Eggplant and Zucchini Lasagne

dairy free gluten free lasagne

With the cooler Autumn weather starting to set in, nights are calling for hearty, warming dishes. I’ve been making a lot of soups and curries, utilising the root vegetables that are in season right now like carrots and sweet potato.

I love this time of year, when it’s cool enough to rug up and stay in bed, but the days are filled with sunshine. It’s red wine season and footy season, and it’s the perfect weather for Italian cuisine.
Lasagne is not the most beautiful of the Italian dishes, but what it lacks in the looks department is makes up for in flavour and heartiness, which makes it a perfect Autumn dish.

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I LOVE lasagne. Aidan loves it too. So it’s a regular feature on our weekly dinner menu. This eggplant and zucchini lasagne came about of a need to satisfy our lasagne cravings without using the pasta sheets to create the different layers. Removing gluten from my diet has been worth it, but I don’t want to miss out on my favourite foods. This lasagne uses roasted eggplant and zucchini for the layers between the bolognaise, and has a crust made from ground pepitas and linseeds. The nutritional yeast a gives cheesy, delicious flavour to the dish that makes it extra special.

So easy to make, this gluten free eggplant and zucchini lasagne  is brimming with flavour and full of nutritional value. It’s a great dish if you’re looking for ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables, and at this time of the year we could all do with more vegetables in our diet. Zucchini and eggplant are both full of vitamin C, great for boosting the immune system and maintaining the health of our cells. The protein from the beef and seeds, and the fats from the pepitas and lindseeds make this a well rounded dish that will satisfy and warm our bellies on even the coldest night.

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Eggplant and Zucchini Lasagne

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 500g of minced beef
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small brown onion
  • 1/4 cup of pepitas
  • 1/4 cup of lindseeds
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of dried basil or oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Slice the eggplant and zucchini into soldiers, about half a centrmeter in thickness.
  3. Place the eggplant and zucchini in the oven and bake for around 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Meanwhile, chop the garlic and onion.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until the onion is clear.
  6. Add the oregano, some salt and pepper to the saucepan and stir through the garlic and onion.
  7. Add the mince to the saucepan and fry until just cooked through, stirring regularly.
  8. Add the tinned tomatoes, some more salt and pepper (if you like) and bring to the boil.
  9. Reduce the heat and simmer the bolognaise for around 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
  10. In a casserole dish, lay out the first later of egplant and zucchini, alternating the soldiers in the dish.
  11. Add a layer of the bolognaise, then repeat the process of laying the eggplant and zucchini then the second layer of bolognaise.
  12. Sprinkle the crushed pepitas and lindseeds on top along with the nutritional yeast.
  13. Bake the lasagne in the oven at 180 degrees celcius for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  14. Cut into slices and serve.
  15. Enjoy straight away, or allow to cool before covering and storing in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
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Variations:
-If you’re not a meat eater this recipe will work very well using lentils or other legumes in place of the minced beef.
– If you can’t live without your pasta layers you’re more than welcome to add them in to the dish. I will make for a very hearty lasagne with three different types of layers.. YUM!
– You could also use hazelnut meal or almond meal for your crust along with the nutritional yeast which would be just as delicious as the seed crust I made.

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