Eggplant Lasagna For The Garlic Lover
Oh lasagna, how I love you then hate you, then love you again. If only you weren’t so full of empty calorie noodles, and gobs of deliciously fattening cheese. I love the thought of you, but hate how you always ruin the way my skinny jeans fit.
I can’t be the only one who has this inner dialogue running when faced with the prospect of eating some delicious lasagna. My relationship with lasagna wouldn’t be so bad if I could just control myself, but somehow I always manage to eat just a tad bit more than one serving on lasagna night.
When Inspiration Strikes
Well guess what? This recipe adapted from Skinny Taste has me singing a different tune! I have been avoiding lasagna – well Italian food in general – since returning to the US. I don’t care how much you workout or if you try to exercise portion control, if you don’t cook a majority of your meals you will be in some weight gain trouble! Let me tell you, after not being able to cook for four months while in Thailand, even though I tried my best to keep weight gain to a minimum, weight gain happened. Hence the reason why I’ve been avoiding deliciously fattening Italian food – until last week.
Last week, my super adorable friend, Ting Ting, emailed me with the Skinny Taste “Zucchini Lasagna” recipe. She was raving about how tasty and healthy it was. Since Ting Ting knows her stuff, I decided that it was worth a try! I ended up changing the recipe almost entirely; my grocery store was out of zucchini (how does that happen????), I changed the sauce based on personal preference, and also reduced and changed the type of cheese used based on Kyle’s preferences. Even so, this lasagna still turned out to be AMAZING!
Who Knew Healthy Could Taste So Forbidden??
Even though I ended up using eggplant instead of noodles, cut the cheese in half, and used ground turkey, the lasagna tasted like the original I grew up eating. Who knew healthy could taste so good! I even threw in an optional add-on for the garlic lover out there…details below.
I absolutely love cooking, and taking time to allow for extra steps such as making my own sauce from scratch and freshly grating cheese. I feel like these extra steps make the final product taste that much better as well as a bit healthier….depending on how you do it. With that said, I want to warn you that this recipe is going to take some time to make! If you’re in a pinch for time I suggest making the sauce in advance, or putting the whole lasagna together in advance so that you can easily pop it in the oven after work.
So now that I’ve teased you long enough, here’s my fantastically delicious, makes you want to cry “omg it’s so good” eggplant lasagna recipe!
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 7 cloves garlic
- 1/2 onion
- 1 green pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 4 oz mushrooms
- 28 oz can low sodium crushed tomatoes
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- dash of red wine
- 1 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes
- Italian seasoning
- garlic powder
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 eggplant, sliced 1/8" thick
- 3 cups spinach
- 4 oz light cream cheese
- 8 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
- 1 large egg
- brown meat in medium sauce pan - drain any extra fat and put to the side
- add olive oil to the pan - saute garlic, onions, mushrooms and peppers about 5 minutes
- return meat to the pan, add tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and red wine
- simmer on low for a minimum of 40 minutes, covered
- the sauce should be thick
- slice eggplant into 1/8" thick slices
- lightly salt - set aside for 10 minutes to extract extra moisture
- after 10 minutes have passed, blot with paper towels
- in a large frying pan cook eggplant for about 2-3 minutes per side or until tender
- place on paper towels to soak any excess moisture
- grate mozzarella cheese
- in a medium bowl mix cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and egg - stir well
- OPTIONAL for garlic lovers - roast a head of garlic (preheat oven to 400° F, drizzle head of garlic with olive oil, bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until garlic is soft and squeezable) mix into cream cheese/parm/egg mixture. I promise that you will be overjoyed with garlicky goodness! Just make sure your significant other also enjoys some lasagna to avoid offending their sense of smell later in the evening.
- preheat oven to 375°.
- in an 8x11.5 casserole spread some sauce on the bottom and layer the eggplant to cover
- spread cream cheese/parm/egg/roasted garlic (if you’re feeling adventurous) mixture on top of the eggplant
- top with mozzarella cheese
- layer with spinach
- repeat until all of the ingredients are used up
- top with sauce and mozzarella - cover with foil
- bake for 45 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered
- let stand about 10 - 15 minutes before serving
I hope you enjoy my eggplant lasagna recipe as much as I did! Remember that delicious Italian food doesn’t have to be off limits if you’re trying to get in shape! It just needs to be modified.
P.S. What is your favorite healthy Italian dish makeover? Tell us on Facebook!
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