"...what a person accomplishes in life is directly correlated with the people around them." - John Berardi

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sweet Potato Lasagna

Wow... it's been forever, right? I guess I'm finally getting back into the groove of things as we are getting settled on the East Coast. I already made my own almond butter and jerky this week and I'm making blueberry lemon muffins in the morning for my son! Yay for getting back to our "normal!"

We have also been spending a lot of time exploring (like visiting 3 different beaches the last 3 weekends, walking around Walden Pond, biking the Minuteman Trail, picking peaches, checking out the farmer's markets...) while the weather is still nice because I hear the winters here are long and brutal!

Our furnishings finally made it 10 days later than we requested and so I've been reunited (after being 3+ weeks apart) with my dearly missed kitchen appliances :) Pathetic, I know. I have learned what little you need to get by but I definitely love the convenience and options I normally have with my complete kitchen spread.

It was good to keep our meals simple while we didn't have much in our new house but I think it got me in the mood to try something new. I asked my husband for suggestions on a new recipe to try and he wanted some lasagna. I looked up a few paleo/primal-type options and he was intrigued by the sweet potato recipe.

Here is the site I referenced but of course I still sort of did my own thing! I did my best to list approximately what I did/used. A paleo version was listed too if you don't tolerate dairy, and how to make it in the crock pot. Since it was my husband's request, I figured he would be happier with the cheese. I didn't use all 3 cups of mozzarella cheese for mine but I think I will use the full 3 cups next time I make it. My picture isn't beautiful but it was delicious!

Sweet Potato Lasagna


Meat Sauce:
1 lb ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey)
3 1/2 cups tomato sauce
½ large onion, finely diced
1 1/2 tbsp dried basil
1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
1 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Spinach Mixture:
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
15 oz ricotta cheese (I used a vegan ricotta to lower the dairy amount, tasted great!)
½ tsp salt
Pinch of fresh nutmeg

12 oz. sweet potato, peeled and carefully sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
12 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced (approximately 3 cups)
Freshly grated Parmesan and chopped parsley for garnish (optional, I forgot this step)

1. In a large frying pan, brown the ground meat/beef and drain any excess oil. Add meat back to pan as well as the remaining ingredients for sauce. Stir and set aside. 
2. In a food processor, pulse the Spinach, ricotta, salt and nutmeg and set a side.
3. Spread 1/3 of meat sauce in bottom of large crock pot. Then place half of the sweet potato slices (sprinkle with a little bit of salt) followed by ½ the spinach mixture. Be sure to spread spinach mixture over entire surface of sweet potatoes. Then top with 1 cup of cheese. Repeat all the layers once and finish off with the last bit of meat sauce and the remaining cup of cheese.
4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender and cheese is melted.
5. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.