This low carb Paleo-friendly Lasagne is inspired by the combination of many recipes that I have tried out in the past, using aubergine “noodles” in my first attempt, which was pretty amazing tasting. With my confidence piqued, I went on to try it with butternut and sweet potato noodles too and while it was pretty much higher in calories and carb count, the higher carb veggies naturally provided great comfort food indulgence, but more healthy in respect of the gluten and wheat based noodles off the shelf.
This recipe with baby marrow / courgettes / zuchinni, is as low carb as the aubergine noodles and just as delicious tasting albeit slightly moist in comparison to the butternut and sweet potato. The dairy-free “cheese” sauce provides an amazing complement to this dish and while the ghee and eggs make this higher caloried, the richness of the sauce is similar to the dairy based sauces, however, home made dairy free Almond milk is less sweeter and more mild tasting as compared to coconut milk, making it similar to dairy based milk. [The recipe for making Almond milk follows the lasagne recipe within this recipe entry] Milk made from raw cashew nuts will also work well in this lasagne. A low carb creamy cauliflower sauce for those looking for an easier and as creamy sauce option, makes this lasagne ultra low carb
I used fresh plum tomatoes which I pureed, and added to the minced lamb – Campari or Israeli tomatoes will work well too, as they are less acidic and sweeter tasting than regular tomato. Using a sweeter tomato makes the optional use of a sweetener unnecessary. As always, chilli is an option I add to my meals by default, being a chilli-lover of note. Made without the chilli, the real Italian meat sauce taste is intensified. The minced meat may be browned without olive oil and onions, if preferred. i used olive oil and onion because the minced lamb was extra lean. These steps may be skipped, simply add the minced meat to a non stick pot, brown, removing all trace of pink and raw minced meat, and proceed to the next recipe instruction.
This is a no-fail low carb lasagne that is a choice alternative to the gluten-based version and one that will be a repeat make, experimenting with both the higher and lower carb veggie lasagne “sheet”options.
500g minced beef or lamb
2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup beef or lamb stock (home made, preservatives and sugar free)
8ooml crushed or pureed tomatoes (preservatives and sugar free if using canned)
¼ cup tomato paste
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes
Himalayan or sea salt, to taste, if required
1 tsp cumin seeds, optional
1 tsp crushed garlic, optional
1-2 green chillies, optional
1/4 tsp raw honey, xylitol or stevia optional
Baby Marrow /Courgette / Zuchinni Lasagne Noodles
- 500g-700g courgettes / zuchinni tops and tails cut off, sliced thin, about ½cm in width, lengthwise – for an equally low carb veggie noodle base, you may substitute with aubergine, alternatively butternut or sweet potato which are higher in carbs may also be used
Homemade “Cheese” Sauce
¼ cup ghee or, beef or lamb tallow (tallow available from Meltfort )
3 tblsp arrowroot powder OR tapioca flour
2 cups *almond milk (preservatives & sugar free) *Almond milk recipe below
1 ½ tsp Himalayan or Sea Salt
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
3 eggs, whisked
1 cup chopped fresh parsley (I used Italian parsley) for assembly of the lasagne
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and lightly grease a 33 x 23cm casserole dish with coconut oil and keep aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pot on medium stove top heat.
- Add in the cumin seeds and as they begin to sizzle and become aromatic, add in the sliced onions and green chilli, if using, bay leaf, and saute until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Now add in the beef or lamb mince and brown on medium-heat. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. Cover the pot and bring the meat sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to allow the sauce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes, to thicken.
- While the meat sauce cooks, slice the courgettes / zuchinni into thin pieces, lengthwise, about 5mm thin and keep aside.
- For the dairy-free “cheese”sauce, in a bowl, combine the almond milk, salt, lemon juice, garlic powder and onion powder.
- Heat the ghee or tallow in a small non-stick pot or sauce pan over medium stove-top heat until melted.
- Add in the arrowroot powder and whisk to combine the ingredients, forming a roux.
- Slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the arrowroot mix, whisking to mix well. Continue to whisk until smooth and thickened, then remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Once the almond milk mixture has cooled, whisk in the eggs, slowly. You will notice that adding the eggs will make the mix thinner. However, the sauce will thicken when it’s baked.
- Now, time to layer your lasagne! In your greased casserole dish, from the bottom, up: meat sauce, veggie noodles, meat sauce, parsley, cheese sauce, noodles, meat sauce, parsley, ending with the cheese sauce.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the “cheese sauce” has set and the edges of the lasagna begin to crisp.
A fresh green salad with a serving sized portion and your guilt-free lasagne is ready to be enjoyed!
*How to make home made Almond Milk by the kitchn.com
Ingredients (makes 2 cups of Almond milk)
1 cup raw almonds
2 cups water, plus more for soaking
Optional Sweeteners like raw honey, date paste, agave syrup, or maple syrup, to taste. Flavouring with vanilla extract or vanilla pod scrapings.
Blender or food processor
Fine-mesh nut bag or cheese cloth
- Soak the almonds overnight or up to 2 days. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. They will plump as they absorb water. Let stand, uncovered, overnight or up to 2 days. The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk.
- Drain and rinse the almonds. Drain the almonds from their soaking water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. At this point, the almonds should feel a little soft and squishy if you pinch them.
- Combine the almonds and water in a blender. Place the almonds in the blender and cover with 2 cups of water.
- Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes. Pulse the blender a few times to break up the almonds, then blend continuously for two minutes. The almonds should be broken down into a very fine flour and the water should be white and opaque. (If using a food processor, process for 4 minutes total, pausing to scrape down the sides halfway through.)
- Strain the almonds. Line the strainer with either the opened nut bag or cheese cloth, and place over a measuring cup. Pour the almond mixture into the strainer.
- Press all the almond milk from the almond flour. Gather the nut bag or cheese cloth around the almond meal and twist close. Squeeze and press with clean hands to extract as much almond milk as possible. You should get about 2 cups.
- Sweeten to taste. Taste the almond milk, and if a sweeter drink is desired, add sweetener of choice to taste.
- Refrigerate almond milk. Store the almond milk in sealed containers in the fridge for up to two days.