Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

Who needs dairy when you can have this?

It’s fall and time for comfort food…what better way to indulge than with a Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna.  I struggle with calling this dish “lasagna” since that dish traditionally defined as a baked dish containing layers of boiled lasagna noodles, and usually cheese, a seasoned sauce of tomatoes, and meat or vegetables…Well, we have a seasoned sauce of tomatoes and loads of meat and vegetables so I guess we are half-way there!  This recipe is pretty simple to throw together and can certainly be modified to include dairy by adding layers of ricotta and mozzarella (I’ve made it this way too and it is certainly delicious!).  Adapted from this recipe on Health-Bent.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, or bison)
  • 2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c red pepper, chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 24 oz jar tomato sauce
  • couple leaves of fresh basil
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 small butternut squash

Directions

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Cut the top and ends of the squash off and peel it. Split it into 1/4′s. What I mean by that is, right where the squash starts to turn bulbous, cut it in 1/2, width-wise. Split those two halves in half, lengthwise. This will make it much easier to cut into planks. Scrape out the seeds. Slice the squash into planks.  Roast the squash on a parchment lined baking sheet until tender, about 25 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, in a saute pan heat the oil and saute the onions, peppers, mushrooms and garlic.  Add the ground meat and Italian seasoning and continue to saute until the meat is browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Using a 9×9 oven safe baking dish, put down enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the dish. (This keeps the squash from sticking to the pan.) Next add a layer of squash planks and top with a layer of baby spinach, then spoon on the sausage mixture, followed by the sauce. Repeat until all your ingredients are used up (I usually get three layers)…trying to reserve enough sauce to cover the top of the lasagna, sprinkle the fresh basil over the top layer of sauce.

Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Look for a bubbly pan with a crispy, browned top. Right out of the oven, the lasagna may by liquidy, let it set for a good half hour before cutting into it, as it will solidify.  Serves 6 generously.

This recipe is shared at:

Gluten-Free Monday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays , Gluten Free Fridays, Fight Back Friday, Fill Those Jars Fridays

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Frosted Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Is a frosted muffin really just a cupcake?

Autumn.

My absolute favorite time of year…I love the colors, the smells and the weather.  I love that it is Pumpkin Spice Latte season at Starbucks, although I’ve never had one, I love the way they smell.  I love the way my house looks with all my fall decorations up.  I love that all the stores are loaded with pumpkins and squash galore.  And best of all I LOVE that it’s time to dress everything up in Pumpkin Pie Spice!  This is my favorite muffin recipe, it’s only fruit sweetened so it’s not overly sweet which makes a dollop of cream cheese frosting just perfect to turn it into a weekend breakfast treat or light dessert!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

(yields 18 muffins)

2 large ripe bananas

1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted and soaked (about 6-8 dates)

5 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh roasted)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

1 /2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional as a mix in, can use for garnish instead)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line muffin tins with paper or silicone liners or grease well with coconut oil.
  3. Place pitted dates in a bowl, cover with very hot water and soak for about 10 minutes, drain well after soaking.
  4. To a blender add bananas, pumpkin, dates, vanilla, eggs, and melted coconut oil or butter.  Puree until smooth.
  5. Sift all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  6. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until there are no lumps.
  7. Stir in chopped pecans.
  8. Divide evenly between the muffin cups (I use an ice cream scoop which is about 1/4 cup of batter)
  9.  Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Let cool completely on rack before frosting.
  11. Frost tops of muffins and sprinkle with additional chopped pecans and lightly dust with pumpkin pie spice.

Whipped Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

¾ cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp. vanilla

  1. Whip heavy cream until stiff
  2. In a separate larger bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth, then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
  3. With a rubber spatula, gently blend whip cream into cream cheese mixture
  4. Store leftover frosting in an airtight jar in the refrigerator

This recipe is shared at:

Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Fill Those Jars Fridays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, French Cuisine Fridays, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free MondayGluten-Free Wednesdays , Gluten Free Fridays

Crispy Delicata Squash Fries

Crispy Delicata Squash Fries…so tasty.

Winter squash seem to be EVERYWHERE these days and I couldn’t be happier!  This is a super easy and quick recipe that makes a comforting side dish for any meal…I love to roast pretty much any squash but I especially like the Delicata since the skin is edible, no peeling necessary!!!

Delicata Squash Fries

2 Delicata Squash

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  With a sharp knife cut squash in half and remove the seeds.  Slice the squash into 1/4″ pieces.

Seeded and sliced delicata squash

Place squash in a large mixing bowl and toss with coconut oil and salt and pepper to coat.

Place coated squash on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes, turning all the squash halfway through baking.  Once the squash is browned and crispy, remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt.  Serve immediately.

Hot out of the oven.

This recipe is shared at:

Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Fill Those Jars Fridays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free MondayGluten-Free Wednesdays , Gluten Free Fridays

Gooey Sunbutter Brownies

I love to get my Clean Eating Magazine in the mailbox every month…I am totally guilty of immediately opening the magazine to the last page (seriously, every time.) which is cleverly titled “happy ending”…where there is always a “clean” dessert recipe.  Clean Eating Magazine has beautiful recipes that are easily adaptable to most styles of eating be it gluten, grain, dairy or refined sugar-free.  The “happy ending” in this issue uses spelt flour, peanut butter and organic evaporated cane juice which I substituted coconut flour, Sunbutter and a combination of coconut nectar and palm sugar to make it grain, legume and refined sugar-free.

Grain free, refined sugar-free brownies…sounds less than decadent, right?  Not so with this recipe that I adapted from the Peanut Butter Brownie recipe featured in this months (October 2012) Clean Eating Magazine.  These brownies have a “gooey” texture…not too dense,  eggy or cake-like.  The generous swirl of sunflower seed butter adds an extra layer of decadence to these “clean” dark chocolate brownies. Enjoy!

A decadent and guilt-free happy ending to any meal!

Sunflower Seed Butter Brownies

Ingredients:

4 oz dark chocolate (70% or greater)

4 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup coconut nectar

1 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted

2 Tbsp. cacao powder

3 Tbsp. smooth sunflower seed butter, room temperature

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish with coconut oil and line with parchment paper leaving 2 inches hanging over 2 opposing sides.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter.  Microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds.  Stir and cook 30 more seconds; repeat until chocolate and butter melt, being careful not to overcook. (Alternatively, bring a pot of water to a very gentle simmer; place a stainless steel bowl over pot and add chocolate and butter to bowl.  Cook, stirring until melted, 2 to 3 minutes.)

Stir in eggs, coconut nectar, palm sugar and vanilla until combined.  Add flour and cacao powder and stir until just incorporated and no white streaks remain; do not over-mix.

Pour into baking dish, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula.  Working in small dollops (about 1/2 Tbsp. each), dot the surface of batter with Sunbutter.  With a butter knife or spatula, swirl Sunbutter through batter.

Bake until toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs when inserted in center, 15 to 18 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 20 minutes.  Remove brownies from dish by lifting parchment paper.  Slice into 12 pieces.

Recipe Variations:

  • Substitute your favorite nut butter for the Sunbutter
  • Substitute honey, maple syrup or agave for the coconut nectar
  • Add chocolate chips
  • Add chopped nuts or seeds that complement your favorite nut/seed butter
  • If you are not grain free, omit one egg and sub 1/3 cup quinoa flour for the coconut flour
  • Make in a 12 cup muffin pan, be sure to use paper liners.

This recipe is shared at:

Made From Scratch Mondays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Fill Those Jars Fridays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free MondayGluten-Free Wednesdays

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