Butternut Squash Lasagna (gluten and dairy free)
I love to find ways to incorporate mineral rich bone broth into our meals. Cameron will drink mugs of broth easily. But, William and the girls are a more difficult sell. Properly made bone broth, has many healing benefits, including gut health, bone, skin and connective tissue nourishment. Chris Kresser does an amazing job detailing the health benefits of bone broth in this article. Bone broth is VERY simple and cost effective to make. If you are absolutely pressed for time and/or don’t want to make it on your own, you can find many sellers of high quality properly prepared broth. My goal is to use broth as an ingredient in at least two dinners per week. I also use gelatin in the kids smoothies every day which carries very similar health benefits without the broth taste.
4-6 Rice Lasagna noodles (mine were the boil ahead kind, but I put them in raw because the moisture from the mushrooms and sauce cooks them through)
1 pound grass finished ground beef*
1 pound pastured pork
1 pound sliced white mushrooms
3-4 cups thinly sliced raw greens**
1 large butternut squash
1 quart bone broth
1 large yellow onion, quartered
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp fresh sage, minced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
*You may substitute ground turkey or chicken for a milder flavor.
**Spinach or swiss chard are your best bets for picky eaters. They are soft and very neutral in flavor.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Rub one side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash and quartered onion on a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes. (Roasting time will vary based on the size of the squash. I had to take the onion and garlic out before the squash was done to keep it from burning.)
While the squash is roasting melt the coconut oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant then add the meat and herbs and brown until cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Wash and slice the mushrooms, set aside. Rinse and thinly slice the greens. I used beet greens, russian kale, fresh spinach and swiss chard because it was in the garden, set aside.
Once the squash is cool enough to handle scoop out the flesh and combine with the roast onion and 1/2 of the bone broth in the blender. Puree until smooth. Puree the remaining squash, onion and broth and combine batches in a large bowl for a consistent flavor. I add my browned meat and herbs to the sauce because it is easier to distribute.
Begin with a generous layer of meat sauce, top with sliced mushrooms and a sprinkling of raw greens. Next add 2-3 rice noodles.
Then add another layer of meat sauce. This time add your sliced mushrooms and raw greens.
Top with another layer of meat sauce, then add your last layer of noodles. Finish with another layer of meat sauce, mushrooms and greens.
Now, you may refrigerate until cool and cover tightly with foil. Freeze for up to a month or save to bake for dinner tomorrow. Both work GREAT!! I have made this for a dinner to have ready when we return from vacation. Prepare all about two weeks before we leave and take out of the refrigerator to thaw before we leave, if it’s a short three day trip. If it’s longer, ask whoever is watching the house to take out and thaw a couple days before you return.
The goal of this dish is to pack as much nutrition into every bite without adding too many fluff ingredients, like noodles. The noodles are simply a vehicle for the rest of the veggies and meat. You could take them out completely and swap out for thinly sliced zucchini strips.