slightly time consuming but good-for-you 'lasagna'

when we were little my mother was really good at feeding our entire family on $25/ week of groceries (she is amazing, i know!). she made everything from scratch: fruit leather, juice, granola, pizza, muffins...even yogurt! we ate a lot of tuna & peas on rice, spaghetti & meatballs, and hot muffins with cheddar cheese.

when people came over for dinner she would make something special - lasagna. my mom's lasagna is probably the best lasagna of all time. my dad always says that if he was sentenced to death and had to choose his 'last supper' it would be mom's lasagna with her raspberry cheesecake for dessert.

that says a lot about her lasagna. 

these days i don't get to enjoy her lasagna. sometimes i miss the slithery noodles, the cheesy goodness and the messy baking pan because they make me feel at home. but who's to say i can't make my own version of lasagna? especially on a snowy saturday with nothing to do but spend 2 hours in the kitchen prepping a lasagna?

that's right. 

no one. 

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things you'll need:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • a few tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 large courgette's (zucchini)
  • 1 large eggplant
  • sea salt
  • 1 large red onion
  • about 1 cup's worth of chopped brown mushrooms
  • about 1 cup's worth of good quality lean ground beef
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of tahini
  • 2 tbsp non-dairy milk (or water)
  • 1 large (796ml) tin of organic diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • about 1 cup's worth of organic plain greek yogurt (0%)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • a few handfuls fresh spinach
  • nutritional yeast (i buy this at my local health food store in bulk or in a bag)
  • 20g of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 9x13 pan + tinfoil
  • some time

Step one: Roast the butternut Squash

set the oven to 375 degrees. slice one large butternut squash in half & scoop out the seeds. rub with coconut oil and lay face up on a pan. 

roast for 45 minutes.

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Step two: Make the noodles

meanwhile slice 2 large zucchini's and one large eggplant into thin strips. sprinkle with sea salt and allow to sweat for 10 minutes.

dry each slice.

grill in the oven or on the stove top on high for about 2 minutes per side. 

once cooked, set aside.

Step three: Tackle the roasted squash

once the butternut squash has cooled, cut one half of the squash into thin strips, just like the zucchini and eggplant.

place the other half in a blender or food processor. 

chop up two cloves of garlic and heat in a small frying pan. once fragrant, add to the blender. 

add one scoop of tahini and 2 tbsp of non-dairy 

milk. add salt & pepper to taste.

blend until creamy, but still thick.

Step four: Prep the tomato-mushroom-meat layer

chop up one whole red onion and 1 cup of brown mushrooms. 

heat up a tsp of coconut oil in a pan. add onion and mushrooms to brown. near the end, add two chopped gloves of garlic. 

in another pan, brown ~250g of lean ground beef, once cooked add to mushrooms/onions. 

add one large (500ml) can of diced organic tomatoes. 2 tbsp of tomato paste and salt and pepper to taste. allow to simmer on low for 30 minutes (or until flavours are settled).

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Step five: put it all together

now that all of your layers a prepared, heat the oven to 375.

cover a 9x13 pan in tinfoil.

add a few scoops of the tomato mixture to the bottom of the pan. 

next add one layer of zucchini - eggplant 'noodles'

spread half of the butternut squash puree over top.

spread a few tbsp of 0% organic greek yogurt on top of this. 

sprinkle with fresh spinach leaves and nutritional yeast.

next add the rest of the tomato - meat - mushroom mixture.

top with slices of butternut squash, then another layer of zucchini - eggplant noodles.

spread the remaining butternut squash puree and a few more tbsp of organic greek yogurt.

top with fresh spinach leaves, nutritional yeast and 20g of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Step six: bake

cover with tinfoil and bake for 40 minutes. 

remove tinfoil and bake for another 15 minutes.