100% Paleo Lasagna

Close up of my first ever 100% Paleo Lasagna. It was more than Paleo good, it was finger licking G-O-O-D!

Close up of my first ever 100% Paleo Lasagna. It was more than Paleo good, it was finger licking G-O-O-D!

Lies, lies, lies. That is what has been on my mind these past couple of days. Any newspaper you read or TV channel you turn to, they are reporting about all the people in the public eye that have recently lied. Lance Armstrong finally confesses to Oprah that he not only doped to win all the Tour de Frances, but he also ruined the lives of many who he thought would admit his indiscretions before his recent confession. And now the Notre Dame middle linebacker, Manti Te’o, allegedly lies about his “girlfriend’s” death to get publicity for the Heisman. I know this is not the first time we see professional athletes ‘fail” or disappoint us, but either way it is still disheartening. Come to think of it, kids are liars too. Why is it their natural instinct to lie? I hear it all the time, “I didn’t do it, brother did.” As parents, my husband and I tried to stress the importance of telling the truth at a young age by telling our President- obsessed son the story of young George Washington admitting to his father that he cut down his beloved Cherry tree. We told Jackson it was hard for George Washington to tell the truth but he did it anyway because it was the right thing to do. We also told Jackson, he too, has to set a good example for his brother and even though it is difficult to do the right thing, he still has to do it. Now, a common phrase in our home is when Jackson is caught lying/ or telling a “white lie”, he will say “I didn’t cut down the cherry tree, Mama.” No he didn’t, he got me there.  Clearly, I am no parent of the year; we are still working on this life lesson. Sadly, adults lie too. We need to set good examples for our children to emulate.  My hubby hates when I start sentences with, “To be honest with you.”  When he hears those words come out of my mouth, he will quickly retort “Well I hope you are always honest with me.” Isn’t it sad that we live in a world where lying is so prevalent that you have to preface your comments that you are NOT lying? So if we ALL lie, what do we do to liars? Are there repercussions? In the military, we take Soldiers rank or pay away if they are caught lying. We can’t do that in the “civilian” world; there is perjury or libel but you have to be on oath or a reporter to get in trouble.  So what do we do?

Personally, integrity is all we got. If you are not true with yourself, you cannot be true to others. I do believe honesty IS the best policy. Honesty is free and the best gift you can give yourself and others. I don’t think this is a stretch when I say fitness and eating healthy is all about doing the right thing and being honest with ourselves. How bad do you want it? Be honest. You want to be thin and fit, but do you want to put the time into doing it? You are lying to yourselves if you say you want to be fit and healthy but you don’t do anything to change your life. In the Army, my first battalion commander taught me that you always have to do the right thing, even when it is hard. So I ask you all to do the right thing and take care of yourselves. Work out so you can live a long and healthy life. Eat right not to just look good in your bathing suit this summer, but to be strong and live a life without chronic illness and disease.

Anyway this blog has been a place for me over the last 6 months where I lay it all out there and tell the truth. I know many people don’t want to hear what I have to say, heck I barely like listening to myself talk, but I am putting myself out there because I want to do something more in life. I know many self righteous people grow up with their charge in life to help people. They have a noble cause like fighting  cancer, stopping hunger or promoting world peace, so what is my cause? Helping people get fit and feel good about themselves? Seems self centered and miniscule compared to those worthy causes, but I will take it! Now if I could only get paid for this and do this full time. That is what you all are for. Keep listening, keep cooking, keep trying and keep checking back to OurFullPlate and see what is new. Good things don’t happen overnight. Like anything in life, it takes time. Anything in life that is worth it, IS HARD. Do the right thing, be honest with yourself and others, and the results will come with time.

So in the meantime, I am going to be honest with you….MAKE THIS 100% PALEO LASAGNA. It was my first attempt to making a lasagna 100% Paleo and I loved it. I was a little skeptical of making a lasagna that didn’t have an ounce of dairy in it but after devouring almost half of the lasagna, like they say, “the proof was in the pudding (or Paleo Lasagna).” I used my semi-homemade Paleo Meat Sauce to make the sauce for this Paleo Lasagna and I was inspired by this recipe for my Walnut “cheese” sauce. Let me know if you are a convert too and love this lasagna as much as my family did.

