Growing up in the 80s, I read a lot of comic books. Among those I collected were Tintin, Archie, & perhaps my favourite of all, Garfield. I loved that lazy, cynical orange tabby and his gang of friends. Garfield always tried to blame his shenanigans on Odie, the dumb, loyal dog. Both of them owned by a single guy named John who was very, very dorky and hence, could never get a date. Occasionally, an irritatingly cute kitten named Nermal would show up and Garfield always tried to send him to Abu Dhabi.
One of the most influencing thing about Garfield for me was his love of lasagna. He always obsessed about it and as a young impressionable kid, I thought, wow, this lasagna dish must be something. So when I finally got a chance to try it, I was sold. To me it tasted just like spaghetti, but fancier, and what kid didn't like spaghetti? Although, I did have a phase where I didn't like eating anything red because I thought it was made out of blood, so I guess for awhile there I didn't like spaghetti, but it was short lived. Anyways, ever since then, I've loved lasagna.
A few weeks ago, when I posted a pic of my Zucchini & Eggplant Lasagna on Instagram, I had a few requests for the recipe. I made this dish during an impromptu dinner party I had on a weeknight. I had a couple of my BFFs over for a visit & needed something easy to make. It's a little bit labour intensive with the pre-work but if you have a mandolin, you will save a ton of time & have consistency with the zucchini & eggplant "noodles". Once the lasagna is assembled, you can pop in the oven until done. Since all the ingredients are pre-cooked prior to assembly, you're really only imparting the flavors of the meat sauce on the veg and melting the cheese so I guess timewise, it's not that bad.
Please note that this recipe is not really the "traditional" lasagna recipe as I used zucchini and eggplant for the noodles and I had no ricotta cheese so I used feta & mozza instead. I also have some perhaps non-Italian ingredients in my seasoning so yes, it's not authentic but I assure you, it will taste good!
So without further ado, here's my recipe for keto friendly, gluten free lasagna. I hope you enjoy and thanks for reading my blog!
ZUCCHINI & EGGPLANT LASAGNA
5 baby zucchini2 baby eggplants
1 cup crumbled feta cheese2 cups shredded mozza cheese1 kg extra lean ground beef
3 tbsp olive oil
1 orange bell pepper, diced
2 medium roma tomatoes, diced
8 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, diced (any type will do, I used white)
2 cans tomato paste
2 tsp Maggi seasoning
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
seasoning salt & pepper to taste
Using a mandolin, slice the the zucchini and eggplant lengthwise (about 1/4 of an inch). Brush 2 tbsp of olive oil on each side of the slices and grill on low until grill marks appear. Turn to the other side, then remove and set aside.
Heat a deep skillet on medium.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil, ground beef, garlic and onion until browned.
Add tomato paste, maggi seasoning, worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir well (remember the flavour is in the brown bits at the bottom of the pan stir, stir, stir!)
Add tomatoes & bell pepper and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Now for the assembly. I used a 9 x 13, 3 qt glass pyrex bakeware. Spoon enough of the meat sauce on the bottom of the dish. Spread out to about 1/4 inch. Then add a layer of zucchini and top with some cheese. Repeat this layering, alternating between zucchini and eggplant.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese on top is bubbling and melted.
Serve with your choice of green salad.
Nutritional info per serving: 190 Calories, 6.5 g Total Fat, 12.6 g Carbs, 2 g Fiber, 6.1 g Sugar, 16.4 g Protein