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Didn't We Just Do This?

It's not that I can't be made happy.  I just have that type of mind that wonders, "I wonder what happens when I...", which can be really great or very dangerous.  When it comes to lasagna that uses veggies in place of noodles, the result is delicious.  If you follow this blog, you'll remember my adventures in using spaghetti squash for the first time a few weeks ago.  Today's entry is very nearly the same thing, except that I used zucchini instead of spaghetti squash...and risked my life with a mandoline instead of a massive chef's knife.  Let's begin!

I'm not going to include the recipe here, but you can follow the link above and see what I did with the spaghetti squash.  I'll point out the minor differences as we go.  Behold!  My mandoline.  I'm very proud to say I can finally put it together and take it apart without the instruction booklet.  Also, behold my zucchini (corgettes, as I've recently discovered, to my English friends).  I used three bigger ones and one little one.

Mine can vary the slice width between 1/16 and 1/4 inches.  I went with 1/4" slices.

As you can see, I cut my zucchini lengthwise so that they resembled the shape of lasagna noodles.  Warning!: Always use the hand guard  doubly so when slicing things lengthwise.  The larger the food, the more unwieldy it can be.

Tadaa!  Nice big zucchini slices.  Time to roast.

For this application, I roasted my zucchini at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  You'll notice I also had some red peppers in there.  The peppers eventually got moved to the top.  I also wish I had used parchment paper across the racks, as the zucchini sticks a bit.

Fun Story: I decided to roast the peppers based on the suggestion of a friend, Kelly.  Her logic was that you can dry out the zucchini and then it will then rehydrate by sucking up the sauce in the lasagna.  Keep in mind, this is the same person who witnessed my squash-medallion-roasting failure.  Oh well, I'm adventurous, and her logic seemed sound.

While the veggies are roasting, time to do some preliminary assembly.  I though the lasagna would end up being four layers, so I divided my beef into quarters (1/4 lb each).  Usually I would cook it first, but the beef was 90/10, so I skipped that part.  Had it been 80/20, I would have cooked and drained it first, so pay attention to your fat content.

The zucchini roasting worked!  Thanks for the idea, Kelly.  And, in case you're wondering, the dried out medallions of yellow squash got frozen after that fiasco and will one day feature in another vegetable lasagna. :-)  I tried to spread the ricotta cheese out as evenly as possible, and I think I succeeded for the most part.

The red peppers that got roasted were then skinned (ten minutes in an airtight container after roasting will make the skins come away from the flesh easily) and sliced to be layered into the lasagna.

I only ended up doing two layers, technically, and then topped the whole thing with mozzarella.

Tadaa!  30 minutes in the oven at 350/375 (depending on how hot your oven runs) and this is what you get.  Deeeeeee-licious!

Just like the spaghetti squash version, this was great!  It did include beef, unlike its predecessor  which Mike liked better--that was a given.  If you're looking for a low-carb one-dish meal, you found it.  Want it to be even lower fat?  Use ground chicken or turkey and low fat/skim cheese.  Need it to be vegetarian?  Cut out the meat altogether.  You get my drift.  You've got options, and it'll still be absolutely delicious.

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