish the lasagna by topping with the remaining zucchini and meat sauce. Cover the dish with foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil, and bake 20 minutes uncovered. Add the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and bake uncovered until bubbling and the cheese is melted, 10 more minutes.
- Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.
Do any of you make comfort foods in a more lightened up way? If so, share the links to your recipes below. I’d love to try some!