Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Zucchini Lasagna - Gluten Free


So, if you are a zucchini lover like I am, love that this squash is so versatile but not that it gets to mushy, right?

I knew I wanted to replace my typical lasagna noodles with zucchini but I didn't want my lasagna mushy and lacking texture.

This is where sweating out vegetables comes in, or more formally known as the 'disgorging' vegetables.  Disgorge is defined as 'to cause to pour out'.  So, adding salt to sliced zucchini causes some of the excess moisture to be released.


Here are my slices of zucchini, with a thin layer of salt on them.  


Here you can see the thin layer of water on top. 


Being the dork, uh, food scientist that I am, 
I was really excited to see the moisture coming out of the pores on the side of the vegetable.  
Just thought I'd share.  


Next step was to rinse most of the excess salt off.  


Finally, they were grilled, for good measure, to ensure the most texture in the baked dish.  


While the zucchini was roasting, the 1# ground turkey and 1 tsp Italian seasoning were browned up over medium heat. 


Next, 3 cups or two handfuls of spinach were added. 


The pan was covered to aid in the wilting process. 


I always add more spinach than I think necessary, because it cooks down so much. 


Final touch for the pan, was 24 oz of Roasted Garlic Classico Pasta Sauce, reserve 1/4 cup. 

I prefer adding the meat, sauce and veggies together for just one layer of the lasagna.  


For started, one quarter cup of pasta sauce was added to the 9x13 pan.


Then, the first layer of zucchini. 


Topped by half of the mixture of 15 oz of ricotta cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 
1/2 cup Parmesan and 1 egg


The next layer was half of the meat and veggie sauce. 


Another layer of zucchini. 


The second half of the cheese blend. 


Final layer of zucchini. 
The rest of the meat sauce. 
Sprinkled with shredded mozzarella. 

Bake, covered, at 375 F for 45 minutes. 
Longer if frozen. 


Remove the foil for the last 5-10 minutes 


RECIPE:

Ingredients:
Zucchini - how many will depend on size.  This was 1 very large zucchini. 
1# ground turkey
1 tsp Italian seasoning
3 cups or two handfuls of spinach
24 oz of Roasted Garlic Classico Pasta Sauce
15 oz of ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella - divided
1/2 cup Parmesan
1 egg

Directions:

To prepare the zucchini, slice 1/4-1/2 inch thick pieces. 
Lay out on pan and sprinkle with salt for disgorging, leave for minimum of 15 minutes. 
Rinse off excess salt. 
Grill sliced zucchini to preserve texture. 
Brown ground turkey, add Italian seasoning. 
Add 3 cups of fresh spinach and wilt. 
Add pasta sauce, reserving 1/4 cup for bottom of pan. 
Mix up ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan and egg. 

Layer into pan…
1. 1/4 cup pasta sauce
2. zucchini
3. 1/2 of the cheese blend
4. 1/2 of the meat and veggie sauce
5. zucchini
6. remaining cheese blend
7. zucchini
8. remaining meat sauce. 
9. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella. 

Bake, covered, at 375F for 45 minutes. 

Uncover for additional 10 minutes. 


Perfect for a filling, gluten free meal and leftovers!