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Winter butternut not-lasagna

Grain-free lasagnaAre you off grains but still crave the delicious taste of lasagna?  This recipe includes all homegrown ingredients except the bacon, cheese, salt, and pepper, and you could make the bacon and cheese yourself if you're more hard-core than us.

  • 1 cup of dried tomatoes
  • 1 pound of bacon (some of the grease used and some discarded)
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 3 onions (or 2 if you want it less onion-y)
  • 1 pound of chicken breasts
  • swiss or mozarella cheese, plus parmesan and cheddar (about half a pound total)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Soak the dried tomatoes in about a quart of water for at least two hours, until they're mostly plump.  Discard the water, chop the tomatoes into small pieces, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bake the bacon by laying the slices on a tray in a 350 degree oven, flipping them over when the bottoms are lightly brown, then removing the bacon from the grease once slices are fully cooked.  Leave the oven on when you're done to preheat for a later step.

Pour off part of the bacon grease into a skillet and use it to saute the onions (chopped into small pieces) and chicken breasts (chopped into bite-size chunks).  You'll want to cook the onions for a while (about five minutes) before adding the chicken so both ingredients are done at the same time.  I add the salt and pepper at this stage, being sure to add about twice as much as I'd usually want for the onions and chicken since the seasonings will be diluted later by being mixed with the other ingredients.

Butternut lasagnaWhile the onions and chicken cook, slice the skin off a butternut, then remove the seeds and cut the flesh into cubes.  Put the butternut cubes into a 9X12 baking dish, then break the cooked bacon into little pieces to mix into the squash.  Add the chopped, rehydrated tomatoes and the cooked onions and chicken.  Top it all off with cheese --- I'm lazy and just layer slices of the cheddar and swiss or mozarella over the meat and vegetables, but you can grate the cheese.  Either way, sprinkle grated parmesan on top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour, until the cheese is turning brown on top.  Cool for 15 minutes so you don't burn your tongue.  Serves 9 to 12.

Those of you who realized this is really the same recipe (in my head at least) as the cabbage skillet pizza I posted about a month or so ago get a gold star!  Because bacon's the same as pepperoni (highly-seasoned, fatty meat), dried tomatoes are the same as tomato sauce (tomato taste), and butternuts are the same as cabbage (sweet, carb-rich vegetable), right?



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I loved the cabbage skillet pizza recipe, so I'm definitely trying this, particularly since I seem to always be looking for things to do with the surplus of squash I have.

I mentioned in a comment to a post a couple months ago that I had a volunteer squash plant grow up from my compost pile and into a white pine tree. Harvesting was an adventure (me cutting the vine with a pole pruner and my husband catching the bowling ball-size squashes as they bounced from limb to limb), but the mix of Jarrahdale pumpkin and Katy's Homestead Sweetmeat, which is what I assume this was, both from what I'd planted the year before and its looks, is delicious! I'm thinking of planting some of the seeds, just to see what comes next!

Comment by Julie Thu Jan 23 08:24:18 2014
Ricotta and mozzarella are some of the easiest types to make and cheddar and parm are only a little harder. You could totally do it with your level of hardcore-ness, and I admit its made me a total dairy snob.
Comment by Maggie Swift Thu Jan 23 09:15:52 2014
My mother and both her parents are diabetic, so I found this "diabetic lasanga" recipe, which was essentially regular lasagna only with squash and zuchini layered with the cheese mixture and ground beef instead of regular lasagna noodles. .
Comment by Emily from Bristol Thu Jan 23 15:30:57 2014
I keep meaning to ask " why are you off grains."? It is hard to be self reliant In Growing and harvesting them, so those of us with a self sufficiency mind set might do well to wean ourselves off them for that reason alone. I am off gluten containing grains- wheat, rye, and barley. But I would miss oats. And I do miss good homemade bread.
Comment by Deb Mon Jan 27 01:11:11 2014

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It was a HUGE hit at my house! All the ingredients in the dish complemented each other so well! This one is definitely a keeper! :-)

Comment by Ann Tue Jan 28 10:44:24 2014

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime