Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eggplant Lasagna

After last week, Brian and I were ready to get back to our veggie-centric lifestyle over the weekend.  Not that we didn't enjoy our carb-tastic Thanksgiving!  In fact, we enjoyed it a little too much and as a result my body was begging for a meal full of vegetables, salad and for-goodness-sake no more starchy carbs!

I've had this recipe bookmarked for a while, an eggplant in the fridge and half of a package of spicy Italian sausage in the freezer so it was perfect timing to give it a try.  But wait - lasagna has lots of starchy carbs, right?  Well this ain't your mama's lasagna!

Thin slices of eggplant stand in for noodles here and Brian was so impressed he declared he didn't miss the pasta!  Not one bit!  We both liked the sausage here, as it added a meaty and spicy element to the dish, although you could omit it and it would probably still be awesome (the original recipe does not call for sausage).  And I didn't have ricotta cheese on hand (I'm still dying to make it myself but don't know where to purchase cheesecloth!  Anybody have any idea?!) so I substituted reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cottage cheese that we had.  The meal came together in about 45 minutes to an hour, so it may not be the best choice for a weeknight, but it was worth it for such great flavors and it made such a healthy, satisfying meal without carbs*!

*Yes, I know eggplant and tomato are sources of carbs.  I am referring to starchy, higher glycemic load carbs such as pasta that would traditionally be found in lasagna, which this one doesn't have!



Eggplant Lasagna
serves 2-4
adapted from Real Simple

2/3 can diced tomatoes, most of the juice drained off
1 clove garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into slices about 1/4'' thick
1 cup reduced-sodium 2% cottage cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

8 oz spicy Italian sausage, crumbled and fully-cooked (half of a package; optional)


Heat broiler to high.  In a food processor, puree the tomatoes, garlic, 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

In two batches, arrange the eggplant slices on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, brush with oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (you may wish to increase the salt to 1/2 teaspoon if you are omitting the sausage!).  Broil until tender and just slightly charred, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the cottage cheese, egg, basil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (consider omitting the salt here if you are using Italian sausage).

Spread half the tomato sauce in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish.  On top of it layer 1/3 of the eggplant slices, half the cottage cheese mixture and 1/2 of the crumbled, cooked sausage, if using.  Repeat with another layer of eggplant, cottage cheese and sausage.  Top with the remaining eggplant and tomato sauce.  Sprinkle the top with the parmesan cheese.

Reduce oven to 425 degrees F.  Bake the lasagna until bubbling, 20-25 minutes.  Turn oven to broil and allow lasagna to broil 2-3 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden brown.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with a nice big salad or some more veggies on the side!  Followed by a mini pumpkin whoopie pie for dessert, because let's face it, we earned it after that healthy dinner :-)


Storing/Reheating note from Real Simple:  This lasagna can be baked, then refrigerated (wrapped tightly) for up to 2 days.  Reheat at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. 

Served with a side of leftover Thanksgiving green beans and some sauteed kale!
Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pie for dessert!
 P.S.  Do my pictures look out of focus to you today?!  What the heck?!?


What is your favorite way to get your veggies after a couple of "indulgent meals"?

9 comments:

  1. I want to eat at YOUR house !!! and we can't wait to come. That eggplant lasagna looked fabulous...hmmm, maybe we'll just have to retire and move in ! If you keep putting meals up like this, we may follow you !

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  2. Thanks Caitlin! If you like lasagna, it's a delicious (healthier) substitute!

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