When the weather starts turning cold, I find that I am ready for some comfort food.
But when eating dairy, gluten, or soups made with onion or garlic are out of the question, it can seem like not many comfort foods remain. That thought got me inspired. How do I create something satisfying, delicious, and nutritious to fill the comfort food cravings?
Then, I found Kite Hill Ricotta at a local grocery store (New Season’s Market Slabtown)- it’s dairy-free cheese that actually tastes like real cheese. And it’s a pretty clean product as well.
I had zucchini from my garden and eggplant from our farm share (Able Farms PDX CSA) to use up. Lasagna was the only answer.
For those of you who cannot eat any grains (even something as easy to digest as brown rice), you can adapt this recipe to your needs. Instead of adding zucchini to the meat sauce, you can use a vegetable peeler to create ribbon shaped “zucchini lasagna noodles” that can be used in place of the brown rice lasagna noodles.
Some of the ingredients used in this recipe may be a little tricky to find at your local grocery store. I recommend using Kite Hill’s Store Locator to find the “cheese”. Order Rao’s Sensitive Formula Marinara Sauce online (or try to find one at the store with little to no onion or garlic- might be tricky!). You may also want to order Tinkyada Gluten-Free Lasagna Noodles online, but I haven’t had too much trouble getting them at the store.
- 10 ounce box Tinkyada Brown Rice Lasagna Noodles
- ¾ lb grass-fed ground beef (I used 15% or less fat- sale!)
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste (optional- I had some sitting around to be used up)
- 1 jar Rao's Sensitive Formula Marinara Sauce (or your favorite alternative)
- 1 medium eggplant, finely diced
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
- 1 cup water
- 8 ounce package Kite Hill dairy-free Ricotta
- 10 ounce package cut frozen spinach, thawed
- extra virgin olive oil, for greasing pan
- Cook noodles according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water and set aside.
- In a large saucepan with lid, add ground beef and ground black pepper. Cook until meat is no longer pink.
- Add tomato paste and eggplant, stir, and allow to cook for a minute or so.
- Add marinara sauce, zucchini, basil, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer (covered) for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 9" x 13" glass baking pan with olive oil.
- In a medium bowl, combine Ricotta & thawed spinach.
- In the greased saucepan, start with a layer of noodles (3 long noodles laid lengthwise).
- Next, add half of the sauce as a layer.
- Cover sauce with a layer of noodles.
- Cover noodles with all of the ricotta/spinach mixture.
- Add another layer of noodles.
- Add another layer of sauce.
- Finish with another layer of the remaining noodles.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then serve warm. Keeps well.