I’ve been lactose intolerant for about 10 years now and most of the time I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on anything because I can’t eat cheese, cream, etc. But every once in awhile I get the urge to to revamp dishes that contain dairy into dairy free versions. I made dairy free cheesecake with my Mint “Cheesecake” Brownies and I also made my take on a dairy free Peanut Butter Pie with my Almond Butter Pie recipe. So what is the secret ingredient used to make the dairy free cheese? Nuts! When soaked, nuts like almonds or cashews become creamy and can become a great replacement for cheese. Up until recently I had only used the cheese replacement in sweet dishes so I was excited to try my hand at making a savory dish. My first savory dairy free venture was Lasagna. I absolutely loved the results! So delicious and even my dairy loving fiance loved the lasagna. He even asked for a second helping! Of course if you eat dairy the other great thing about this Lasagna is that it uses zucchini as the noodles so it’s low carb as well. You could easily use seasoned ricotta cheese instead of the dairy free cheese.
- 1 lb ground Italian sausage (check ingredients)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 cups marinara sauce (check ingredients for no added sugar or preservatives)
- 2/3 cup almonds or cashews, soaked in water for 8-10 hours (remove the almond skins after soaking)
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower, steamed
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 6 Tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 medium zucchini
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- Slice the zucchini with a mandolin set at 1/4" thick (should yield 12-14 zucchini slices.
- Salt the zucchini and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat brown the sausage and ground beef.
- Remove the excess fat and then add the marinara sauce.
- Season to taste.
- Drain and rinse the almonds (or cashews)
- Place all of the cheese sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- If you using dairy instead of the dairy free cheese sauce above, season 1 cup of ricotta cheese with the garlic powder, onion powder, and Dijon mustard.
- Spread the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9x9" pan.
- Place 1 layer of zucchini onto of the tomato sauce (remove excess liquid from the zucchini before putting it in the pan),
- Top the zucchini with half of the meat sauce.
- Top the meat sauce with half of the "Cheese" Sauce and swirl it with a knife.
- Repeat with another layer of zucchini, the rest of the meat sauce, and the rest of the "cheese" sauce.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the zucchini is tender and the top is golden brown.
- Let cool slightly before cutting.
Net Carb Count*: Zucchini Lasagna: 8.78 net carbs (per serving--serves 6)
*Note carb counts are estimated based on the products I used. Check nutrition labels for accurate carb counts and gluten information.
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