BLE friendly; Vegetarian option; Vegan option; Low carb; Low Sodium
Sometimes, when eating healthy, we start to crave the foods that we used to eat.
My wife loves pasta. I mean she could eat pasta three times a week and never tire of it.
So, when we removed all forms of flour from our diet, you can imagine the carnage that came from such a change. We tried a few brands of flourless pasta: some hits (Banza) and some misses (Explore Asia), but nothing to replace the good old pasta dishes she craved.
Enter eggplant lasagna, but not quite like you usually see it. Instead of replacing the meat with eggplant, I have replaced the pasta with eggplant. It turns out it was not the pasta she was missing, as much as the comfort food feeling she got from eating it. This recipe takes a little work but can be made a day in advance and finished in the oven the next day (I actually think it is better the next day).
- 2 Large eggplant sliced in ½ inch rounds
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 2 medium Roma tomatoes sliced into thin rounds
- 1 10 oz bag washed spinach
- 1 ½ pounds ground sirloin (for vegan use meatless crumbles or sautéed mushrooms)
- 8 oz Homemade or sugar free marinara sauce
- 4 oz Shredded mozzarella + parmesan for topping (total weight is 4oz for both)
- Red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste
- Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400 F (ovens may vary so keep an eye on it).
Place eggplant rounds on parchment lined baking sheets, and spray with canola or other oil spray.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake an additional 15 minutes until browned and slightly crisp.
Remove and set aside to cool. Mean while , heat a frying pan on medium heat, and coat pan with cooking spray. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic until all pink is gone (155F), and drain as much grease as possible.
Set pan aside to cool, this is an important step for building the lasagna. Once the eggplant and ground beef have cooled you can start the building process. Place a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan, followed by a layer of eggplant, tomato, spinach and meat then marinara and half the cheese.
Follow this with a second layer of each and finish with a dusting of parm. You can put it directly in the oven now and bake at 400F for 20 minutes, or cool in the fridge (uncovered until chilled all the way through, and then cover) and bake the next day at 400F for 30 minutes.
Serve with a side salad, and if you choose, it pairs very well with a dry cabernet such as Chateau Ste Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Indian Wells 2016.
*To our fellow BLE compliant folks out there, here are a few tips to make this recipe compliant.
I use aluminum pie tins to bake this in, each one serving as an individual portion. I weigh every thing separately depending on each individual’s needs. People on maintenance can add grain to this as well. The fat in this recipe is the 1 oz of cheese per person, and the 2 oz of marinara per person is standard.