Monday, June 24, 2013

eggplant lasagna

Finally, I'm back!  I hope you've missed me, or at least my recipes! :)  Although it's only been 4 weeks, it seems like I've been away forever.  So much has changed in my life in such a short span of time...and getting acclimated took a little longer than I imagined it would.  I still feel like a stranger in a brand new unfamiliar area, but getting better at finding my way around each day.  So many exciting new places to explore!

I've now temporarily settled in to a lovely town about 25 miles north west of Atlanta.  In some ways it's similar to where I lived in Northern Virginia, a short distance from D.C., and in other ways so very different.  My entire adult life's accumulation of furnishings are sandwiched like sardines into a 10x25 climate controlled storage unit, boxes stacked 10 feet high, literally, and it's absolutely impossible to find anything!

While I house hunt, and try to secure a new job position, I'm living temporarily, and quite comfortably with my son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren in their beautiful home - with a newly finished in-law suite, and all the amenities of home…including my son's surprise the night I arrived - the MLB Network channels, so I don't miss any of my beloved Washington National's games! :)  I'm even trying to convince my 4 year old grandson, Hudson, that the Nationals are a better team to root for than the Braves.  He's not quite convinced - yet! lol

I already look forward each morning to my sweet 18 month old granddaughter's voice yelling, "Nonna!" from the top of the stairs, if I'm not in her eyesight.  Watching Charlotte get all excited as I peep around the corner is such a special joy!

Now on to food.  Lasagna.  I think I can confidently say most of us love it!  Speaking for myself, I can't eat it too often for fear of gaining weight, so the next best thing…Eggplant Lasagna.  What if I told you that half of this entire recipe is only 315 calories!  Not only is it low in fat and calories, and high in protein and fiber,  but incredibly delicious as well.

This is the newest post in my favorite healthy entrĂ©e recipes.  It's fabulous, I create it all the time…and know you will adore it as much as me!  The secret to this healthy lasagna is the layers of pasta in regular lasagna are replaced by long, thin slices of eggplant.  The cheeses are non-fat, and it's meatless, so a great vegetarian option as well. Many varieties of eggplant and tomatoes are now making their way to our Farmer's Markets…so this dish is so delectably fresh right now!

Don't steer away from this recipe because it's healthy…the appetizing flavor is not sacrificed one bit!

If you're interested in other healthy savory dishes, check under the savory tab at the top of the page.  You will find them all listed under Healthy Recipes.

Until next time…save your calories for:  Coffee Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream…mangia! xox


Eggplant Lasagna
Servings (see Carol's notes)
Adapted from Harley Pasternak's 5-Factor Diet


5 core ingredients:
2 small eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 1/4" slices)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 pound tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup nonfat ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded nonfat mozzarella cheese
salt and fresh ground pepper
olive or canola oil cooking spray
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons italian seasoning
shavings of parmigiano reggiano for garnish (optional)
fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Create the Eggplant Lasagna:

1)  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Season the eggplant slices with salt and pepper.  Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 10-12 minutes, until soft and pliable.

2)  Coat a 8" x 12" or 9" x 13" glass baking dish with cooking spray and cover the bottom with eggplant slices. Ladle half of the tomato sauce over the eggplant and top with half of the tomato slices.  Sprinkle the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the dried basil, and 1 tablespoon of the italian seasoning, salt and ground pepper to taste. Spread half of the ricotta over the tomatoes.  Sprinkle with half the shredded mozzarella.  Repeat the layers, ending with mozzarella.

3)  Bake for 20 minutes.  Then place under the broiler until the cheese turns golden.

4)  Let it sit a room temperature for about 10 minutes to set up.  Cut into desired size portions.

Nutrition facts per serving, using recipe as written (2 servings - 1/2 of entire recipe!):  315 calories, 34 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fat, 12 grams fiber.  Weight Watchers PP:  8.

Carol's notes:

The entire recipe is for 2 servings!, which are huge portions, so I prefer to portion the lasagna into 4 servings.  To achieve the extra thick portions in a couple of the photos, I slice one of the 4 portions in half and place on top of each other.

I don't peel my eggplant, especially when they are fresh, with tender skins; however, you can peel them if you prefer.

I like to slice my tomatoes ahead, and set them in a bowl with a paper towel to absorb any liquid.  This prevents the lasagna from getting watery.

I use a 15 ounce container of nonfat ricotta, and a 7 ounce package of nonfat mozzarella cheese (1-3/4 cups). This small addition will change up the nutrition facts slightly; however, I also divide the recipe into 4 servings, rather than 2.

To easily spread the nonfat ricotta, for lack of a better description - I "plop" spoonfuls on top of the tomatoes, then "smush" them down with the back of the spoon.  It doesn't have to be perfect.

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