I couldn’t resist jumping on the “meal-in-a-jar” trend that’s making its way around the internet. Those little jars just make everything so darn cute. And, it’s built-in portion control! Since the Seattle summer is starting to fade away and the air has become more crisp, it felt necessary to start adding warm and cozy meals to my weekly menu. What could be better than good ol’ lasagna? It’s easy, delicious, and protein packed. For the mini lasagna, I skipped the noodles, and instead focused on protein and veggies.
Triple Protein (noodle-less) mini lasagnas
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
- 2 cups of your favorite tomato/pasta sauce in a jar (I prefer herb or basil sauces)
- 1 small zucchini, sliced thin
- 1 cup cottage cheese (2% or less) (or ricotta cheese)
- 2 egg whites
- 20 basil leaves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp dreid parsley
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 9 Tbsp shredded reduced fat mozzarella
- 6- 7.4 oz clamp jars
- Optional: add in mushrooms, sautéed bell peppers, diced eggplant, yellow squash, or other veggies of your choosing (just remember, there’s only so much room in those little jars!)
- Start by removing the rubber gasket from all jars. (Optional: remove the entire lid from the jar)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- In a large skillet, warm cooking oil over medium heat. Add in onion and garlic, sauté until for 4-5 minutes.
- Add turkey to skillet and brown, keeping onion and garlic in pan.
- Once brown, drain excess liquid. Add in 1.5 cups of tomato sauce, parsley, and oregano. Mix well and reduce heat to low.
- In a small bowl, mix cottage cheese, egg whites, basil, salt, and pepper.
- In a 7.4oz clamp jar, spoon 1 Tbsp of tomato sauce. Next, begin layering each jar: 1. add 4-5 slices of zucchini, 2. 1-2 Tbsp turkey mixture, 3. 4-5 slices zucchini, 4. 1-2 Tbsp cottage cheese mixture, 5. 1-2 Tbsp turkey mixture, 6. 1.5 Tbsp shredded mozzarella.
- Fill all jars, then place them on a lined baking sheet and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
- Once cooked, let cool. Store in fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.
My clients hear me say this all the time, “use your vegetables as your vessel!” What I mean is, skip the white bread, rice, and pasta; look for ways to be creative with your food. You can still have the texture of noodles, but maybe they’re made of broccoli stems. Or, instead of using bread for your sandwich, make a wrap using Boston lettuce or collard greens. I know this can sound weird for many, but with some trial and error, I guarantee that you’ll find some recipes that you love…like this one!
Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Bell Peppers
- 16 thin slices of provolone cheese
- 4 green bell peppers, stem removed, cut in half lengthwise, seeds discarded
- 1/4 pound of deli roast beef, sliced into 1/2-1″ strips
- 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/2″ strips
- 4 cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and place the peppers skin side down.
- In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the mushrooms, roast beef, and spices. Stir fry until the mushrooms are soft, about 2-3 minutes.
- Place the peppers in the oven to cook for 5 minutes.
- Gently remove baking sheet from oven and carefully line each pepper with 1 slice of provolone cheese.
- Scoop the beef-mushroom mixture into each pepper.
- Place baking sheet back in oven and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until pepper is soft.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and add 1 slice of cheese to the top of each pepper. Cook again for 1-2 minutes, or until cheese melted.
- Serve immediately.
Hope you enjoy!
Although I don’t follow a “paleo” diet (or any diet for that matter), but I always like to read up on the latest trends and fads, often to find new inspiration. This creation is paleo inspired but not strictly paleo, as it does contain black beans (“GASP!”-said all the paleo followers).
Deconstructed Paleo Nachos
- 1 medium to large sweet potato, sliced thinly (Uniform sized potato if possible. The bigger the size the more “chips” you make.)
- 1/2 cup of canned black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 pound grass fed ground beef (</= 10% fat)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
- Follow one of these methods to roast your red pepper and jalapeño. I prefer to roast them over the stove if I only have 1-2.
- While the pepper is roasting. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil.
- Cut potato into 1/8″ slices (or thinner), using either a knife or a mandolin slicer. Melt 1 Tbsp of coconut oil. In a large bowl, gently mix the coconut oil and the potato slices to coat well.
- Evenly distribute the sweet potato slices over the baking sheet, trying hard not to overlap slices (this will prevent them from cooking evenly and crisping). Cook for 20-25 minutes, checking halfway through to turn over.
- While peppers and potato are cooking, brown ground beef in a skillet. Mix in taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water. Let simmer until most of the water has cooked off.
- In a separate skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tsp of coconut oil. Add the red onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the black beans and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes, until warmed.
- Slice jalapeños cross-wise (leave seeds if desired) and red peppers length-wise (remove seeds).
- Serve all ingredients on a bowl or layered like traditional nachos. Garnish with avocado and cilantro.