I have a confession. I still like to cook in the summer. I still like to cook in large batches and freeze it for the times when weekends are crazy busy and it’s Sunday night and no one went grocery shopping. By “no one” I mean me. Nothing against Brent at all; he goes willingly whenever I ask him and write up a very detailed list of what to buy. But really I like to go grocery shopping. (I also have a wee bit of a control issue when it comes to the nutritional choices of my family….. buuuuttttt that is another post for another day.)
Let’s face it-the summer is busy! I bet there are a bunch of you reading this right now who already have 90% of your weekends already booked! Do you think it’s safe to assume that you are probably going to find yourself in a similar situation that I mentioned above? That you will come home late on a Sunday and then realize that there is no food in the house…probably pretty likely, eh? Well don’t panic and do not dare utter anything that resembles you buying lunch on Monday. Remember that you have slowly but surely been stocking your big-butt freezer for an emergency such as this. This type of “emergency” is known as life or rather having a life, as in social life. It’s a good thing. However it is not an excuse to let all your hard work and dedication fly out the window.
One of my favorite quotes is “Fail to plan; Plan to Fail.” This is why we are spending so much time on stocking our freezer. A well-stocked freezer involves planning and therefore not failing. I know, I am like Yoda right now, it’s silly. So what else is in your freezer? Complete meals baby-protein, fat and complex carbs all rolled into one yummy container you don’t have to wash 🙂 This is where Everyday Paleo’s Lasagna comes in handy. It’s simple to make, it’s delicious and more importantly it freezes well.
So here is where I ended up asking my mom for her mandolin slicer…again. She gave it to me once a while ago. I took it out of the box and was immediately scared of it. I had visions of me in the emergency department needing stitches. With no real recipe to warrant owning yet another kitchen tool and the fear of a $75 copay, I gave it back quickly.
In Sarah’s recipe, she slices the zucchini into circles which you can do if you want. IMO it doesn’t really look like lasagna when you do it like that.
So I decided it was best to get that mandolin back and conquer my fear. Slicing it the long way into strips allows you to lay them down as if they were lasagna noodles and thus holding the shape of true lasagna. It’s a beautiful thing.
- 2 lbs grass fed ground beef
- 1lb mild Italian sausage
- 1 red onion diced
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried Italian Seasoning
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or fat or choice
- 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes drained
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 1 cup organic black olives sliced
- 6 zucchini thinly sliced
In a large soup pot saute onions and garlic in the coconut oil for about 3 minutes.
Add ground beef and sausage and brown. Season meat mixture with all dry ingredients and add drained diced tomatoes and tomato paste and mix well.
In a big lasagna baking dish place a layer of sliced zucchini and then ladle on a thick layer of the meat mixture and top with the sliced black olives.
Top meat and olive layer with another layer of sliced zucchini and top with a final layer of the remaining meat mixture. I get 3 layers with this recipe.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 30 min. Let sit for 10 min before serving.
If making to place directly into the freezer, do not cook it first. Freeze it directly after assembly and cook it when you want to serve it. Be sure to defrost it first so you don’t have cold spots in the center.
If I am making this meal to be put directly into the freezer to be used at a later date, I buy aluminum foil baking pans that can be recycled that look like this:
I go to my nearby dollar store and buy a bunch. This size pan will feed my family of 4 with leftovers for lunch. This way, my Pyrex and Tupperware containers are not stuck in the freezer for weeks or months on end. Because the beauty of a deep freezer like this is that your meals should be good for at least 6 months if protected properly.
Any leftovers get individually wrapped in aluminum foil in lunch size portions and put in my big butt freezer.