Tonight’s Dinner… No Noodles Lasagna

I grew up in a family where we sat around a table every night and ate dinner together. We would talk about our day, what our plans were for the next day or just about life in general.  My Mom was a fantastic cook and one of my fondest memories was the lasagna she used to make.   I LOVE LASAGNA!  Actually, I love any Italian cuisine.  As I got older this hasn’t changed and my love for watching my mother cook turned into a love for cooking myself.   Now let me insert that I had always been a very picky eater, in fact, I don’t think I ate my first vegetable until I was almost 25 years old!  So most items I cooked were down-home southern morsels with heavy side dishes and lots of spices.

Right before Abbie’s diagnosis, my husband, Andy, and I had noticed we had packed on a few pounds (and that’s being generous), so we decided to try out a Low Carb High Fat diet.  I started trying new things and expanded my palette and now is someone who is now willing to try anything but that is a subject for another day.

So when Abbie was diagnosed we heard the story of kids need carbs to grow and develop so make sure she is getting between 50-60 grams carbs per meal.  My average intake of carbs at this point was approximately 30 grams per day, so that amount for her was astonishing.  However, I was not a doctor so we did what we were told.  Abbie enjoyed my meals, which were extremely low carb and high fat so they were very filling.  So imagine, a normal lasagna has 40-50g of carbs per slice on average right?  The lasagna you  are seeing here only has 8g per slice and the flavor is out of this world!  So how do you stack on an additional 30g to 40g of carbs to fulfill the doctor’s request because you are worried about your kid’s growth and development?  So we would add a salad with lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, red onion, a small amount of croutons, and Olive Garden Italian Dressing which only added an additional 10g; so now we still have 20g to 30g to go!  Easiest way… we added bread!

You know what happens to Abbie’s blood sugar when you give her a lot of carbs like bread, cereal, pasta, and candy?  She has extreme yo-yo numbers. I mean she skyrockets, upwards of 300 and then about an hour later she crashes to around 40-50, which is extremely scary.  We continued this trend for about a month after she was put on her pump and CGM before I had enough.  She liked my food why was I forcing all of this other stuff on her? It was time to figure out a different way to fix food and I did.  We will go into more detail about food in another post but for now… on to the lasagna!

Lasagna

It has to be the simplest lasagna recipe I have ever done.. you know why? There are no noodles to boil, no burning your fingers, no real layers, and no after carb coma!  It’s full of hearty flavors such as mild or spicy Italian sausage (whichever you prefer), grass-fed organic beef (you can use regular beef, we use grass-fed because there is no chance of hidden carbs, no sugar added spaghetti sauce, fresh minced garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, and of course a lot of cheese including fresh mozzarella slices.  My husband was so skeptical about this recipe the first time, as was I, but let me tell you, it makes twelve good size pieces and my family of four destroyed it!  We had no leftovers!!  It was so good in fact that Abbie asked for it to be served for her birthday dinner with all of her friends! Feel free to share and leave me a comment!

  • 2tbsp Olive Oil (optional depending on pan)
  • 1lb. Grassfed Organic Ground Beef
  • 1lb. Mild or Spicy Italian Sausage
  • 1- 24oz Jar of Ragu Traditional No Sugar Added Spaghetti Sauce (you can absolutely make your own, but I have not gotten around to making a recipe for it yet)
  • 1 sweet onion – diced
  • 2tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1tsp dried basil
  • 1tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2tsp black pepper
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • pinch of Red Pepper Flakes to Taste
  • 1-15oz container of Full Fat Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 12oz. shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 16oz sliced fresh mozzarella

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet (I use a copper skillet and therefore I do not need to use any olive oil, you can omit this step) over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, and cook until slightly tender and transparent.
  2. Add the ground beef and Italian sausage; when almost cooked through add the minced garlic and finish cooking until browned.  Drain off the excess fat in a colander and return to skillet.
  3. Add tomato sauce, basil, oregano, thyme, black pepper, salt and red pepper flakes.  Simmer for 2 more minutes on medium low heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, large egg, 4oz. of the shredded cheese, and 1/4 of Parmesan cheese together.
  5. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.  Fill the bottom with the meat filling.  Top with the cheese mixture, spreading it as evenly as possible.
  6. Cover the top with the remaining 8oz. of shredded cheese and the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Place the sliced mozzarella in a single layer on the top.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top starts to become slightly brown and bubbly.
  8. Let it cool for approximately 10-20 minutes.  The longer you let it cool, the better it will hold together.

Nutrition Facts:  12 Servings  Serving Size: 1 Slice

Calories: 350|Fat: 19g|Protein: 40g|Fiber: 1g|Net Carbs: 8g

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