No Noodle Lasagna

Here is a way to lower carbs, add in vegetables and create a gluten free lasagna  – take the noodles out and exchange for sliced butternut squash.  This recipe came about when I purchased butternut squash instead of spaghetti squash.  Once again I put into practice thinking outside of a recipe idea and utilized what I had on hand.  In the end I was happy with the results;  Jeff said he would eat it again and so it made the cut for the site.

No Noodle Lasagna
Lowering the carbs by removing the noodles and replacing with sliced butternut squash
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Ingredients
  1. 2 medium cooked butternut squash, cut in slices
  2. 1 lb ground turkey
  3. 1 jar Spaghetti or Marinara Sauce
  4. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1 tsp ground oregano
  6. 2 cups of shredded mozarella cheese
  7. 1/3 cup of parmesan shredded cheese
Instructions
  1. Using the oven, Instant Pot or crock pot cook squash (See cooking instructions below.) Let cool. Peel. Use the long end and slice in 1/4" slices. (Save the hollow end for another recipe). Place in layers on paper towel to absorb moisture)
  2. Brown ground turkey. Add in sauce, cinnamon and oregano and combine. I know the cinnamon seems odd but it tastes good.
  3. Preheat over to 375 degrees.
  4. Spray small casserole with olive oil spray (if using a 9X12 pan - this recipe should be doubled). Also spray a piece of aluminum foil that will cover your pan. This will help the cheese not stick during baking.
  5. Putting lasagna together - Use all ingredients except parmesan cheese. There are three different layers: the saucy meat, the squash slices and the mozarella cheese.
  6. Place a layer of the saucy meat, then the squash, then half of the mozarella cheese. Repeat.
  7. Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes.
  8. Change oven to broil.
  9. Uncover the lasagna and sprinkle parmasan cheese on top. Place under the broiler. Watch carefully as the top of the lasagna browns - this usually takes less than 5 minutes.
  10. Now the hard part: Take out of the oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting.
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I used to make my own sauce all the time but there are some good pasta sauces out there that can save on effort and time.  Costco carries a good organic sauce.  The one pictured above is from Sprouts and is very good but not organic.

Regarding the butternut squash – here are some resources on how to cook ahead of time.  You could try slicing and putting in the lasagna without cooking but I would be concerned about the moisture from the vegetable making the casserole soggy.  Packaged and in the refrigerator for another dinner later in the week – an egg roll stuffing mixture.   

Cooking butternut squash in Oven – Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.   Cut squash in half lengthwise,  Using a spoon scrap out seeds.  Place butternut squash halves on a large baking sheet flesh side up. Brush the flesh side of each squash with a little olive oil.  Roast 50 to 60 minutes, until flesh is fork-tender. 

Cooking butternut squash in Crock Pot

Cooking butternut squash in Instant Pot

Dinner is Served

Please let me know if you have any questions or I need to provide more clarification.

 

 

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Egg Bites

 

This morning I tried a recipe that resembles the Sous Vide Egg Bites Starbucks is now selling and used this recipe as my guide.  My husband had them and liked them so I tried my best to make him some from our kitchen.   They are very light a fluffy – between a quiche and a soufflé.

I haven’t used my Steam feature on the Instant Pot and was excited to see what 8 minutes did with this recipe.  I wasn’t disappointed.

My goal in writing this post is more of a review of the recipe and share what ingredients I used, which I might add next time, what containers worked, what containers worked best and any insights I discovered while I gave it a whirl.

The Ingredients I Used

  • 4 Organic Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Organic Mexican shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup Organic Half and Half
  • 1/2 cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Containers and How I Prepared Them

  • I baked in ramekins, a short mason jar, a pint mason jar.  All were cooked through but I like the ramekins best because it provided consistent distribution of the bacon and egg.
  • Sprayed each container with coconut oil from Trader Joe’s.  This is not mentioned in the recipe and is essential for releasing the egg.
  • After cooking per instructions, remove from Instant Pot, take off the foil and let rest for 10 minutes.  Run a sharp knife around edges.  Place a dessert/salad plate on top and flip over.  Gently tap bottom to help release the egg bite.
  • I had one for lunch – 30 seconds in the microwave warmed it nicely.

 

Things I Might Do Different Next Time

  • Saute chopped mushroom, green pepper.  Press a paper towel to remove excess moisture and add into the egg mixture along with chopped green onion.
  • Serve with salsa
  • Try using 2 whole eggs and 4 egg whites
  • Try stacking my ramekins so I can make more
  • Serve these as a brunch or light lunch with a green salad and muffin.

What My Husband Thought of Them

  • Great
  • Tasted Good
  • When am I making more with mushroom and green onion?

Again the recipe I used can be found HERE

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Spiralizer

Recently Jeff and I were watching a cooking show and saw a machine demonstrated that made amazing vegetable noodles.  Since we downsized our home and kitchen (you can read HERE), we have been really good about not purchasing much that needs real estate space in our home.  I made homemade spaghetti sauce (recipe coming soon) and once our little machine arrived, I was peeling a sweet potato and Jeff was washing the zucchini he had picked up on the way home.  In no time at all, we had a pile of zucchini and sweet potato noodles waiting for hot sauce.  I blanched the sweet potato spirals in boiling water for about 3 minutes.   Jeff did nothing to the zucchini.  I have used other tools and machines to get this effect but the difference with this machine is (1) it grips very well to the counter top (2) the noodles can be wound around a fork like pasta and (3) it is very easy to clean (4) the noodles aren’t wet.

We are always looking for ways to add vegetables into our diet and I can see many future possibilities.

Here is the link to this kitchen helper – HERE

Sweet potato noodles blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes and strained – bring on the sauce.

I sautéed some sweet potatoes in olive oil to add a crispy crunch to a salad and also a few raw zucchini noodles.

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