Taste of Italy Casserole

I wanted to try baking my wonderful glucomannan dumplings recipe into a casserole tonight, something Italian, but not quite lasagna.  This delicious dish was born!  My husband dipped up seconds, so I  KNOW he liked it (as did I).  Super yummy!!  It only took 20 minutes to put together, as I had the spaghetti sauce in my freezer which I had thawed in the morning.  I’ve made my dumplings so many times I can make that dough almost blindfolded in 5 minutes flat!  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto and Primal diets alike, however it’s not suitable for Paleo due to the heavy dairy.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own copy of our cookbooks  LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  Volume 8, by Jennifer Eloff, Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, and myself, is almost exclusively comprised of my recipes with some new creations by Chef George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.  Order your copy (or any of our  cookbooks) from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.

INGREDIENTS: 

1 recipe my Peggy‘s Original Dumplings

2 c. low-carb spaghetti sauce with meat (I used my bolognese sauce)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 beaten eggs

2½ c. French-style frozen green beans

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

3 links Italian sausage (12 oz.), cut into chunks

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.   Lightly oil a square glass/ceramic baking dish (mine was Pyrex 8″).  Be sure your dish is as deep as a Pyrex dish as this casserole is “tall” in the pan.

In a medium bowl, make the dumpling dough per that recipe’s instructions and let cough sit on a sheet of plastic wrap or a pliable silicone sheet for 3-4 minutes.  Roll dough between plastic sheets or pliable silicone sheets (1/8″-3/16″ thick) to the shape of the bottom of your dish.  Remove top plastic/silicone sheet.  Carefully pick up and lay dough in the bottom of your baking dish.  Slowly remove the remaining piece of plastic.  NOTE:  You can cut your dough to fit the pan bottom exactly and freeze any cut off bits in plastic for making little dumplings to toss in your next pot of vegetable soup!  That is what I actually did, but there was only about 2-3 T. cut away. 

In a medium saucepan, bring green beans to a boil in water, lower to a simmer and just half cook them.  Drain off all water you can, slightly squeezing the beans.  Set aside when done.

Spoon the spaghetti meat sauce evenly onto the layer of dough in the pan.  In a small bowl, soften the cream cheese in the microwave to a very soft stage.  Whisk in the eggs until fairly smooth.  Spoon that mixture onto the meat sauce layer.  Now spread the green beans on top of the cream cheese layer.  Next add the mozzarella cheese.

In a skillet, lightly brown the sausage chunks and remove from heat.  Place the “meatballs” atop the casserole.  Cover tightly with foil and pop into 350º for 1 hour.  Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes or until the mozzy is beginning to brown and the tops is bubbling.  Serve at once with you favorite garlic bread and/or green salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes seven 1-cup servings, each contains:

500 calories, 37.4g fat, 12.9g carbs, 4.32g fiber, 8.58g NET CARBS, 30g protein, 659 mg sodium

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