sweet potato lasagna

Sweet Potato Lasagna (Gluten-Free)

My belief in the benefits of a gluten-free diet just got a little reinforcement this week when I was visiting with a good friend from university. He was looking really lean and healthy so I asked him what his secret was. His response? “I cut out all gluten and lost 25lbs in 8 weeks!”

I’ve written before about the reasons why glutenous foods, wheat especially, tend to make people gain weight, so I won’t tread there again in this post. Instead, I’d like to offer a recipe that can help make a gluten-free life a little easier to swallow.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Lasagna

Lasagna has long been one of my favourite foods and it has therefore been one that I find myself craving since cutting gluten from my diet. Yes, there are gluten-free noodles that can be used instead of wheat-based ones, but these still represent processed carbs that I’d prefer to avoid. The solution: Sweet potatoes!

(A shout out to my wife who came up with this masterpiece!)

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into very thin round slices
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced into thin, round slices
  • 1 large handful of spinach (optional)
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese (or use tofu ricotta substitute*)
  • 1 head of broccoli (cut into florets)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 680mL can of tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Olive oil spray

Ricotta Substitute

For those trying to reduce dairy intake try this substitute for the ricotta cheese (makes 2 cups):

  • 2 12-oz. blocks Extra Firm Silken Tofu,
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Salt (add more to taste)

In a small bowl, mash the tofu with a fork or crumble with your hands. Mix in the remaining ingredients until well combined. Ricotta will keep for 3 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Directions

1. Prep

-Pre-heat oven to 400°F

-Boil 2 pots of water (for broccoli and spinach)

2. Sweet Potatoes and Onions

-Chop sweet potatoes and onions into thin, round slices

-Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray

-Place sweet potato slices and onion on one baking sheet

-Roast 8 minutes; turn over vegetables and roast for 7 to 10 minutes more or until tender.

-Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

3. Spinach and Broccoli

-Pre-cook the spinach by boiling water until tender(3-5min).

-Drain it very well so all of the water is removed (I also pressed it with paper towels to make sure it was very dry). Let cool and coarsely chop. Set aside.

-At the same time, blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for 3 – 5 minutes until tender. Drain well. Let cool and coarsely chop. Set aside.

4. Prepare Cheese Mixture

-In a large bowl, stir together the egg, ricotta cheese (or tofu substitute), garlic, spinach, basil, salt, parmesan and a few grinds of freshly grated pepper. Set aside.

5. Make Lasagna

-Use ¼ of the tomato sauce on bottom of pan

-Layer sweet potato over sauce , overlapping a bit so the layer is covered with sweet potatoes as best as you can

-Cover with ¼ of the tomato sauce, 1/3 of the ricotta, and ¼ of the mozzarella

-Add another layer of sweet potato and repeat following steps (¼ tomato sauce, 1/3 ricotta, ¼ mozzarella)

-Next, top with broccoli and onions, then add remaining sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella

6. Bake!

-Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Let cool for 7-8 minutes and serve!

This is a delicious way to avoid gluten and satisfy that lasagna craving that creeps up every once in a while.