Zucchini, Tomato & Mozzarella Casserole

Zucchini, Tomato and Mozzarella Casserole

This is a super easy, comforting side dish, perfect for all those zucchini and tomatoes over-flowing your garden! I adapted the recipe from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen, she used halved zucchini with Gouda cheese, I sliced mine and used Mozzarella. There are endless ways you can make this dish but the spices in the recipe below really hit the spot with me! You could easily add your favorite cooked protein to the layers to create a complete meal, this particular recipe would be great with a spicy Italian sausage.

Zucchini, Tomato & Mozzarella Casserole

Serves 4 as a side dish

Ingredients
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced length-wise (10-12 slices total)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes thinly sliced (18 slices total)
  • salt
  • 3 Tbsp ghee or butter, melted (olive or avocado oil would be good too)
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp dry Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp black pepper or to taste
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup gluten free panko breadcrumbs (I used Ian’s)
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp dry basil
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and spray an 8×8 glass dish with cooking spray or lightly grease with butter/oil.
  2. Place the tomato slices on a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt. Gently press another paper towel on top and allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into ¼” slices to yield 5-6 per zucchini.
  4. Mix 2 Tbsp melted ghee/oil with the garlic salt, onion powder, dry Italian seasoning and black pepper.
  5. Place one layer of zucchini in the bottom of the casserole dish. Brush the tops of the zucchini lightly with the seasoned ghee/oil. Place a layer of tomatoes on top of the zucchini.
  6. Sprinkle with ½ of the mozzarella cheese.
  7. Repeat the layers of zucchini (brushed with seasoned ghee/oil), tomato and remaining mozzarella cheese.
  8. Toss the panko breadcrumbs, dry basil and grated Parmesan cheese with the remaining 1 Tbsp of ghee/oil and sprinkle over the mozzarella cheese, lightly pressing down.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until fork tender.
  10. Enjoy!
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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

Spicy Bacon & Beef Cottage Pie

There have been a ton of Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie recipes making an appearance in the Paleo blogosphere lately.  They all look so tasty and like a wonderful, warm comforting food…today it was snowing in Colorado so I thought it would be the perfect day to try to make one.  Elana’s Pantry posted this recipe for Paleo Shepherd’s Pie recently using cauliflower mash for the topping and a few months back Jan’s Sushi Bar posted this Sweet and Spicy Cottage Pie using mashed vanilla sweet potatoes on top.  Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed Cookbook has a fabulous recipe with many variations for Shepherd’s Pie using the traditional ground lamb as well as recipe on her blog for Cottage-Flower Pie.  My version pulls things from all three recipes and I will have to say it was FABULOUS!  This was the first Cottage Pie I have ever made and it sure will not be my last!  I was pleased with the photos of the Cottage Pie before it went in the oven and with the ones of it dished out in my bowl…the one of the final product after it was baked is not the best simply because I think I used too small of a casserole dish so the filling bubbled up over the sides of the cauliflower mash (and made a huge mess in the oven!)…now in my defense, I’ve never made this dish before so this could very well be a normal occurrence!  I am calling this “Spicy” simply because it is just that, SPICY…I like it that way but if you prefer a milder flavor I would omit half of the black pepper and all of the red pepper flakes.

Spicy Bacon & Beef Cottage Pie

Spicy Bacon & Beef Cottage Pie (Serves 4)

1/2 pound nitrate/nitrite free bacon, coarsely chopped

1/2 pound ground organic grass-fed beef

2 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil

1/2 large onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

2 cups chopped kale, stems removed

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp. paprika

1 recipe Mashed Cauliflower

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large skillet heat butter or oil over medium-high heat, saute onion until soft.  Add chopped bacon to the pan and saute until cooked, add carrots, celery and garlic and saute in the bacon fat until soft.  Add the ground beef to the pan with the bacon and vegetables and saute until browned.  Season the meat and vegetable mixture with the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and paprika.  Stir in the tomato sauce, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken.  Add the chopped kale and cook until the greens are wilted.  Transfer the meat and vegetable mixture to a casserole dish (the one I used was a 1.7L Pyrex…I’d go a bit bigger!).  Carefully spread the cauliflower mash (recipe follows) evenly over the top of the meat mixture.  Using the tines of a fork, lightly create some texture on top – the peaks and valleys make nice brown spots in the oven.  Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until the top begins to brown (I would have browned mine more but it was splattering all over the oven!).  Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Mashed Cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil

