Yes, you read that right! RARELY is there a recipe with paleo and vegetarian in the title. It’s kinda hard to do as a main dish! Just about the only things they have in common are most veggies and fruits… kinda tough to make a dinner with just that! But it has been done!
I’m not a huge fan of lasagna either… actually I strongly dislike it! And really… what I don’t like is the tomato sauce… so if I could make a dairy free white lasagna I’d be OK with that! 😉 Yes it is on my to do list, but as of now, this will do for the rest of the family! They REALLY enjoyed it! I ate a piece so that I wouldn’t be hungry, but definitely didn’t like it!
This is the first time I’ve posted a recipe that I DON’T like… in fact if it was up to me I’d probably never make it again. However, the rest of the family really liked it! So I’m going on their evaluation and posting it anyway! I’ve never liked red sauces so this really doesn’t come as a surprise. I make pizza with minimal sauce, no cheese shells, no spaghetti, and chili that isn’t too tomato heavy! Yes, you could say my family is deprived… but I’m the cook and I usually only cook what I like! The privilege of being the kitchen manager!
Also, it was a great way to use up TONS of veggies from the CSA and it was super healthy! Usually my family isn’t a huge fan of squash or zucchini (it’s usually made into bread for that reason!) so this was a great way to use it and ‘hide’ it for the younger ones!
Another downer to this recipe is that it is quite labor intensive. It did take me probably about 3 hours to make and put together, but per the rest of the fam it was WELL worth it. I do have to admit, as well, that the time probably isn’t super accurate because I know about half of the time I had Xanthie in arms or in a carrier and I know she ate once in there as well. As many of you know having a newborn makes EVERYTHING take longer! But of course we still love her and would never change that!
So here is the recipe! Try it out and let me know what you think!
Paleo Vegetarian Lasagna
2 1/2 tbs coconut oil
1 TBSP coconut flour
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
5 large zucchini
2 large sweet potatoes
½ cup raw cheese (optional)
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 lg eggplant chopped
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP tomato paste
- Chop eggplant and generously salt to draw out some of the moisture. Let sit for at least 20 minutes while prepping other parts of the dish.
- Make the bechamel/white sauce: Heat coconut oil until melted, stir in flour, 1 tsp salt and nutmeg and whisk about 5 minutes until it’s a golden yellow. Whisk milk into flour mixture slowly until incorporated. Boil for 10 more minutes, remove from heat.
- Prep the zucchini (these are your ‘noodles’): With a [amazon_link id=”B009V9CEGE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]mandolin[/amazon_link], slice each zucchini lengthwise into thin strips. Heat a large pot of boiling water, and fill another large bowl with ice and water. Blanch zucchini in small batches – you never want the water to stop boiling – for 1 minute. Transfer to ice bath to stop cooking, then to a colander to drain. You may also need to try them with a paper towel before assembly.
- Sweet Potatoes (aka, the cheese): Peel and cube sweet potatoes and boil until soft. Place in a food processor with ½ cup of bechamel, egg and cheese (optional) and pulse until smooth. Stir in 2 tsp of salt and crushed red pepper.
- The ‘Meat’ Mixture: Place diced onion and garlic in a large saute pan with coconut oil (or lard) and saute until soft. While waiting on it to cook, rinse and squeeze out extra water in eggplant. Add chopped eggplant and saute till tender. Add oregano, black pepper and tomato paste and stir until well cooked.
- Assembly: Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in bottom of 8×13 dish. Lay a single layer of your zucchini, then 1/2 of the ‘meat’ mixture with a ½ of the remaining bechamel. Add another single layer of zucchini and ½ the sweet potato mixture, then top that with 14 oz of your favorite (good quality) marina. Add another single layer zucchini, then the rest of the marinara and the other 1/2 of the ‘meat’ mixture. Top with the rest of the potato mixture. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes. Everything is cooked so you just neat to heat it up and let everything mesh. Add about 4 tbs fresh chopped basil on top before serving.
And as I said before… even though I don’t like it and it took a lot of time to make I know I’ll be making it again. I’m so glad the rest of the family liked it so much and it made a large pan which fed them for dinner and two lunches for Brian which is hard to do!
If you end up making it, let me know how it turns out!