I must start by thanking Sarah Fragoso from Everyday Paleo for introducing me to the wonders of replacing pasta with thinly sliced zucchini to make an amazing lasagna. If you don’t already own her cook book… what are you waiting for? Her recipes are fantastic and she has a very genuine approach to helping others find their balance of healthy food, healthy self-image, healthy families, healthy exercise – can you tell how much I love her book?
Due to my working/teaching/performing musician schedule, I am always looking for innovative meals to make in the slow cooker. Sarah’s recipe for “Hasta La Vista Pasta Lasagna” inspired me to create my own “garden fresh” version – without marinara – and in the slow cooker for added convenience.
I’ll warn you right away – my slow cooker is HUGE. These ingredients barely fit. So if you’re working with a smaller model, you may want to cut quantities in half.
Paleo Slow Cooker Garden Lasagna
6 zucchini, thinly sliced with a mandoline or food processor
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups shredded red cabbage (about 1/4 red cabbage head)
2 pounds chicken sausages, diced
1 cup walnuts
small handful fresh basil
1/2 13.5 oz can coconut milk
5 cups fresh spinach
4 cloves garlic, mashed
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
salt/pepper to taste
In a food processor, thoroughly combine walnuts and coconut milk. Add basil, spinach, garlic, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and process until a thick paste is formed.
Cover the bottom of your slow cooker with a layer of sliced zucchini. Continue with 1/3 of the mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, spinach mixture, and chicken sausage chunks. Repeat process 2 more times. Finish with a final layer of zucchini.
(On a side note – I still eat dairy about once a week, in moderation. I did sprinkle a small amount of shredded mozzarella on the very top. Fresh grated parmesan would also be great. But you may omit the cheese and still get a great meal.)
When your layers are finished, cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours. After 3 hours, remove lid, turn off slow cooker, and wait 20 minutes before slicing indiviual portions.