Cook1 hr 30 mins
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! A low carb keeper in our home! The eggplant taste is indistinguishable with all of the bold italian flavors, and adds the needed texture of the missing noodles. I've also seen zucchini strips used as the mock noodles. Try it!
- 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!