What do you think of when you think of the holidays?
Part of it for me is warm, comforting food alongside my friends and family.
I (decently) like to cook, but moreso – I love to think of new ways to put a fun and healthier spin on those warm, comforting holiday dishes that we all know and love. Plus it gets some extra nutrition in for my family
My first take on a delicious holiday dinner is….. Zucchini Noodle Lasagna!
Here’s some options:
swap the pasta for brown rice pasta, or one of the new pastas that adds some benefits (chickpeas, or added protein!)
swap the pasta for strips of zucchini, as I am doing here!
swap the cheese for a homemade or store-bought vegan ricotta (I like Kite Hill if store bought, OR you can make your own with soaked cashews, water, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon and salt – email me if you’d like my recipe!)
make your own sauce, OR grab one that doesn’t have ingredients you don’t need. tomato sauce should be pretty straightforward, without added sugar or oils.
Here are some of my recipes for a cleaned up lasagna!
2-3 cloves of garlic
handful of basil leaves
2 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
1/2 – 1 cup of water (preference as to whether you like your sauce thick or thin)
1 tbsp maple syrup, to sweeten a bit
1 tsp balsamic vinegar, to add some acidity
Instructions: Heat up a medium-sized pan with your olive oil, on medium/low heat. Chop up all of the vegetables and throw them all in the pan together once the oil is heated (- but not the basil). Saute them for about 2-3 minutes. Add in a spoonful of tomato paste and a pinch of salt, stir them up well with the veggies cooking. Finally add in a 1/2 – 1 cup of water with another spoonful of tomato paste, maple syrup, vinegar and your chopped basil and let them simmer on low heat to let everything combine fully.
1-2 large zucchini (peeled)
Instructions: Slice your zucchini long-ways, and thin to create imitation lasagna noodles.
ZUCCHINI NOODLE LASAGNA (full recipe)
Red Sauce (buy or make yourself!)
Ricotta or Kite Hill/Vegan Ricotta
Optional: Nutritional Yeast or Parmesan to top the lasagna
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large (and greased with olive oil) pan, lay down one layer of zucchini lasagna noodles, then a layer of ricotta, then sauce. Repeat until you’ve used up all of your ingredients. Top it with either parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast before you bake. For some added protein – make a blend of hemp seeds, garlic powder, salt and nutritional yeast (or simply add hemp seeds to your parmesan cheese) for topping. 3 tbsp of hemp seeds gets you and the kids 10g of protein!
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until you see the edges beginning to crisp, then take it out, cool and serve!