Zucchini and Sweet Potato Lasagna
I love making noodle dishes, but I really LOVE using vegetables as a substitute for regular noodles. Veggie noodles take a little more prep, but add a healthy kick while maintaining a firm texture traditional to regular noodles and saving you lots of calories. I made the recipe below after reading a handful of recipes on the web, then took bits n pieces of each to come up with this gem. Make sure you read the entire recipe before diving in as there is some prep involved.
- 1 lb lean Bison or Beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon umami powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28 oz can) crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup mushrooms chopped
- 2 tblsp fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta
- 1/4 cup Parmesan
- 1 large egg
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 5 medium zucchini
First things first, gotta prep the noodles:
Veggie Noodle Prep:
The key to making this lasagna so that it is NOT watery, is to prep the veggie noodles and remove as much water as possible from them prior to putting them into the lasagna dish. First rinse off the zucchini and peel the sweet potato. Then, I use the vegetable sheet cutter attachment on my kitchen aid mini mixer, but you can also use a mandolin (cut them to 1/8th inch), to transform your veggie into a veggie lasagna noodle. Once the “noodles” are made, sprinkle with salt and set aside for 10 minutes (this helps draw out the moisture in the veggie), then use paper towels and dab off the extra water. Using a grill (or griddle) cook them, sheet by sheet, for a few minutes on med/high heat to absorb any excess water. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, add bison to medium high heat and sprinkle with 1 tsp umami powder. Cook until brown and then set meat into a bowl, leaving grease in pan.
Add the mushrooms to the pan sprinkling in a dash salt. Once the mushrooms have absorbed the grease, add in 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion and garlic. Sauté for several minutes. Once onions become transparent, add meat back into pan along with the tomatoes and basil and remaining salt and umami powder. Put lid on pan, reduce heat and let simmer for 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Ricotta Cheese Prep:
In a medium sized bowl mix ricotta, parmesan and egg. Set aside.
In a 9 x 12 casserole dish, spread 1 cup of meat sauce on the bottom and layer with sweet potato noodles to cover. Spread 1/2 cup of ricotta mixture then top with 1 cup of mozzarella cheeses. Repeat this process using the remainder of the noodles (I alternate between zucchini and sweet potato noodles) and ingredients. The last layer, make sure you top with meat sauce. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and top with mozzarella, put back into oven with out cover for 10 minutes. Turn heat up to 425 degrees and cook for a final 10 minutes until the mozzarella browns.
Let stand for 5 minutes then serve.