I created "Caily Bake" one day when there was a spaghetti squash laying around that i felt like doing something different with. I had made lasagna & pasta dishes for the family before, but I wanted to try something without pasta so that I could enjoy something gluten free while a work. Since the kids were eating a lot of pasta, I wanted to make them something little healthier that they could enjoy with their family. I ended up making a sauce with lots of vegetables and meat. I layered the spaghetti squash with the sauce, eggplant and different cheeses. Out of the oven came a delicious healthier version of lasagna that the whole family enjoyed. Now everyone loves it, the kids even ask me if they can have it for lunch, snack & dinner! I have made it on many occasions for "family meal time" with my friends since it can feed a lot of people. I always get asked how to make "Caily Bake", so finally here it is....ENJOY!!!!
Recipe & Instructions
- 1 lb beef or sausage. I like to use half a pound of each if I have both
- 1 jar of your favorite sauce. Sometimes I add extra if I have a lot of meat and vegetables. If you like it more saucy than meaty, add extra sauce.
- 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Add more or less cheese depending on how cheesy you are.
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1 large eggplant
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 zucchini
- 1 small package mushrooms
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2-4 carrots
- Herbs & Spices to your liking. I typically use salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, paprica. Use what you like. Sometimes instead of salt I use Goya Adobo seasoning which has salt, garlic & turmeric. It has become a seasoning I use frequently to add flavor to most things. Its really cheap at the grocery store, find it in the ethnic foods isle.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out seeds & place face down in a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water. Bake for 1 hour at 350 or until a fork pulls it apart easily. Make sure not to over cook or it will be mushy.
- Peel eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch slices, place on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil & a little salt, bake at 350 for 20-25 min. Flip over if eggplant starts to look too dry
- Cut onions, carrots, garlic, mushrooms & zucchini. Add 4 tablespoons butter or oil to a large pan and start cooking carrots, onion and garlic. After about 5 minutes add zucchini and mushroom & cook for a few minutes.
- Add spices. 2 teaspoons salt, few shakes of Adobo, pepper to your liking, 2 teaspoons basil, parsley, oregano, basil, thyme. 1 teaspoon paprika.
- Add meat & mix well until meat is cooked.
- Add sauce & mix well. Turn down heat and cook sauce for at least an hour while the spaghetti squash and eggplant cooks. If you have more time cook the sauce for a few hours, I like to leave mine on the stove for 6 hours on low or make it the day before. The flavors seem to come together very nicely when they have been in the fridge overnight or cooked all day. Always taste your sauce to see what it needs. Mine usually needs a little more salt.
- Once everything is cooked start layering the ingredients. Start with 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of a large casserole dish. Add half the spaghetti squash, then half the eggplant. Cover with half the mozzarella and half the parmesan. Contunue with another 1/3 sauce, 1/2 the spaghetti squash, 1/2 the eggplant. Top off with remaining sauce and cheese.
- Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, let cool for 10 minutes & Enjoy!