Grilled Zucchini Lasagna

File 18-8-2015, 7 40 08 PM

This is not a quick and easy recipe to make after work, but a great recipe to make on the weekend (and worth the time).  We also had great leftovers.  This recipe comes from Carolyn Ketchum (one of my favorite cooks) at asweetlife.org.  This recipe uses thinly sliced zucchini in the place of noodles.  Nutritional info:  Calories from fat: 262, Carbs 10.72g, total dietary fiber 1.89 g, protein 30.72g.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 large zucchini, about 12 ounces each
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (I prefer to add 1/2 tsp.)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup full-fat ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (I used flakes)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 ounces shredded mozzarella

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat grill to medium (temperature should only be about 300 to 350F).
  2. Cut each zucchini in half crosswise and then slice each half lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices
  3. Grill zucchini slices until they are tender and much of the moisture has been removed, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.  Remove from grill and set aside on layers of paper towels to continue drying out.  Alternatively, roast zucchini at 350 degrees in the oven on wire baking racks for about 20 minutes.
  4. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add ground beef and cook through, breaking up any clumps with the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and pepper flakes.  Turn heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, ricotta, parmesan, basil, egg, garlic and salt.  Stir to combine well.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9×13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish.  Lay 1/3 of the zucchini slices across the bottom in a single layer.  Spread with 1/3 of cream cheese/ricotta mixture, then 1/3 of meat sauce and 1/3 of the mozarella.  Repeat these layers 2 more times.
  7. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes, until bubbling.  Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or so, until cheese on top is beginning to brown.  Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8.

Chicken Pizza

This recipe from http://www.genaw.com has become one of our favorites. It is very easy to make and about 3 net carbs per serving (depending on toppings).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 boneless chicken breast (about 5 1/2 ounce)
  • Dash Italian seasoning
  • Dash garlic powder
  • Dash salt

TOPPINGS:

  • 1 tablespoon pizza sauce
  • 1/2 ounce pepperoni (8 thin slices)
  • 1/2 large fresh mushroom, sliced thin (1/2 ounce)
  • 1 ounce Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 ounce mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons green pepper, minced (1/2 ounce)
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, minced (1/4 ounce)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pound the chicken as thin as possible without tearing it.
  2. Season both sides of the chicken with the seasonings and place it on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Spread the pizza sauce on the top of the chicken.
  4. Arrange the remaining topping ingredients in this order:  pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, cheese, peppers and then the onions.
  5. Lightly sprinkle with a little more Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Do not overcook.

Makes 1 serving.

Mock Fettuccine Carbonara

This great recipe is from George Stella.  I am a big fan of spaghetti squash so I love this Italian dish.  Yield: 4 servings.  Net Carbs: 8 grams per serving. (I doubled this recipe for my family of 4.)

• 1 medium spaghetti squash (this recipe uses only half of squash, but I used entire squash)

CARBONARA SAUCE:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup diced Parma ham (you may also use prosciutto, baked ham, cooked ham or turkey ham)
  • 1/2 cup small broccoli florets, lightly blanched
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
  • Grape tomatoes, halved, for garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut the squash lengthwise in half.  Scoop out the seeds of one half with a spoon.  Refrigerate the other half for another meal (unless you are doubling this recipe).
  2. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a full boil.  Completely submerge the squash half (or both halves) in the boiling water and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes (or longer if cooking both halves), until you can pierce the inside easily with a fork and the pulp pulls apart in strands.
  3. Remove, drain and plunge the squash half in a pot of cold water or an ice bath to stop the cooking.  when the squash is cool, drain and dry it, then use a fork to scrape the cooked squash out of its skin, fluffing and separating the pulp into spaghetti-like strands.  Discard the skin.
  4. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil.  While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the carbonara sauce:  Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium high-heat.  Add the ham and sauté for about 1 minute.  Whisk in the cream and egg yolk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more.  Add the garlic and cheese and whisk quickly just to heat through.  Remove from the heat and stir in the rest of the butter and the parsley.
  5. Right before serving, place the squash strands in a strainer and dip briefly into the pot of boiling water to reheat.  Remove and shake off any excess water.
  6. Put the hot spaghetti squash on a serving platter.  Toss with the carbonara sauce or pour the sauce over the top.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with fresh basil leaves and grape tomatoes before serving.

Meat Lasagna

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Here’s another George Stella keeper.  Yield: 8 servings, net carbs per serving: 3. Prep time: 30+ minutes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 15 ounces sugar-free tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

CHEESE FILLING:

  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the celery and onion and cook until slightly tender.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook until browned.  Drain off the excess fat with a spoon or turkey baster.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, garlic, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and simmer for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.
  5. Mix the ingredients for the cheese filling together in a bowl using half the mozzarella.
  6. Fill the bottom of the baking dish (9 x 13) with the meat filling and top with the cheese filling.
  7. Cover the top with the remaining 8 ounces of mozzarella.
  8. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top starts to become golden and bubbly.
  9. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing (the lasagna will hold together better).

Fathead Pizza Crust Recipe

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Finally, after three attempts with other recipes, a simple and great pizza crust has been found!!  I was lucky to get a picture of it before it was completely demolished.  This crust is just as good as regular pizza crust and you can pick it up and eat it.  This is a recipe I adapted from the Real Food website.  I believe the net carb count for the entire pizza is around 9.6 carbs.  I cut mine into 9 squares so the crust was a little over 1 carb each (does not include toppings).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 3/4 cup almond flour (I used 1/2 cup because I wanted an even thinner crust)
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 egg

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Put mozzarella and cream cheese in a medium size microwaveable bowl.  (It is recommended that it works better to cube up the cream cheese before melting it with the mozzarella.)
  3. Microwave for 1 minute, stir and then another 30 seconds, stir (very hot!).
  4. Stir in egg and almond flour.
  5. Wet hands and spread dough thin on parchment paper.  It should spread evenly with dough-like consistency.  If too stringy, then your cheese has hardened too much so just put it back in the microwave for another 20 seconds or so.
  6. Dock (poke rows of holes) with a fork to avoid bubbling.
  7. Sprinkle with garlic salt.
  8. Put on cookie sheet.
  9. After about 8 minutes (watch closely though), check it and poke holes where any large bubbles may be.
  10. Continue cooking for a total of 12-14 minutes or until slightly brown on top.  (Mine did not take quite as long – probably because I used less almond flour.)

After the pizza crust was finished.  I put on a very thin layer of pizza sauce (with no sugar).  I then added pepperoni and cooked sausage with lots of mozzarella cheese.  Topped it off with a little Italian seasoning, and returned it to the oven just long enough for the mozzarella cheese to melt.  Yum!!

Marinara & Mozzarella Meatloaf

This is an amazing recipe from George Stella.

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, divided (make sure no added sugar or corn syrup)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  1. PREHEAT oven to 350°, and ready a nonstick 9×5-inch loaf pan for baking.  (Or spray a regular loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.)
  2. IN a large bowl, mix the ground beef, 1 cup of the marinara sauce, diced red onion, eggs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper.  (This is easiest done with your hands.)
  3. EVENLY fill loaf pan with the meatloaf mixture, patting with your hands to form an even top.  Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.
  4. REMOVE loaf from oven and spread with remaining 1/2 cup of marinara sauce, and then the mozzarella cheese over the top.  Return to oven and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 165°.  Drain fat from pan and let rest 10 minutes before cutting into 8 equal slices.

This recipe has 6.5 net carbs per serving.