Zucchini Lasagna: low carb style!

Lasagna? Always delicious. Good source of vegetables? Not usually – until now. The amazing genius of skinnytaste.com comes through once again with a zucchini lasagna so delicious, you won’t even notice the pasta is mysteriously missing – oh yes, it’s been replaced with thinly sliced and grilled zucchini “noodles”. Not only does this transform an ordinary lasagna to a low-carb, gluten-free delight, but it amps up the nutrition.

Zucchini (fantastic this time of year, by the way) has many benefits:

  • lowers cholesterol
  • cancer prevention
  • promotes heart health
  • lowers blood pressure
  • promotes prostate health
  • good source of antioxidants and a good source anti-inflammatory agents

Who wouldn’t want these benefits to be a part of your cheesily-delicious dinner? The fabulous and innovative chef at one of my favorite cooking websites had the fantastic idea to replace lasagna noodles with thinly-sliced zucchini (I’d recommend using a mandoline to easily slice the zucchini and keep the width uniform), and voila – this delicious recipe is the result. 

I would absolutely recommend taking the extra time to grill the zucchini slices (I just popped mine onto a griddle pan on the stove), it doesn’t require too much babysitting but really ensures that your lasagna sticks together nicely by reducing the water content in the zucchini. Otherwise the lasagna will have a little more of a “mush”-factor!
Enjoy!

Zucchini Lasagna

Skinnytaste.com 
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1/8 • Old Points: 8 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 345 • Fat: 17 g • Carbs: 16 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 36 g • Sugar: 8 g
Sodium: 801 (without salt)

Ingredients:  

  • 1 lb 93% lean beef
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8″ thick
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta
  • 16 oz part-skin mozzarella cheese, shredded (Sargento)
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 large egg

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan, brown meat and season with salt. When cooked drain in colander to remove any fat. Add olive oil to the pan and saute garlic and onions about 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Simmeron low for at least 30-40minutes, covered. Do not add extra water, the sauce should be thick.

Meanwhile, slice zucchini into 1/8″ thick slices, add lightly salt and set aside or 10 minutes. Zucchini has a lot of water when cooked, salting it takes out a lot of moisture. After 10 minutes, blot excess moisture with a paper towel.

On a gas grill or grill pan, grill zucchini on each side, until cooked, about 1-2 minutes per side. Place on paper towels to soak any excess moisture.

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a medium bowl mix ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and egg. Stir well.

In a 9×12 casserole spread some sauce on the bottom and layer the zucchini to cover. Then place some of the ricotta cheese mixture, then top with the mozzarella cheese and repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up. Top with sauce and mozzarella and cover with foil.

Bake 45 minutes covered at 375°, then uncovered 15 minutes. Let stand about 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

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