Creamy Paleo Lasagna

In college I ate a lot of pasta, probably 3 times a week. Since starting our real food lifestyle, we drastically cut our pasta intake. Neither of us have a gluten allergy or intolerance, but as I learn more about properly preparing grains (and legumes and nuts) we stay away from pasta as much as we can.

For the most part, neither of us really miss pasta. We’ve gotten our bodies used to relying on fuel from protein and fat, something that takes awhile for some people. How could we never enjoy the creamy, cheesy deliciousness of lasagna though?? One of the last pasta dishes we removed from our diet were these Spinach Lasagna Rolls . I’ve frozen them for friends who were pregnant, they pulled them out of the oven, and baked at 375 for 45 minutes and loved them.

The idea of using a vegetable in place of noodles is nothing new, it’s all the rage right now. Zoodles, anyone? But what about the cheese? After some trial-and-error, I think I’ve finally gotten just the right cheese sauce for this recipe. With no actual cheese in it, but real food ingredients.

The last thing we need to discuss before we get to the recipe is the “noodles”. Zucchini and eggplant both make great replacements, with zucchini coming in as our personal fave. If you can buy (or better yet, grow) a couple fat zucchini, then you can slice those into rounds. If not, and you can only get your hands on smaller zucchini, cutting the squash lengthwise isn’t as easy, but the dish will turn our better. Eggplants can always be cut into rounds.

Creamy Paleo Lasagna

1 pound grass fed ground beef
one jar marinara sauce (look for minimal ingredients)
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
handful fresh spinach
1 tablespoon dried basil
salt and pepper
3 zucchini or 2 eggplant, thinly sliced into rounds or lengthwise
Cheese Sauce
1 1/2 cups soaked cashews
7 tablespoons nutritional yeast, divided
4 tablespoons EVOO
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder, salt
dash pepper

To start, add onion and garlic to pan and saute until soft and fragrant. Add beef, basil, and S&P, cook. Just before beef is done cooking, add spinach, stir in.

Meanwhile, make cheese sauce. Start by adding cashews to food processor, and process until you get cashew butter. Add yeast and oil slowly while processing cashews. I added a tablespoon of each, processed for 10 seconds, repeat. When you add the last tablespoons, also throw in spices. Process until smooth. The final result should look like nut butter. Preheat oven to 350.

Add cheese sauce to meat, mix well.  Cover the  bottom of a 9/13 baking dish with marinara sauce, then begin layering ingredients: zucchini or eggplant, meat/cheese sauce, marinara. Top layer should be marinara. Bake for 25 minutes.

How do you feel about a cashew “cheese sauce”? Have you cut gluten or dairy from your diet? If so, how’s it going?


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