 The Paleo Lasagna Recipe

5.0 from 16 reviews

Paleo Lasagna
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This is my first true 100% Paleo lasagna served with eggplant “noodles” and a nondairy walnut “cheese” sauce.
Author:
Recipe type: Italian
Cuisine: Paleo
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 1lb of ground beef, I used 96% lean
  • 1lb of ground pork sausage
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes (I used Italian Style)
  • 1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 2 eggplants, cut into ⅛ in julienne slices (lengthwise)
  • 2½ cups of frozen spinach
  • 1½ cup of raw walnuts
  • ½ cup of raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¾ cup of almond milk
  • ¼ cup of warm water
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Lay out all your ingredients and preheat oven to broil or 500 degrees.
  2. Take out your frozen spinach from the freezer and set aside to thaw it out while you are preparing the lasagna. This step is optional if you use fresh spinach. Even if you use frozen, you do not have to thaw it out because it does cook through so really it is up to you.
  3. Dust off your mandolin slicer. Wash your eggplant and set your mandolin slicer to the julienne setting to cut the eggplant into skinny slices. I used the ⅛ in setting because my thoughts were the thinner the better so they would closely resemble a pasta noodle. Besides, I think it worked better for my kids too. They ate the eggplant up but if the eggplant was thick they would probably would have run for the hills. Again, if you are sans mandolin, don’t get beat down. Eggplant is not difficult to slice so it will not take you long, I just don’t know how easy it will be to cut the eggplant that evenly thin. Either way, try the recipe OR save your money and buy a mandolin slicer; you can get one for $30. Now that I am Paleo, I am learning to appreciate my mandolin slicer more and more. Stay tuned for more homemade vegetables chips and grainless sandwiches with cucumbers, which are all possible with the use of my wonderful mandolin slicer.
  4. Spray each sliced eggplant with a little olive oil and place on a cookie sheet. For 2 medium-sized eggplants, I had to use 1 large cookie sheet and made 5 batches. Another way to cook these eggplants slices in one shot is grilling them on a gas grill. Though if you are broiling them, like me, you will have to take the top rack in the oven and place it as close as you can to the broiler. Add your first batch/ cookie sheet with the eggplant slices and cook for 8-10 minutes. Half way through the broiling time (about 4-5 minutes), turn the eggplant to avoid burning on one side. This was a bit of a tedious step but it didn’t seem too bad because I started cooking the meat sauce concurrently.
  5. While the eggplant slices are broiling, heat a saute pan over medium heat with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  6. Cook oil, garlic and onions for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent.
  7. Add ground beef and pork and cook for another 3-4 minutes until you see no pink in the meat.
  8. Add tablespoon of oregano and stir.
  9. Once the meat is cooked, add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir for about 2-3 minutes.
  10. Add the tomato paste to thicken the sauce and stir again until everything is evenly distributed.
  11. Cover and simmer on low until all your eggplant is cooked and ready to serve. Should be about 5-10 minutes by this time.
  12. Once the meat sauce is on low and the eggplant is all broiled you can make your nondairy walnut “cheese” sauce. All you have to do is add your walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almond milk, nutmeg and water and hit blend. I used a heavy duty blender to blend the sauce. It is no Vitamax but it is pretty powerful. I have read you can soak your nuts first to soften them if you want. I didn’t it and it was fine. The sauce blended rather immediately, no more than 2 minutes. Add more water if you think the sauce is too thick. Ultimately you want it to be the consistency of ricotta cheese, thick and not too runny.
  13. Ok after everything is complete, you are ready to assemble the lasagna. While you are assembling, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  14. Step 1: Take your 13 x 9in Pyrex pan, spray with olive oil and place about half a cup of the meat sauce on the bottom, covering the majority of the bottom.
  15. Step 2: Spread ½ of your eggplant slices on top of the thin layer of tomato sauce.
  16. Step 3: Spreading evenly, add half of your spinach.
  17. Step 4: Add half of your nondairy walnut “cheese” sauce, again trying to spread as evenly as possible.
  18. Step 5: Add a hefty portion of your meat sauce, about half of what you have left.
  19. Step 6: Repeat the second and last layer with eggplant slices, spinach, the nondairy walnut “cheese” sauce and the remainder of the homemade tomato meat sauce. I thought it was weird to not top the lasagna with any dairy or cheese, but don’t worry. After you try it you will not be longing for that dairy again. Promise.
  20. Cook in the oven, uncovered for 45 minutes.
  21. Be prepared to have this meal knock your socks off! To me lasagnas are a lot of work, but it was so worth it after trying it.

