Monday, July 28, 2008

Since My Mum Asked....

Sooo the Atkins diet is pretty out of style now. It was never really something I adhered to, being that I can barely even go an hour without eating something made of wheat (plus when it was all the rage I was in jr high, 5'7" and 105 pounds). And anyway, as far as I know all those avid Atkins dieters have had quadruple bypasses at this point.

However, there is something to be said about taking some carbs out of your meal here and there, especially when it doesn't seem like anything is missing:

1. As long as I don't follow the example of Kip and Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite and eat only steak, I usually end up eating a few more veggies than I would have.
2. I can have bread or dessert later.

I found this recipe a few weeks ago while I was looking for "summer lasagna" online. What I had in mind was maybe something with no meat, but what I found was lasagna with no noodles! Zucchini takes the place. I thought it would be a nice contrast to the all pasta dish I last shared, and today my mom asked me for the recipe, so here it is for you!

This is a great meal for my dad, who is diabetic and can't really have white pasta (also it's good for people with gluten intolerances). The best part, though, is that you don't eat it thinking, "Something is missing here..." It's just really darned good. It has ground beef in it, which can actually be really good for you, so long as you are eating organic, %100 grass fed beef (I will preach on this often).

I should warn you- something about this recipe that I am working on is that it is really watery because of the zucchini and there are no noodles to soak the water. I haven't figured out a way to fix this yet. It doesn't change how good this dish is in the slightest- the liquid just kinda pools in the empty spaces in the pan after you've dished up your lasagna. Any comments or ideas would be nice. So far, I have used dry mozzarella instead of fresh, and skim ricotta to lessen the moisture. I also tried to "sweat" the zucchini with salt a little bit before layering them. Oh, and make sure you drain the beef well.

Mr. Atkins, you would be proud of me!

Summer (or what I like to call "noodleless") Lasagna
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick strips.
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup shredded, part skim, low moisture mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
  1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until evenly brown. Drain juices. Mix the onion, green bell pepper, carrots, garlic, and tomato sauce into the skillet. Season with oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  2. In the bottom of the prepared baking dish, layer 1/2 the zucchini strips. In a bowl, beat together the cottage cheese and egg, and spread over the zucchini. Scoop 1/2 the beef mixture over the cottage cheese and egg mixture, and sprinkle with 1/2 the mozzarella cheese. Layer with remaining zucchini, beef mixture, and mozzarella. Top with Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow to sit 10 minutes before slicing to serve.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, dear.

The Saunders said...

I think you thought of every possible way to reduce the liquid. Still sounds tasty! I remember being 105 lbs...... sigh.

Cierra Pera said...

just finished stalking your blog and love it! it is everything a blog should be... where as most of the rest of us jsut post pics of the kiddos! word about lasagna- i use thin slices of polenta instead of noodles and thin slices of fresh mozerella cheese with tons of summer veggies between! Yum Yum! love you