Monday, June 24, 2013

Sweet Potato Lasagna

"That was the best lasagna we have ever had! Amazing that it was grain free!!" That was the response I got after taking this dish to a family with a new baby. And actually, that's about the response I have every time I fix it. Everyone raves over it and loves it. I decided it's time to share my "secret" recipe! Basically, I just make lasagna as normal, but replace the pasta noodles with sliced sweet potatoes. That's the secret! I'll go ahead and share my "exact" recipe though, just to make it seem more exciting. :) My husband might tell you that nothing I cook is exact though. Everything is different every time I make it. He's right! I can never remember what I did, unless I really focus and write it down as I go along. 

Since going grain-free with our cooking, we have tried various pasta replacements. First it was spaghetti squash. That was okay, but often very mushy and not very flavorful. Next, zucchini. It works quite nicely for this type of thing, and tastes much better than squash. (Just peel as directed below for the potatoes, if you want to try it.) But when I started using sweet potatoes, Daniel announced it even better than traditional pasta noodles! 

Sweet Potato Lasagna


Brown: 

2 lbs. ground beef (or a mixture of half beef, half sausage)
1 onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Add:

spaghetti sauce
(I usually use about 3/4 of a quart jar, either my own canned or the store-bought.)

In separate bowl, combine:

1 1/2-2 c. cottage cheese (see how exact I am?!)
1 egg
1-1 1/2 c. grated mozzarella cheese, 1/2 c. or so reserved
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
a dollop of yogurt (optional)
1 tsp. dried basil

For the sweet potato "pasta" noodles, peel 2 medium sweet potatoes. Discard skins, and continue to peel with vegetable peeler, rotating potato to make nice wide slices, till you can't peel any longer without peeling your finger tips. Try to "dig" in a little more than you would for just peeling the skins off, to make the "noodles" thicker. You'll probably have about this much sweet potato leftover:



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So next, it's time for assembly. Make your lasagna layers by alternating beef, sweet potato noodles (laid out flatish, 1-2 layers) and cheese mixture in a 9x13" baking dish. I aim for about 3 layers of each. But it usually doesn't work out that way.

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Try to end with beef, and if there's not enough beef, pour a bit more spaghetti sauce on top. Sprinkle with reserved mozzarella cheese, even some more parmesan if desired! Bake, covered, for 60 min. at 350-375* till the sweet potatoes are completely tender. Test by sticking a fork in the middle. If there's not much resistance and it goes all the way to the bottom, it's done. 
Tip: Take the foil off for the last 10-15 minutes of baking, then the cheese will get all nice and crispy. Let sit for about 10 minutes after taking out of the oven, and then it won't be so sloppy when serving.

Finally, for the very best flavor, don't eat it! Ha! I mean, for some reason, lasagna is always better the second day. So if you refrigerate it, and heat it up the next day, it will taste so much better. It's a great freezer-type meal too. Of course, we don't follow that rule and go ahead and gobble it up. I serve it with peas, broccoli, salad or "something green" as my Mom would say. 

Here's a picture of the layers, seen best before warming up the second day:

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And, the sloppy version, warmed up and ready to eat:

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Let me know if you try it and love it as much as we do! 

And because I hate trying to print the basic directions from a post like this with all the added newsy parts dispersed throughout, here's the basics. Just highlight, right click, and then hit print and click "print selection" when you're ready.

Sweet Potato Lasagna
Brown: 
2 lbs. ground beef (or a mixture of half beef, half sausage)
1 onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Add:

spaghetti sauce

In separate bowl, combine:

1 1/2-2 c. cottage cheese 
1 egg
1-1 1/2 c. grated mozzarella cheese, 1/2 c. or so reserved
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
a dollop of yogurt (optional)
1 tsp. dried basil

For the sweet potato noodles, peel 2 medium sweet potatoes. Discard skins, and continue to peel with vegetable peeler, rotating potato to make nice wide slices. 

Make your lasagna layers by alternating beef, sweet potato noodles (laid out flatish, 1-2 layers) and cheese mixture in a 9x13" baking dish. End with beef, sprinkle with reserved mozzarella cheese and bake, covered, for 60 min. at 350-375* till the sweet potatoes are completely tender.
Tip: Take the foil off for the last 10-15 minutes of baking, then the cheese will get all nice and crispy. Let sit for about 10 minutes after taking out of the oven, before serving.

3 comments:

  1. Sounds intriguing! I'm going to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're making me hungry for real (as apposed to 'camp' food)food!

    ReplyDelete
  3. thank you for this i just wanted to know how to do the sweet potatoes im going to do the meat cajun style xx

    ReplyDelete

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