 

So what is the verdict? Does this paleo lasagna still offer all the taste without all the grains?

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41 Responses to “100% Paleo Lasagna”

  1. CarolJanuary 20, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Looks really good. It might even make Grammy a convert! :) I’m loving these recipes. Thanks!

  2. StellaJanuary 26, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    This was super delicious! I was a little worried at first – my last (and only) experience with eggplant was years ago and it was not pretty. The flavor of this dish is absolutely amazing. I knocked some time off by having the hubs cook the meat sauce while I prepped the eggplant. Next time, I’ll slice them a little thicker – they were so thin they were almost transparent and a few burned at first. I had a ton of eggplant, but since they were so thin many of them disappeared in the sauce. I’ll also probably make a bit more of the “cheese” next time. Overall, I enjoyed this way more than my regular pasta lasagna – which is super amazing – and I don’t feel like I can’t move even though I ate what seems like a really huge amount.
    Great job!! Keep them coming!

    • LauraJanuary 27, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

      Thanks Stella and I agree with you about the eggplant being on the thin side, but to be honest I think that was why my kids devoured this meal because the eggplant wasn’t too overpowering. I think I am going to make this lasagna again over the weekend and use zucchini noodles instead. I will let you know how it turns out. Laura

  3. BenJanuary 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Really surprised how good this was. I didn’t miss the pasta at all. Tasted great.

  4. HaleyJanuary 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    I recently started eating paleo and have greatly missed italian dishes with pasta. I came across this recipe and tried it and LOVED it! It’s amazing how the non-dairy “chesse” tastes BETTER than ricotta (I loved the nutty flavor) but shares the same consistency. The texture of the eggplant is very similar to lasagna noodles, again, with a BETTER flavor. I followed the recipe exactly and don’t think I would change a thing!

  5. HaleyJanuary 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Awesome paleo recipe! I was amazed at how much I loved the non-dairy “cheese”. I followed this recipe exactly and wouldn’t change a thing!

  6. LauraJanuary 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    Thanks Haley for the positive feedback. I am with you, I LOVE THIS RECIPE. I wish the prep work was quicker, but after you take a bite of this lasagna you realize quickly it was so worth it. I love love love dairy and sometimes I still eat it (hence why I say I am Paleo-ish and hey a girl has got to live, right?) but I can’t believe how you honestly do not miss the dairy. That walnut “cheese” sauce is amazing. My next adventure is trying to do a lasgna with butternut squash, the “cheese” sauce, and brussel sprouts. I will of course post the recipe when I am happy with the result so keep checking back. Thanks again! It makes me so happy when other people and fellow foodies find my food yummy :)

    Laura

  7. Joan StephensonMarch 1, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Can I prepare a day ahead?

    • LauraMarch 1, 2013 at 8:29 am #

      Joan, YES YES YES! Prepare it all, assemble it, plop it in the fridge and save it for a rainy day. I have made this twice on a Sunday and baked it the following Monday night when I couldn’t fathom preparing it all during the week when life is super hectic. I also don’t see why you couldn’t freeze it too and save it for a REALLY rainy day. Let me know how it turns out! I love this recipe. Come to think of it, I might make it again on Sunday. Happy Cooking!

