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Zucchini Lasagna for the Vegetarian and Carnivore

Each recipe is finished with a wine pairing… see below!!

This recipe can be made 3 ways!  With or without meat or just like I have to make it at home… half and half 🙂  Some may not be a fan of their non meat meal, touching a meat meal but in my household where I am the only vegetarian;  I need to be a little flexible unless I always plan on cooking 3 meals.  My son is 18 months old and unless it’s avocado, hummus or chicken fingers, he is not having it.  And my hubby-to-be???  He swears that you cannot get full when there is no meat.  So I get creative!!!  I know it’s not typical to be OK with having a meat product in/near your vegetarian dish but here is the thing.  I believe in the circle of life, and I don’t think eating meat is the worst thing in the world but I do know that we eat entirely too much of it, at an unsustainable rate.  I personally believe it’s ruining our environment and on top of that, do not even get me started on animal cruelty.  I feel so out of control when shopping for meat, it’s either high dollar (and even then I’m not sure I can believe the labels) or it goes against my morals.  I just decided one day to take 1 step in doing my part, so I quit eating most meat but I still eat seafood occasionally.  I know, I know, they are still animals but I am doing my best.  Working my way toward no seafood one day.  As Kathy Freshton would put it, I am practicing being veganish… and some is better than nothing right?

There are a ton of health benefits to cutting out meat from your diet so I figured why not??  I get closer to a becoming a full vegetarian the more I learn the best foods to replace the meat for nutrition.  Otherwise, if I go to fast I would end up on an all bread and chip diet and I don’t think that will do.  If anyone has meal ideas, please share!  It’s funny when you grow up eating one way, eating becomes a no brainer, but when you take out a major source of protein you have to re-train yourself on what foods to automatically chose.  If you are working on cutting out meat, give yourself a break if you can’t do it all right away.  You want to do it right if it’s a true lifestyle change, food = health so be careful to do your research and talk to your doctor!!!

Bon Appetite!  I can’t wait to hear what you all think!

Zucchini Lasagna for the Vegetarian and Carnivore
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
A tasty weeknight dinner that's easy and good for the whole family.
Ingredients
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 2 jars of Bertoli rustic cut pasta sauce
  • 1½ cups of part skim ricotta cheese
  • 3 oz of shaved parmesan cheese
  • 10 - 12 cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • ½ of a medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • table salt
  • Splash of EVOO
  • ½ pound of ground beef - organic and humanely raised, look for certification on package
  • 8 oz of shredded mozzerella cheese
  • 3 oz of spinach
Instructions
  1. Slice the zucchini to ⅛ inch pieces and lay to the side for 10 minutes after salting lightly (this will remove some of the water content)
  2. Use a large pan and brown the slices of zucchini for a few minutes on each side to finish getting out as much water as possible.
  3. Set the zucchini to the side on a paper towel for another 10 min.
  4. Using the same pan, brown the onions. As they start to turn brown, add in tomatoes.
  5. Spray your baking dish and then lay out ½ of the zucchini to nicely cover the bottom
  6. Remove the onions and tomatoes, set aside
  7. Using the same pan again, add a touch of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and brown and crumble your meat
  8. Now, add ¾ of the Bertoli Sauce over the first layer of Zucchini
  9. Spread the spinach over to cover
  10. On top of that, spread out the onions and tomatoes, add the hamburger meat only to one half
  11. Mix together ricotta and Parmesan and dollop the mix, getting over as much as possible (there will be gaps, don't worry it will melt down)
  12. Add the rest of the zucchini covering as much as possible, top with another cup or so (to your taste) of sauce and then top with mozzarella cheese
  13. Bake at 375 for 40 - 50 min. - Watch for the top to get golden and then set aside to cool for 10

Pair with a great Merlot or Cabernet like one of these below for a complete meal… oh and maybe a salad too 🙂  Click on the photo to go to my online store!  The more you sip the more you give — Check each bottle for the charity that they impact.

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