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Paleo Lasagna (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Oven-Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This amazing family-friendly paleo lasagna dish is filled with healthy vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms and spinach and layered with nutritious grass-fed beef sauce. It’s gluten-free and low-carb and can be made with or without dairy. As there are a few processes to making this dish, please read the full recipe to get the best timings and order.


Ingredients

Scale

For beef and tomato sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 500 g / 1.1 lb ground grass-fed beef mince
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced chopped
  • 2/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2/3 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 3 cups tomato passata/puree (canned chopped tomatoes are fine)

For the lasagna layers

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large parsnip or sweet potato, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1cm-thick disks (1/2″)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 6 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced vertically into thin ribbons
  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese (optional)
  • 23 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Cherry tomatoes to garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F). Place a layer of parsnip slices with a little olive oil in a deep lasagna tray and pre-bake in the oven for 15 minutes, this will help to soften them slightly before we build the rest of the layers. Set aside for now.
  2. To make the sauce, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the onions with a pinch of salt for 7-8 minutes, until slightly caramelised. Break the ground beef mince and add to the frying pan. Use a spatula or a potato masher (my little trick) to stir and break the mince apart into small pieces, as it tends to clump together during cooking. Cook for about 5–6 minutes, until browned.
  3. Add red wine, garlic, pepper, paprika and salt to the cooking meat and fry for a further 3-4 minutes. Add tomato passata, stir and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  4. Meanwhile, sprinkle the eggplant slices with sea salt and set aside for 10 minutes to draw out some of the juices. Rinse and pat dry. Heat the oven back to 180°C (355°F).
  5. In another frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the eggplant in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side, until light golden brown. Add more olive oil as you go along. Set aside; by this stage all our layer ingredients should be ready.
  6. Take the baking tray out of the oven and start layering the lasagna in the following order: pre-cooked parsnips, 1/3 of the tomato meat sauce, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, mushrooms, the rest of the meat sauce pressed down evenly, baby spinach, zucchini slices, drizzle of olive oil and some cracked black pepper. Cook in the oven, at 180°C (355°F), for 35 minutes. See the step-by-step pictures above.
  7. If using ricotta and grated Parmesan cheese, add on top of the lasagna at the 20-minute cooking time mark. Increase the heat to 200°C (390°F) for the last 10–15 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and a few cherry tomatoes. Serve with a side of mixed salad.

Notes

 Tomato passata is basically a fresh tomato puree but you can use canned diced tomatoes instead, just process them into smoother consistency in a food processor or blender.

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