Monthly Archives: May 2013

Paleo Lasagna

This is a terrific recipe I made for my family the other night and there wasn’t a drop left over.

Ingredients

For beef and tomato sauce

  • 500gm grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups tomato passata (it’s basically a fresh tomato puree, comes in large jars or you can puree your own from scratch; diced canned tomatoes are fine, just process them into smoother consistency first)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2/3 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2/3 tsp black pepper
  • 1 +2/3 tsp sea salt

For layers

  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced into thin disks
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into disks (a little thicker than the parsnips, about 1/2cm)
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced vertically into thin ribbons
  • 4 button mushrooms, slices
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach leaves or English spinach
  • olive oil for cooking

Optional topping

1 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese + 2-3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 180C.
  2. Peel and chop onion and garlic. Slice eggplant and sprinkle with salt to let some of the moisture out, set aside in a bowl.
  3. First we will make the sauce. Heat a frying pan with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to medium. Break beef into small pieces and fry on medium heat until the colour changes from red to desaturated brown. Stir frequently to make sure all mince pieces are fried evenly. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add red wine, chopped garlic, pepper, paprika and salt to cooking meat and fry for a further 3-4 minutes. Add tomato passata, bring to boil and turn the heat down to simmering temperature.
  5. Heat another frying pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium. Sauté chopped onion with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes. Add onion and the olive oil to cooked in to the mince sauce, stir through and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  6. While the sauce is cooking, peel and slice parsnip into thin disks. Drizzle the bottom of a large, deep baking tray with some olive oil. Place a layer of parsnip slices overlapping each other. Put in the oven to start cooking while we prepare the rest of ingredients.
  7. Pre-slice mushrooms and zucchini.
  8. For the eggplant layer, we need to slightly pre-cook the aubergine slices. Heat a large frying pan to medium high. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of ghee (the reason I add both is to decrease olive oil’s smoking point). Add the first batch of eggplant slices making sure they don’t overlap. Fry on each side for 1-2 minutes, just to cook them slightly. Repeat oil, ghee and eggplant until all disks are pre-cooked.
  9. By this stage, all of our ingredients should be ready. Take the baking tray out of the oven and start layering the lasagna in the following order: pre-cooked parsnips, 1/3 of tomato meat sauce, eggplant, basil, mushrooms, the rest of the meat sauce pressed down evenly, baby spinach, zucchini, drizzle of olive oil and some cracked black pepper. Cook in the oven at 180-190C for 35-40 minutes. It will seem to you that you need more sauce but remember that most of the fresh vegetables and mushrooms will give out moisture during cooking and will shrink and compact into a much tighter, firmer lasagna. See step by step instructions further below.
  10. If adding ricotta & grated parmesan cheese, take lasagna out at a 20 minute mark and add the cheeses on top. Put back in the oven at 200C for a further 10-15 minutes.
  11. Garnish with fresh basil and a few cherry tomatoes. I serve with a side mixed salad.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes
Number of Servings: 4 – 6

Gluten Free Banana Bread Protein Bars

Yield: 10 bars

Dry Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats*, ground into flour (or oat flour)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp. mini dark chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand)
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. fine grain sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 small-medium)
  • 1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar syrup (or brown rice syrup)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8-inch square pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper, one going each way. Tip – to get the parchment to stick to the pan, give the base a spray with olive oil and do this for the next paper too.
  2. Add raw buckwheat groats into a high-speed blender and blend on high until a fine flour forms. Whisk all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  3. Mash bananas until smooth and measure out 3/4 cup. Stir together the banana and all the wet ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir well until combined. The dough should be very sticky!
  5. Scoop batter into prepared pan. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the batter and press it down to spread out the batter evenly. You can also remove the paper and wet your hands lightly and spread it out that way. Make sure it’s as even as possible.
  6. Bake at 350F for 22-26 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the bread is firm to touch. Cool in the pan completely (I left it for 1 hour) before removing and slicing into bars.

Nutrition Information

  • 242 calories per serving
  • 108 calories from fat
  • 12 grams fat (18%)
  • 27.5 grams carbs (18%)
  • 5 grams fibre (20%)
  • 10.9 grams sugar
  • 7.8 grams protein