One of the frustrations of doing a gluten-free and low carbohydrate way of eating is sometimes you just want something hot and heavy and cheesy. I haven’t had lasagna in many years, but I knew this summer that I wanted to experiment with making it out of my preserved foods. So when I had a box of zucchini this summer, I made sure to cut some of it into thin long slices and dehydrate them against the day I was going to make this dish. I used the basic recipe from about.com, but obviously tweaked it to use my ingredients.
Properly dehydrated foods last a long time. To use them, I either throw them in a medium that has a lot of water in it already (think chili, stews or soups) or I have to rehydrate them. For a pasta like scenario like lasagna, I ended up not only rehydrating the zucchini slices, but then drying them out slightly in an oven in order to have them act like a proper pasta.
I ended up working with the zucchini ribbons in the morning. Rehydrating takes about 15-20 minutes. It’s basically pouring heated water over the ribbons and letting them sit in the water for about 15 minutes. I then layered the ribbons on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper in a low (200 degree oven) for about 40 minutes. I wanted them to still be damp and fully hydrated, but not gloppy. After getting the ribbons where I wanted them, I layered them in a plastic container separated by paper towels and placed them in the refrigerator.
Later in the afternoon, I created a pasta sauce out of my home-made tomato sauce, tomato paste, onions, garlic and previously frozen roasted bell peppers. I also browned some ground beef from my farmer. I also mixed together two pastured eggs, some fresh basil and ricotta cheese (along with basil pesto that I had made and frozen in the summer).
After that it was simply a matter of layering. First I smeared some of the pasta sauce on the bottom of the baking dish and then mixed the rest of the pasta sauce with the ground beef. Then it was a layer of zucchini ribbons, a layer of meat sauce, a layer of the cheese mixture and then mozzarella. I kept repeating that until my baking dish was full and my bowls were empty.
After the container was full, I baked it just as one would a “normal” lasagna. It looked wonderful!
The lasagna was almost how I wanted it. The only thing I wasn’t happy with is that the zucchini slices were a bit tough. I think this would be better with fresh zucchini that was salted and drained, but then again, that kind of defeats the purpose of preserving the zucchini for winter use. I’m not quite sure how I would tweak this to reduce the toughness, I’m considering salting, draining and then individually freezing the zucchini slices next year instead of dehydrating them. Any suggestions? Oh and GC loved it. Totally empty plate.
Just a Head Up
Last year I spent 3 weeks doing the Raw Milk Cure. I found it interesting to track certain issues in my body and to really spend some time giving my body (especially my digestive system a rest). In fact I liked it so much I’m going to do it again starting at the beginning of April. I’d love it if some of you join me.
I do the milk cure as much as I can based on two books (both are available free on-line:
- The Milk Diet: How to Use the Milk Diet Scientifically at Home by Bernarr Macfadden, 1923.
- Milk diet as a remedy for chronic disease by Charles Sanford Porter 1911
Just because I do it this way, doesn’t mean you have to. I know people who just drink milk in place of their meals rather than treat it like a rest cure. If you have a clean raw milk source, then consider joining me on this challenge. I’m going to start doing this on March 30th, (beginning to blog on April 1st) and I plan on going for 3 weeks (mostly because that seems to be all GC can handle of my not eating). I’ll have a link to the post from the past year as well as a chart detailing my vitals and my experiences. Feel free to follow along with your information in the comments. Let me know if you are planning on doing this.