We recently had a party were a friend brought over a Paleo lasagna made with butternut squash instead of noodles and it was delicious as well as a big hit at the party. I decided to recreate it last week for dinner and added my own twist. Following Dr. Terry Whals’s example of getting 9 cups of vegetables a day, I added some additional veggies to this already veggie friendly grain and gluten free version of lasagna. This is an easy meal to throw together, you just need some time in the oven. I doubled it and made two different versions, one of which we ate for dinner and the other we covered and froze to help make dinners easier in a week or two. This meal has a great balance of good healthy carbohydrates (green veggies and the butternut squash) as well as some high quality fat and protein from the grass-fed beef.
- 1 can of Trader Joe’s Marinara Sauce (no sugar added!)
- 1 butternut squash, cut up into cubes (this is the lazy way to do it)
- 1 pound of grass-fed ground beef
- 1/2 a large onion
- 2 -3 cloves of garlic
- Additional green veggie, here I used broccoli or spinach (kale would also be good)
- Coconut oil spray
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cook the onions and garlic over medium heat in a large saute pan until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes) along with some coconut oil. Add the grass-fed ground beef to the pan and break apart, cook the meat until it’s mostly browned and then remove from the stove.
In a lasagna pan or casserole dish, spray the sides with coconut oil spray. The create “layers” of your lasagna filling – if you doing use butternut squash chunks here you can cut the butternut squash into sheets or even try it with zucchini slices. Layer squash, sauce, veggie (broccoli or spinach*) and beef, and repeat until all of your ingredients are used up. Place pan into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes and then it’s done. Enjoy warm and this is also a dish that freezes really well. *Remember that spinach shrinks dramatically when you cook it so if you use fresh spinach like I did add a lot of it!
If you’re an endurance athlete this is a great post workout meal. Crossfitters, this would be good after a long met con as well as for anyone that is not eating a super low carb Paleo diet. Just a regular person, this is still a healthy and well balanced meal, full of color and vegetables and grass-fed meat.