Mini Lasagna Bianca (Whole30, AIP, Keto)
Aloha my loves. I feel like it’s been FOREVER since I wrote a blog post. Really, it’s only been two weeks, but you know the interwebs moves so fast, it’s like content just dissapears into the void if you’re not constantly creating new stuff. It’s a weird feeling, to make something, have thoughts, emotions and time invested in it… then send it off into the void. Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but even I forget about some of my older recipes. There A LOT of recips on this website… over the last two and half years I have shared over 300 recipes for free. On top of that I have sold over 100 recipes in the last few months to my recipe development clients. I often need to stop and appreciate how creativity and passion are constantly regenerating and evolving! Anywho, I’m back from vacation and I’m ready to jump right back in to work. So many exciting things on the horizon and I can’t wait to share it all with you folks.
Answering some questions…
- What is keto?
Keto is a diet, a lifestyle, like paleo… except the basis of the ketogenic diet is an abcense of carbs and the addition of healthy fats. In a nut shell you eat very low carb, with moderate amounts of protien and plenty of healthy fat. This causes your body to go into ketosis. In the absense of glycogen (sugar), your liver will create ketones from fat and use it for fuel. The benefits of eating this way include low and very stable blood sugar, and in turn very stable energy. The high caloric nature of the meals are extremely satiating. Folks often find it easy to fast, or go various hours between meals (I know I do!). This is great for stabaling hormones, and giving your body a chance to burn stored body fat for fuel (yes!); my favorite benefit of keto is the mental clarity. I find that I am razor sharp and full of energy, even fasted!
There are many ways to keo…
BUT the way I do it is quite simple; I avoid starchy vegetables. I eat paleo, no grains, dairy, legums etc. My diet still constists of plenty of vegetables, some berries, some seeds, some nuts are ok (although I am currently omitting them) and I source my fat and protien very carefully. On keto GOOD FAT is a must. Even if I can only afford ground beef, I buy grass fed. I eat plenty of grass fed butter, coconut oil and avocado. I eat eggs. I eat a lot of cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, kale and zucchini! I love gelatin based proteins supplements. I drink butter coffee every morning. I feel amazing!
Team no nightshades. So my low carb veggies do not include tomatoes, eggplant or peppers. I do not eat dairy (except grass fed butter or ghee). No cheese for me please. I do eat delicious meals on the daily!
- Why did I go keto, and was is the Autommune Protocol?
I did the autoimmune protocol, an elimination diet to heal leaky gut and find out trigger foods to heal autoimmune disease. You can read more about my journey HERE. It really was life changing, and I still avoid the foods which I leanred cause inflammation in my body through the AIP.
Healing isn’t a linear journey. One day I realized I wasn’t progressing, and some symptoms were returning. Frustrated that my rapid healing and weightloss came to a screaching halt, althought I was still doing everything right, following all the rules. That’s when I began my N=1 experiments. I read a lot of books, articles and tried a lot of approaches, from low carb paleo to more carbs and back again.
What I learned: My hormones were out of whack (crazy high estrogren levels), I had SIBO (too much bad bacteria in my small intestine), I was isnulin resistant. Wouldn’t you know it, low carb would help all of these things. The problem, when I went low carb before it wasn’t low enough. I was under my 100 grams of carbs a day, but still eating a lot of strarchy foods. Most folks, that’s A-ok. For me, it spiked my blood sugar, fed the bad bacteria in my small intestine and inturn didn’t do my hormones any favors.
All signs led to keto. Not going to lie, I was very skeptical at first. Everything online about keto included a lot of dairy, or processed foods… even a few threads on Reddit about folks ONLY eating eggs and meat. I was not about to give up my beloved vegetables that helpd me heal. So.. I did it my way! (Frank Sinatra playing in the background)
I read this book No Fail Fat Burning For Women by Skye St. John. I know, the title sounds sooooo freaking gimmicky. But it was very useful. I broke down keto into a 21 day program without any fake food, dairy or crazy ingredients. It was specific to women, which hi, I’m one of those. I talk about that book more in THIS POST.
- Is keto right for you?
Any diet can be tweaked to work for anyone. We are all special little snowflakes and our nutritional needs are equally unique. If you’re not feeling so hot, and think that keto can help you out, give it a shot, but that doesn’t mean you throw EVERYTHING you know about YOUR BODY out the window! Ya dig?
For example, I’m doing keto without dairy or nightshades because they don’t jive with my body. I also still eat a lot of veggies, and I don’t track my macros becasue it makes me crazy. I eat intuitively and only eat startches (like sweet potato) at night, after an intense workout. That works for me.
I am still learning and I want to be able to answer all of your questions. In that vein I am scheduling holistic and integrative nutritionists to write guests posts with all their sciency goodness for you all. I want to address things like keto for hashimoto’s and other AI issues. Keto + working out. Keto and hormone balance… all this more so that my own experiences.
Now this recipe… which is all of the above… paloe, keto and aip!
You’ll need two 16oz ramekins or a medium sized baking dish if you want to make them together. No need for a mandolin, I used my knife to slice the veggies.
MAKE THIS SAUCE AHEAD OF TIME: CAULIFLOWER ALFREDO!
- 1 large zucchini
- 2 portobellow mushrooms
- 2 cups cauliflower alfredo sauce (or prefered alredo sauce variation)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1lb ground lamb (or other ground beef)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp salt (more to taste)
- 1 tbsp dried italian herb blend (check lables)
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp bacon fat (or other cooking fat)
- Olive oil
- Make sure you've made your alfredo sauce, link above.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
- First slice all of your vegetables into thin slices. Cut your zucchini in to thin 1/4 inch rounds. Sice your protobello mushrooms in to thin rounds too, start slicing at the cap. They won't all be even, it's okay!
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat, when it comes to temperature add in the fat and minced garlic cloves. Next add in the ground lamb. Break up with a spatula or whisk. Add in the salt and herbs. Cook, stirring often until browned.
- Add in the vinegar, and let it reduce. Keep stiring until well browned. Then remove from heat and set aside.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in your ramekins, then add your best portobello slice to the bottom. Sprinkle with salt. Spoon in a little lamb, spoon in some alfredo sauce, then add in some frehs basil.
- Next in a circular pattern layer the zucchini rounds over the lamb. Gently press down. Sprinkle a little salt, add in another layer of portobello. Next some more alfredo, then lamb and zucchini. Finish off with a little salt, olive oil and basil. Repeat with the next ramekin.
- Use your best judgement with the shape and thickness of your veggies so that your layers are as even as possible. Flattening the laters with a spoon after each time helps with this. Little touches go a long way. A sprinkle of salt and herbs, a drizzle of olive oil.
- Remember you veggies will shrink when they cook, so it's okay if your lasanga is towering outside of your ramekins before baking.
- Place the ramekins on a sheet pan before placing in the oven, they will bubble over a bit. Roast for 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and let them cool a little before handling. You can eat them out of the ramekins or run a knife around the edge and swiflty turn out on to a plate. Garnish with extra basil. Enjoy!