Paleo Slow Cooker "Lasagna" Casserole
When you're eating healthfully, and especially when you're trying to take off those stubborn baby pounds (or not put on 100 of them during pregnancy), pasta doesn't generally appear often on your meal plan. This recipe borrows all those amazing lasagna qualities -- filling, protein-packed, saucy, big-batch comfort food -- minus the belt-unbuckling carb binge regrets. Indulge in this low-carb lasagna casserole this week!
It's not that pasta is the devil, but it does quickly spike your blood sugar and promote fat storage with its very high starch content. Not to mention that pasta is just SO easy to overeat. There is, after all, a huge difference between the 80 g serving of pasta indicated on the package and the bowl you fill up at the end of a long day, isn't there? Keep pasta as one of your faves, and enjoy it on a night out, or for a fancy Saturday night family dinner. For the average dinner choose more nutritious carbs, like the tomatoes and sweet potatoes in this recipe, to fill you up without filling you out. If you know what we mean.
This makes a huge batch and the extra slices are perfect hot lunches for grownups and littles. Reheat in the oven in foil, and keep the extra sauce for the leftovers. Kiddos LOVE this casserole.
Bonus? This lasagna feeds everyone for about $3.00 or less per person but tastes like a million dollars. OK, it's not caviar...let's say it tastes like 10,000 dollars.
paleo slow cooker lasagna
for the casserole:
3 lb lean ground beef, bison, or a mixture of pork & beef
10 eggs, beaten
4 large sweet potatoes
2 medium-large red onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1-2 tbsp dried oregano
1-2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
sea salt & black pepper
for the sauce:
1 jar passata
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 small red onion, finely chopped/minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head spinach, washed & roughly chopped
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh oregano or basil (or 1-2 tsp dried)
1/4 cup Parmesan (optional)
1. Grease slow cooker insert well with coconut oil. 2. Heat large skillet over medium-high & brown meat (in batches, if needed); add onions & garlic and continue sautéing until meat is cooked through. 3. Add spices/herbs, salt & pepper to meat mixture and sauté 1 minute more until fragrant. 4. Slice sweet potatoes about 1/8" thick and microwave 1-2 minutes or steam briefly in a large pan or steamer basket until slightly softened. 5. Layer sweet potatoes into bottom of slow cooker insert until just covered; spoon about 1/4 meat mixture on top, and continue layering to finish with top layer of sweet potatoes. 6. Season eggs with salt & pepper, and pour evenly over casserole. 7. Cook on low 6 hours (cool slightly before slicing to get the best lasagna "squares").
8. Meanwhile, or before eating, heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat; sauté onion 3-4 minutes until softened. 9. Add garlic and tomato paste; sauté 1-2 minutes more until fragrant. 10. Add passata and chicken stock; bring to a boil and reduce to low to simmer 20-30 minutes. 11. Add spinach, fresh herbs, and parmesan; simmer until spinach is wilted. 12. To serve, slice casserole and pour sauce over each portion; garnish with additional basil and parmesan, if desired.