Bikinis and lasagna...those don't really work together, huh?
In the summer, I love making huge salads filled with bright summer flavors like grilled pineapple, peaches, mango, or figs. Sprinkle a little goat cheese and add some grilled chicken and you’ve got dinner.
But then, there are those steamy summer days that I’ve got some serious hankerings for something meaty, rich, and decadent.
Lasagna doesn’t exactly come to mind when I think of sexy beach body foods. A typical serving of lasagna, say the frozen one I ate throughout my childhood that rhymes with Mouffers, can easily set you back 400 calories with over a third of your daily sodium and a quarter of your daily fat. Heaven forbid you’re starving and want seconds…
Y’all, lasagna is one of those nostalgic meals I will always love, though I don’t love the ingredients.
That’s why I’ve tackled the standard recipe.
No noodles. No cheese. But all the flavors you still love about lasagna.
Here are our key players to those magical layers-
1) Roasted eggplant slices act as your noodles, giving you the texture of lasagna without the bloat of gluten. Plus eggplant is loaded with fiber and copper, and if you leave the skin you’ll get boatloads of antioxidants.
2) Homemade meat sauce (I’ve got some shortcuts if you don’t want to go 100% homemade) allows you to control the quality of the ingredients going into your sauce layer. The homemade version comes together in under 30 minutes. Don’t be intimidated by making your own marinara. I have complete faith that you can do it, and you won’t want to use store-bought ever again.
3) Cashew ricotta is the sneaky, magical part of this recipe that really transforms it into the luxurious lasagna of my childhood. I mix it with thawed frozen spinach to boost the vitamin content, too. Just be sure to give yourself a few hours to soak the cashews, which will make them so much easier to work with.
This lasagna easily feeds eight. I love that I can make it on the weekend, and hubs and I can reheat leftovers all week.
Before I letcha go, a few shortcuts, as promised…
First, you could TOTALLY use store-bought marinara in place of my homemade sauce. I won’t judge you. Just make sure you check the sugar and sodium content.
Second, if you’re down with dairy, you could use regular ricotta cheese and still mix it with the spinach.
Last, you can prepare the casserole the day before and then bake it off an hour before dinner. I do this all the time. Again, the longer those flavors can hang out, the more fantastic your party will be. It freezes like a boss, too.
Alright homies, keep on keepin on. Whatever your goals may be (weight loss, fat loss, maintenance), this recipe will help you there. And if you’re afraid your meat-and-potatoes spouse will stare daggers into you when you say eggplant lasagna, find comfort in the fact that my McDonalds-lovin hubs scarfed this lasagna down in under 5 minutes.
What are y'alls favorite Italian meals? Any more ideas for Italian Paleo makeovers?
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!