  8. StephanieMarch 1, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    Cant wait to try this recipe it looks delicious. Thank you for posting this really appreicated????

  9. XxfireicexxMarch 1, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    This recipe is delicious !”! Thank you .

  10. danielleMarch 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    I made this the day ahead – not as much prep as you would think- AND the results make it 100% worth it! Blew my mind- will make again and again! And in the grand scheme of lasagna making- it’s no more work then a grain and cheese filled one nor more expensive. YUM YUM YUM YUM

  11. SaraApril 2, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    I wasn’t done with the recipe when the kids got home from daycare so I just gave them both a scoop of the meat sauce. They both had thirds, and they are very picky. Next time I may try to cut off the skin of the eggplant to make it easier for them to eat. Thank you!

  12. KelseyApril 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Quick ?
    How much walnut “cheese” does this make? I want to use this in another recipe :)

    • LauraApril 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

      Kelsey, I would double it if you are planning on using it for another dish. This recipe makes about 2-3 cups of it and the first time I made it I thought it was not enough but you would be surprised how a little goes a long way. I love this recipe. I am thinking of making one over the weekend to have it for next week. Let me know how it goes.

  13. RussoApril 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    I substituted grilled tofu for the meat and it was a delicious vegan feast! Fed it to my non-vegan friends and they FREAKED OUT! Pealing the eggplant, and slicing it ultra-thin helpt gourmet-ify it. I didn’t get as nice of an “almost burnt” crisp that you have in your pictures, but I think my oven is a bit under powered…
    Thank you for this!

  14. VirginiaMay 7, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    This was amazing!! Even my daughter loved it!

  15. MeghanMay 14, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    Do you have tips on modifying the recipe so it only includes poultry but preserves the flavor & consistency?

    • LauraMay 14, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      Hi Meghan,

      If you are referring to chicken when you say poultry, you can sub the ground pork OR ground beef for 1 lb of ground chicken. I would recommend subbing the pork though since it is more of a “white” meat and if you add two white meats it might dull down the natural seasoning the meat brings to this dish. I always have on hand my go-to homemade meat sauce for days I do not have time to cook and usually I make it with beef and pork but sometimes I mix it with beef and ground chicken and it is still yummy so I do not see why you couldn’t do the same for this lasagna. Recipe for my meat sauce just in case you want to try it is http://ourfullplate.com/recipes/paleo-ground-beef-and-pork-tomato-meat-sauce/

      Now if you want to add rotisserie or shredded chicken or turkey (as opposed to ground chicken) too I would just add more to the lasagna and keep the same measurements. Add 1 lb and swap one of the other meats or just do all chicken/ turkey (2lbs total) and I bet it would taste great too. The recipe is very flexible!

      Let me know what you decide to try.

  16. n8loganMay 14, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    looks and sounds delicious!! all of the recipies i have tried have been soooo good! Thanks Laura!!

  17. BeaMay 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Thank you SO much for this recipe! I just finished assembling the lasagna and will bake tonight. I saved leftover bits and combined in a bowl to try just now and it is DELICIOUS– insanely delicious. I added about half the juice of a lemon to the “cheese” mix to give it a bit of a tang and it turned out nicely. I will definitely be making this for the next dinner party we have!

  18. LaurenMay 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    This looks amazing. I’m making this over the weekend. The ingredients say 1/4 of warm water, but I’m confused about the 1/4. Is this 1/4 of a cup?

    • LauraMay 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

      Lauren, it is 1/4 cup. Sorry for the confusion. I updated the recipe accordingly. Thank you for catching that! Good luck this weekend. You are going to love it.

