I was looking for a yummy South Beach recipe to curb my Italian Cravings. I found a vegetarian lasagna recipe using eggplant slices as noodles, substituted my own meat sauce, and voila!
- 2 large eggplants, peeled, sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch noodle-like strips
- cooking spray (olive oil spray is best)
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 lbs ground sirloin or 1 1/2 lbs turkey breast or 1 1/2 lbs Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 (16 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons italian seasoning (or mix of oregano, basil and thyme)
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed (optional)
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you dare!) (optional)
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
- 1 cup red wine (optional) or 1 cup vodka (optional)
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce (or large jar sugar free sauce if you can find it)
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes (for less sugar, 3 chopped roma tomatoes)
- 2 cups low-fat ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 3 cups shredded lowfat mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Spray cookie sheet, arrange eggplant slices and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook slices 5 minutes on each side.
- Lower oven temp to 375.
- Brown meat, onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes.
- Add red pepper and mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes.
- Add spinach, tomatoes, spices and wine and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Blend ricotta, egg and onion mixture.
- Spread 1/3 of meat sauce in bottom of 9” x 13” glass pan.
- Layer ½ eggplant slices, ½ ricotta, 1/3 mozzarella and parmesan.
- Add last layer of sauce, then mozzarella and parmesan on top.
- Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
- Remove foil and bake or broil another 5-10 minutes until cheese is browned.
- Let it rest 10 minutes before slicing, if you can wait that long!