AIP Zucchini and Beef Casserole Recipe with Carrot and Beet Sauce
Perfect for a fall dinner, this AIP zucchini and beef casserole recipe with carrot and beet sauce is a great option to throw in the oven after a relaxing day at the cider mill.
Like carving pumpkins and watching colorful leaves dance about, fall brings to mind savory spices – but many spices are off-limits on autoimmune protocol.
Paprika, chili powder, anise, cumin, allspice, nutmeg, coriander, fennel seed…the list goes on and on.
But this casserole and a great number of other AIP recipes prove that you don’t need spice for everything nice. Here’s how I made this dish delicious without inflammatory add-ons.
How to Add Flavor on AIP
Time to flip the switch. Instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t eat on AIP, let’s talk about what’s available.
Like ’em or loathe ’em, onions are never short on flavor. In this recipe, I used sautéed onion to enhance the flavor of the ground beef mixture.
Most onion haters won’t mind this method – sautéing the onion reduces its severity and brings out the sweetness.
The next ingredient is probably the most popular: bacon.
Bacon is a fantastic way to add flavor to a casserole, and you don’t need a lot. Just two slices pack a deliciously salty punch that dials up the flavor of a dish.
You can make the entire package at once, and you’ll have bacon to enjoy with your breakfast for a week.
Mushrooms are in the mix too. While they don’t offer much in the way of flavor, they do soak up the flavors around them, so the mushrooms in this recipe take on a tasty meaty flavor.
A Safe AIP Sauce
Sauces can be tricky on AIP. Check your labels, and you’re bound to find tomatoes, sugar, gluten, and/or forbidden spices.
That’s why you’re usually better off making your own.
For this sauce, I let carrots and beets co-star. I sautéed them both in avocado oil and added in some beef broth and a bit of vinegar.
This sauce is a great way to get some much-needed nutrients and add moisture to the casserole.
A Guide to AIP
Hopefully, I was able to give you some ideas on how to flavor your meals without resorting to non-AIP spices.
But there’s a lot more to AIP than avoiding a few spices. Take a look at my definitive guide to AIP. It’s got loads of information on autoimmune protocol, including who can benefit and what you should eat.
A dish for two that is as pretty to look at as it is delicious to eat.
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) avocado oil, to cook with
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 slices of bacon, diced
- 10 white button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/2 lb (225 g) ground beef
- 2 large zucchinis
- Salt, to taste
For the beet and carrot sauce –
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) avocado oil
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 beets, diced
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) vinegar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) beef broth
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).
- Heat avocado oil in a large pan and sauté the onion until softened. Add in the diced bacon and mushrooms and cook until the bacon and mushrooms have caramelized and there is no excess moisture.
- Then add the ground beef and sauté for 5 minutes to brown the beef slightly. Season with salt.
- In the meantime, slice the zucchini lengthways as thinly as possible. This is best done using a vegetable peeler because you need them to be thin enough to roll easily while still raw. You should have at least 24 slices.
- Make the beet and carrot sauce by sautéing the carrots and beets in the avocado oil. Add in the vinegar and beef broth and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Grease a small roasting dish and tip in all the Beet and Carrot Sauce.
- Lay a zucchini slice out in front of you on a chopping board and spoon a small amount of beef on the end closest to you. Carefully roll the slice up and place into the roasting dish, nestled in the sauce. Continue to do so until all the slices are filled and rolled. Drizzle over a little olive oil and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Season with salt, if needed.
A dish for two that is as pretty to look at as it is delicious to eat! Use the kind of roasting dish you would use if you were making a lasagne-for-two, but if you don’t have one, this will work well if you fill ramekins with the rolled zucchinis – or simply double up the recipe and use a larger dish. Enjoy!
All nutritional data are estimated and based on per serving amounts.
- Calories: 705
- Sugar: 13 g
- Fat: 58 g
- Carbohydrates: 21 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 26 g