Sunday, January 30, 2011

Low-Carb Lasagna Muffins- Work in Progress

I love the idea of meals in muffin tins. I've successfully made meatloaf in a muffin tin, which is sad, since I really don't even like meatloaf... but it was good. I've tried twice to make macaroni and cheese in muffin tins (which I know can be done, since I've seen it before!) But the two times I'm made the mac'n cheese muffins, they fell apart. And tonight I was going for lasagna in muffin tins. This was REALLY tasty, but they did not hold their shape either. I think the starch in a noodle would help hold them together. Or maybe the meat should have gone on the top or bottom instead of the middle? I'll post what I did, and if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to let me know! You do need a mandolin (you can buy them as cheap as $20) to get the slices as thin as possible on the zucchini.
Maddie and Izzie's plate.

Low- Carb Lasagna Muffins (Work in Progress)

3 zucchini
ball of fresh mozzerella (I used half the ball)
 6 tbsp cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (I prefer cottage cheese in my lasagna, but ricotta is more traditional)
melted butter to grease muffin tins with
Meat Sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb ground hamburger or ground turkey
6 cremini mushrooms, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp Italian seasoning 
1 small can of diced tomatoes
Bechamel Sauce
1.5 tbsp butter
1 tbsp arrowroot
1 cup heavy cream
pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper

Start browning your meat in a small skillet with the olive oil. Add seasonings, garlic, mushrooms. Continue cooking until mushrooms are cooked. Add diced tomatoes and simmer on low while you prepare the bechamel sauce.

In a separate small pot, melt butter and add arrowroot. (I no longer use cornstarch*, since it is a processed food.) Whisk the arrowroot into the butter until incorporated. Whisk in the heavy cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Boil until thick, remove from heat.

Slice the zucchini as thin as you can with your mandolin. Crisscross three slices in the bottom of each muffin tin. The zucchini will go up the sides and over a bit. Put 1 tbsp cottage cheese, 1 tbsp meat sauce and 1 tbsp of bechamel sauce. Then cut the next layer of zucchini into 1 inch squares. Layer the cut zucchini over the bechamel. Top with thinly cut mozzerella. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until mozzerella is bubbly and brown. (I recommend putting a cookie sheet under the muffin tin so you don't boil over and make smoke in your house. I'm just talking from experience here!) Let cool a bit before trying to remove.

Mine got saggy in the middle, so if anyone has any advice for making them more firm, I'm all ears!

*The majority of the corn starch on the market is GMO (genetically modified organism) and cornstarch is a highly processed food ... here's an excerpt from an article on the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) website: "Corn starch is processed and refined from the kernels of corn by using a series of steeping (swelling the kernel), separation and grinding processes to separate the starch from the other parts of the kernel (which are used for animal feed.).The starch is hydrolyzed using acid, acid-enzyme, or enzyme-enzyme catalyzed processes

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