2 Tbsp. heavy cream or coconut milk

salt and pepper, to taste

Place ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.

This recipe is shared at:

Fight Back Friday, Make Ahead Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Meat and Vegetable Mixture

Topped with Cauliflower Mash

The not-so-pretty finished product

Looks aren't everything...it tasted GREAT!

Roasted Green Chile Breakfast Casserole

Who doesn’t love a great breakfast casserole?  Especially one that is full of flavor, easy to make and even better the next day!  My mom and dad have been raving about this recipe for over a year now but I just got around to making it last week and boy am I sorry I waited so long…

Back in my gluten, grain and “not so healthy” conventional grocery store days I regularly made a Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole for my family…loaded with white tortillas, canned soup (!!!), canned green chile enchilada sauce (was there even green chilies in there?) and lots of bright yellow cheese.   It doesn’t sound too appetizing when the ingredients are listed out that way but it was very, very tasty and one of our favorite weeknight meals!  Thankfully, I was able to duplicate the recipe using nutritious, healthy, organic and gluten-free ingredients so my family could still enjoy it.  However, since I have been grain-free for the last year or so this dish has been off the menu for me…until now.

Enter the Roasted Green Chile Breakfast Casserole…layers of green chilies rather than corn tortillas, a creamy egg mixture in place of the soup and sauce and lots of cheesy goodness pull it all together along with raw pumpkin seeds toasted on top for a bit of added crunch.  I usually add some sort of meat (whatever I have leftover in the fridge that needs to be used up) but the original recipe is meat-less.  Included in this post is the “original” recipe for the casserole that I got from my mom and also mine with a few alterations.  You will find that this recipe can be adapted very easily to your families liking, dietary needs and size.

Layers of roasted green chilies, cheese and eggs...yum

Roasted Green Chile Breakfast Casserole (Original Recipe):

Serves 8

12-14 roasted whole green chilies

8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded

8 oz Monterrey jack, shredded

4 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9×13 glass baking dish.

Wash, peel and seed chilies.  Drain chilies on a paper towel, be sure to keep chilies whole, do not chop.  In a medium mixing bowl whisk together eggs, cream and salt.  To assemble casserole layer green chilies on bottom of prepared dish, top with 1/2 of cheese, repeat layer of chilies and cheese, pour egg mixture over chilies and cheese, sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

My version in an 8x8 dish, serves 4

Here is my recipe…the original is perfect as is but I wanted to scale it down for two (with leftovers) and also add a bit more protein and little less dairy.  I enjoy it with a side of sour cream, salsa or avocado…it is so delicious.

Roasted Green Chile Breakfast Casserole (adapted):

Serves 4

12-14 roasted whole green chilies

2.5 oz raw sharp cheddar, shredded

2.5 oz raw Monterrey jack, shredded

4 oz cooked chicken, beef or pork, shredded or chopped

4 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 8×8 glass baking dish.

Wash, peel and seed chilies.  Drain chilies on a paper towel, be sure to keep chilies whole, do not chop.  In a medium mixing bowl whisk together eggs, cream and salt.  To assemble casserole layer green chilies on bottom of prepared dish, top with 1/2 of cheese, 1/2 of meat, repeat layer of chilies, cheese and meat, pour egg mixture over chilies and cheese, sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

This recipe is shared at:

Slightly Indulgent Tuesday & Tasty Tuesday

Gluten Free Wednesdays

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