Easy Low-Carb, Noodle-free Lasagna, THM “S”

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I take after Garfield and love lasagna! As Pearl Barrett of Trim Healthy Mama fame says, if you aren’t eating lasagna at least once a week, you’re not living! It’s definitely comfort food and ranks right after pizza for me as my favorite dinner. This recipe is inspired by Pearl’s recipe in the THM Cookbook on p. 140. where she uses spinach as her noodle substitute. My recipe’s a bit different from Pearl’s. I don’t like buying jarred pizza or spaghetti sauce, which the original THM recipe calls for. Ideally I would have a whole shelf full of powdered, dehydrated tomatoes from my own garden, to make into sauce, but I’m not there yet. At this season in my life, I like to buy a month’s worth of tomato sauce at my local Kroger store with supposed BPA free cans, and not have to remember to buy pizza or spaghetti sauce, which I’m not in the habit of buying, for this one recipe. I also leave out the Parmesan called for in the original recipe. Ever since I read this book over here where I found out that real Parmesan cheese is really called Parmigiano Reggiano I’ve become a food snob about Parmesan cheese. I don’t want to buy the fake stuff, which apparently is highly processed and not aged properly. I haven’t taken the time to hunt down the real stuff yet.

Ah, I digress. When I made this lasagna last week, both my husband and my 16 year old complimented me on it and gobbled it up. “This is really good Mom/honey!” The younger kids turned up their noses at it, however, because they know it has spinach.  That’s OK! More of it for me as leftovers for lunches in the ensuing days!

I love that this lasagna is noodle-free for those who want to be low carb. It’s not soupy, either which can be a problem when I adapt lasagna recipes. I made the Pioneer Woman recipe here, which l love for its non-soupiness, but it uses lasagna noodles so it’s not low carb. So this one fits the low carb bill!

 

2 lbs of ground beef and drain the fat off

2 15 oz cans tomato sauce

1/2 tsp mineral salt

1 T onion powder

1 T garlic powder

1 T Italian seasoning

tiny bit of sweetener, like 1 to 2 doonks of stevia, or maybe 1 tsp of honey

2 10 oz packages of thawed frozen spinach

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese

1 14 oz container cottage cheese

2 large eggs

8 oz mozzarella or other cheese

Grease a 9 x 13 pan. If you want to double the recipe, that is, if you want lots of leftovers and you know your big family will eat 2 or 3 servings each even if they see spinach in it, use a larger pan. This is what I would do if all my 7 kids were still in the nest at home. But with only 4 at home, and 2 who won’t eat this, I don’t double it, and still have plenty of leftovers for lunches.

If you don’t have 4 lbs ground beef to double the meat, use finely sliced cabbage that you cook with the meat. Nobody will notice and you will have stretched the meat with a super frugal ingredient! Shhh! It’s not obvious like the spinach is. Set oven to 350 degrees. Take out the spinach bags, open them up, squeeze out water, and put spinach in a colander to drain further.

Get the meat cooking. While it’s cooking, get out the other ingredients and grate the cheese and open up the cans of sauce. Drain the fat off the meat if it’s not grass-fed and you are a purist and want to avoid the extra calories and toxins accumulated in the fat, by putting the meat in a colander and rinsing it off with hot water. Put back in pan and add the tomato sauce and all the seasonings and mix well.

Put the cream cheese, cottage cheese, and eggs in a blender and whiz together.

Now assemble! I like to just do one cycle of the three layers instead of two and get ‘er done, instead of fretting if I’m leaving enough of each layer for the second round. Cover the bottom of your baking dish with the meat/sauce combo. Then cover with the spinach. Then pour the dairy mixture on top. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Then top with the grated cheese and sprinkles of real Parmigiano Reggiano.

Bake for 40 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Let sit about 5 or 10 min. before cutting. Enjoy! Serve with a big spring mix salad and homemade ranch dressing! (I actually use a simpler ranch dressing these days. I just take Daisy sour cream, add enough water to thin it to dressing consistency, and then add salt and Italian seasoning to taste.) Yum, yum, yum!

 

 

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