Monday, February 6, 2012

Butternut Squash Lasanga Casserole

Ok, so I've been gone for awhile.  I'm sorry.  Paleo crockpot blogging just hasn't been at the top of my list for the last few months.

... because I've been busy being tired from being pregnant and not interested in anything other than extremely bland and super-non-blog-worthy foods.

So!  We're really psyched that baby #2 is on the way, and I'm really psyched to be feeling great in my second trimester.  I'm eating mostly Paleo, though I've stopped at all watching my fruit or sweet potato intake for carb or insulin moderation -- if I want it, I eat it!  :-)

But those pregnancy food cravings are a very real thing; I've been craving all sorts of random foods: fried chicken, lasagna, Sour Patch Kids... some I let myself have from time to time, some I talk myself out of and move on.  I will never be one of those pregnant women who harps over every morsel she puts in her mouth, but when I am having a craving, I don't totally ignore it.

Enter the latest creation!  I made this amazing recipe recently in the oven, and loved the end result.  But making this kind of meal on a daily basis right before dinner is just too much; the baby is always super cranky by that time of the day and doesn't take kindly to Mommy painstakingly slicing butternut squash into planks.

So I modified it, turned it into more of a casserole type dish, and threw it in the crockpot during naptime.  The end result will not look exactly like lasanga.  It will be sort of soupy, because the liquid won't evaporate like it does in the oven, and it will be best served in bowls.  BUT!!!  It WILL taste like lasanga!  And it will be absolutely delicious!

And that's all Will and I cared about.  We both gobbled up our bowls while watching the SuperBowl.

The Tools:

- 6 qt. crockpot

- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed + whatever other chopped veggies you want (I threw a handful of leftover zucchini pieces I had in there as well)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 lb Hot Italian Sausage
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 T oregano
- 1 T basil
- 1/2 T paprika
- 1 t black pepper
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 whole roasted red pepper (mine was from a jar...)

The Process:

Cook the sausage in a skillet with the onions over low heat.

While that's simmering, toss the tomato sauce, olive oil, roasted red pepper(s) and all of the spices into a small blender or bowl and puree them together.  After the sausage is cooked through, add the tomato sauce to the skillet and let it all simmer together for a bit.  It will look heavenly.

While your sauce is simmering away, CAREFULLY peel and chop your butternut squash.

Now assemble!  Put a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of the crockpot.  Top with cubes of butternut squash (and other veggies, if desired.) 

Repeat layers, making sure you end up with a layer of sauce on the very top.  I did three layers of sauce and two of butternut squash, and it turned out great.
Plug your crockpot in and leave it on LOW for 4 hours!


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