  19. RebeccaJune 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Absolutely AMAZING!! The only thing I added was some fresh Basil, Cilantro & Chili Flakes to the Tomato sauce. My mouth was actually watering just smelling it bake in the oven :) The Taste did not dissapoint either!! The “Cheese” sauce is so complimenting to the vegetables & Meat Sauce.. DELICIOUS!! Thanks for the great recipe!! :)

  20. KellyJune 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    This was a lot of work, but it was worth it. I’m a bit slow in the kitchen so it took me closer to 2 hours from start to finish. The Paleo walnut “cheese” was genius. It was a fantastic dinner. I’m so glad there’s leftovers! This recipe is a keeper. I served it with a spinach/strawberry salad, and made Paleo brownies for dessert.

    • LauraJune 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      Kelly you are right about the prep work BUT it is soooo worth it. And like you said, the best part are the leftovers. I was actually going to make it this Sunday and then all I have to do is plop it in the oven on Monday night and hopefully it will last a night or two when the week nights get too hectic to even think about cooking. Enjoy!

  21. DaveJune 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    This is the recipe, period. Competes with any lasagna I’ve had, paleo or not.

    • LauraJune 11, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

      Thanks Dave for the compliment. I love this recipe too! Make sure you tell others about it and together we might be able to make lasagna noodles go out if business :)

  22. MikeJune 17, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    Looks Great! I’m going to try it this weekend.

  23. kimAugust 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    I’m new to paleo and look forward to trying this! Could u sub the pumpkin seeds for another nut as I don’t have any on hand? thank you!

    • LauraAugust 26, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      Kim,

      Yes you can use any other nut or another seed too like sunflower seed. You are going to love this recipe! Let me know how it turns out.

  24. JackieSeptember 9, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    OMG!! I’ve been craving pasta for weeks but have been staying strong. I figured I’d give this a whirl to try and satisfy my craving….wow. Just wow. I can’t say enough! Even my picky hubby loves it – that’s saying a lot. Bravo!!

  25. kimJanuary 2, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    My husband won’t eat walnuts is there something I can
    substitute instead?

    • LauraJanuary 2, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      Yes! You can substitute the walnuts for cashews. I made another Paleo “cheese” sauce out of cashews and it was really good and creamy. You might be able to use almonds as well. Let me know how it goes, good luck!!!

  26. TinaFebruary 13, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    Thanks for this amazing recipe! All who ate it were amazed by how delicious it was… And I’m the only paleo one. (I have to admit that I was planning to make something different so I didn’t have any spinach on hand. What I did have was a red pepper which I roasted and a couple portabelos that I chopped and sautéed. Chopped the pepper, mixed it with the shrooms and used that in place of the spinach.) my pasta loving friends declared it the best lasagna they’d ever had. I’m so inspired by the walnut sauce that I’m going to try a moussaka tonight with it instead of bechamel.

    • LauraFebruary 13, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

      Thanks Tina!! I’m intrigued about the moussaka! Let me know how it turns out! I love moussaka; my husband and I went to Greece for our honeymoon 10 years ago and I have fond memories of it!!! Good luck!

  27. TomApril 6, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    Laura,

    Second time for this amazing recipe. Thanks for this. Every bite surprises me with how wonderful it is. One small suggestion, just cuz we’ve forgotten both times: Could you put the spinach unfreezing step in somewhere along the way? Might help out any newbies who come through. (Hopefully we’ll remember it next time–third time’s a charm). Anyway–thanks again–it’s insanely wonderful! (We didn’t miss that step in there somewhere, did we?)

    • LauraApril 7, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

      Tom, what a great idea. Will make the change now to the recipe.

      Laura

  28. NicoleApril 8, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    Hi Laura! Thanks for the fantastic recipe — can’t wait to make it! Just one quick question: I have someone who cannot eat either pork or sausage; in this case, should I just double up on the ground beef, or what would you suggest? Thanks again!!

    • LauraApril 9, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

      Definitely double up on the ground beef! I would do double beef over chicken or turkey, but you honestly could do anything. This recipe is so flexible and has enough flavors that it could go with ANYTHING!!! Happy cooking!

      • NicoleApril 11, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

        Yay! I am soooo excited to try this! Thanks, Laura. :)

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