Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

Lasagna (Need We Say More)

As the daylight begins to fade a little earlier and the temps begin to fall, many of us turn to food that comforts us for the long nights ahead. For many of us, pasta means yummy food, your grandmother’s or aunt’s table for Sunday dinner. These days with so many different dietary needs, some of the favorites you grew up with, may not agree with you. However, there are still ways you can still enjoy partaking.

For Vegans, gluten-free, and low carb: You can use Tinkyada, Brown Rice Pasta with Rice Bran, lasagna noodles or Jovial Gluten Free Brown Rice Pasta, or any other low carb pasta of your choice. You can also make your own carb-free pasta from vegetables like zucchini and eggplant using a mandolin to make sheets to layer the lasagna. Also, feel free to use the gluten-free pasta of your choice.

Meat substitution for Vegans- Beyond Beef Ground. I like this product for the taste and mouthfeel.

Dairy-free cheese- Daiya Mozzarella Shreds Just remember to be sure whatever product you’re buying is labeled dairy-free or vegan; those labeled non-dairy or lactose-free may still contain dairy ingredients

Meat Lasagna

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef (85/15 80/20) (Beyond Beef Ground 2 packages)
  • 3 to 4 cups marinara (your recipe or favorite jar sauce)
  • 1 small onion, fine diced
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 to 2 packages of oven ready lasagna noodles (for vegetable noodles, it will depend on the size. Generally. three medium zucchini or 2 large eggplants will suffice for the recipe
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded mozzarella (Daiya Mozzarella shreds)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


  • In a large skillet heat oil until it shimmers. Add the onions and red pepper and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the meat and cook for 10 to 14 minutes until cooked through. Be sure to break the meat up occasionally to be sure it cooks evenly. At the last minute stir in the garlic, and let it cook for one minute. Turn the heat off. Allow the meat to sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Drain the fat from the meat, then add to a large sauce pot or Dutch oven. Stir the marinara in and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Here is where you can adjust the seasonings for your taste. I like to add a bit more basil and parsley. There are no wrong answers here, suit yourself. If you want to bake your lasagna after layering, preheat the oven to 350 degrees now.
  • When the sauce has heated through take your baking dish (sizes 11 X 7 X 2 /13 x 9 x 2 /rectangle) and spread a little of the meat sauce on the bottom to begin layering.
  • This image is from Cooking Classy, it’s a great visual way to see the layering from start to finish. It’s Sauce/Noodles/Cheese/Meat Sauce/Noodles/Cheese, and so on.
  • When you are finished layering, cover the lasagna with foil that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Place into a preheated oven 350-degree preheated oven for 45 minutes, for the last ten minutes, remove the foil and bake for an addition ten minutes. Remove from the oven and let it set for at least 45 minutes up to an hour.
  • Notes
  • You can also make a hearty sausage lasagna using sweet Italian sausage or hot Italian sausage. Follow the same directions as you did for the beef. Remember to remove the casings and cook until it’s no longer pink
  • You can also make a vegan sausage lasagna with Beyond Meat’s Italian Sausage. They make Sweet and Hot flavored Italian sausage
  • If you’re using regular lasagna noodles, follow the package directions, but remove before it reaches al dente, the noodles continue cooking in the lasagna and you don’t want them to be mushy.

To Make your own marinara, I use a Lidia Bastianich recipe


  • SALT
    In a medium-size, non-reactive saucepan, heat the olive oil
    over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until lightly
    browned, about 2 minutes. Carefully add the tomatoes and
    their liquid. Bring to a boil and season lightly with salt and
    crushed red pepper. Reduce the heat to simmering and simmer,
    breaking up the tomatoes with a whisk as they cook, until the
    sauce is chunky and thick, about 20 minutes. Stir in the basil
    about 5 minutes before the sauce is finished. Taste the sauce
    and add salt and pepper if necessary. NOTE: When using fresh
    plum tomatoes, the extra virgin olive oil can be increased to
    1/2 cup for optimal results.

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