I hadn’t planned on sharing this recipe on my blog, but when I shared it on facebook, quite a few of you asked for it! I wasn’t going to share it because it uses dairy and dairy isn’t technically included in the Paleo diet, so I try to keep recipes here dairy-free, as to not confuse those new to Paleo.
When I first started the Paleo diet, I had no tolerance to dairy, with the exception of butter and ghee. I would become incredibly bloated every time I ate some, even when I consumed high quality dairy. I remember feeling so miserable on 4th of July one year, after eating a bowl of delicious homemade ice-cream that my brother in law had hand churned. After spending a few years working on my digestion, I can now eat dairy regularly without any adverse effects.
We always choose grass-fed dairy and raw dairy whenever it is available. I regularly drink raw-milk, I use raw-cream in my tea every morning and I even indulge in some raw cheese once or twice a week! We just made raw-milk yogurt for the first time, which Indyanna has been devouring all week. I am glad that I can now tolerate dairy, as it is a great source of healthy fat and fat-soluble vitamins, A, D & K. Which, by the way, are some of the most important vitamins for pregnancy and fertility. Many people can’t tolerate dairy. Luckily, dairy isn’t the only way to get these nutrients. These vitamins can also be found in fermented cod-liver oil, wild salmon, liver, grass-fed butter, fish eggs, bone-marrow and fermented foods. If you can’t or don’t eat dairy, make a conscious effort to consume the aforementioned foods regularly.
Over the weekend, I was craving a filling and comforting meal. I really wanted some cheesy-goodness. I decided to whip up some grain-free lasagna. Instead of mozzarella, I used burrata in this recipe. When I went to the store to buy ricotta and mozzarella, I could only find part-skim mozzarella. Low-fat or no-fat dairy is not something you will ever find in my fridge, no exceptions. I eat dairy for the fat! duh! It’s healthier that way and tastes better. As I was irritatedly reading the labels of mozzarella, I spotted a lone container of burrata. I was ecstatic, as burrata is my most favorite cheese EVER. It is a fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. If you have never had it, make sure to try it next time you see it at the market or spot it on a restaurant menu. Pretty much, to die for! It made a delicious substitute for mozzarella in this recipe!
Grain-free Lasagna Recipe
Special Equipment: 3 quart casserole dish (like this)
1 tablespoons ghee
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef
6 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup tomato pasta sauce, preferably in a jar (like this one)
3 tablespoons tomato paste, preferably in a jar (like this one)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
16 ounces Ricotta cheese
8 ounces Burrata cheese
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 or 5 large zucchinis (the fatter, the better), cut into 1/4 inch slices
crushed red pepper for garnish
- Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and bell peppers and saute until onions are transluscent and peppers are soft. Add garlic and jalapeno and saute for an additional minute. Add ground beef and saute until lightly browned and cooked through.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper to the ground beef mixture. Bring the meat sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer on low for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Assemble lasagna in the baking dish. Line the bottom of the dish with sliced zucchini, then add half of your meat mixture on top. Then add half of the riccota in an even layer. Scatter chunks of half of the burrata. Line the cheese with another layer of zucchinis. Add the remaining meat mixture on top of the zucchinis. Add the remaining cheese in a similar manner as the lower layer. Cover the top layer with remaining zucchini slices.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until zucchini is tender and the cheese has melted.
- Turn the oven to broil for an additional 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and serve!