A low carb pasta bake with no pasta? How is that possible?
Simple, really, replace the pasta with zucchini rounds – and if you add the zucchini at the last minute it holds its shape and texture. No soggy zucchini – slightly al dente /ælˈdɛnteɪ – cooked to be firm to the bite.
I have been on a weight loss journey for the past 6 months and this has made me look closely at how I cook and what I am cooking (and eating). Some drastic changes to the family menus have been a result, including cutting out most carbohydrates!
Now, before you run for the hills – let me reassure you, it is very possible to enjoy a satisfying meal without pasta, or potatoes…I promise.
After nearly 6-months I have lost 27 kilos so far and with a goal of 40 kilos to lose, have past the halfway point. It would be wrong to say it has been very easy, because it has not been a breeze. However, it has not been that bad either!
I had a cervical spine injury last year which landed me in the public hospital system for 8 long days and nights. As part of my rehabilitation I had physio, acupuncture and cupping (I’ll tell you more about that another day) – I bought a treadmill and took up walking daily. I watched what I ate, but honestly never lost more than a couple of kilos.
A friend at work encouraged me to look at a low carb diet – a Ketogenic diet. And as they say, the rest is history as they say.
I am in the process of updating my family favourite recipes to be more low carb and therefore Keto-friendly. In the meantime why don’t you take a look at this Pasta Bake with no Pasta! It has just 7.3g net carbs per serve, is family-friendly and jolly tasty.
Ingredients: Serves 6
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch chilli flakes
- 450g good quality mince beef
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 large zucchini, sliced
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 160C fan bake – heat oil and add onion cooking until the onion is soft. Stir in garlic and chili flakes and cook for one minute. Add mince and season with salt & pepper to taste. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
- Add tomato paste & oregano. Cook for 2 minutes and then add tomatoes bringing sauce to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook until liquid is slightly reduced – 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in zucchini and basil. Season again with salt & pepper.
- In a large baking dish, place half of the mix in an even layer. Then add half of the spinach, and dollop half of the ricotta cheese over the top. Add 1/2 of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses next. Repeat the layers.
- Bake until the cheeses are bubbling – melted and delicious! 25 minutes will do the trick.
Needless to say there will be leftovers if you are a small family of two like us! However this recipe does make enough for 6 hungry mouths making it a great family dish.
We’re back for seconds tonight with a side of roasted pumpkin and perhaps some steamed broccoli.
Happy dieting xx