Being 40something means I have to make changes in the way I eat and prepare meals. Eating low-calorie can be challenging, but it is what it is.
You know, it seems like only yesterday I could inhale half a lasagna (with the garlic toast) and not gain a pound.
Now, if I so much as say the word lasagna, I gain 2+ pounds. Geez.
I had a craving for lasagna yesterday, so I played around with a few ingredients to develop this recipe. I used what I had on hand.
Here’s my recipe:
3 medium eggplants (large ones seem tough to me)
1 1/2 cup of fat-free shredded mozzarella (I like Kraft)
1 cup reduced fat ricotta
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
11/2 lb. ground turkey
1/2 lb. Italian turkey sausage
1 egg white
1 can fire roasted tomatoes, I used 14.5 oz.
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp. oregano and basil
Pepper to taste
A pinch of red pepper flakes
1 jar 23.5 Prego Italian sausage
2 tbsp. olive oil
Preheat oven to 350.
Spray cooking spray on a cookie sheet. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet. Add vegetables and meats to skillet. Cook 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook until meat is browned and veggies are soft. Your kitchen should begin to smell really good about now.
While meat is browning, rinse and slice eggplant in 1/2 inch slices. Lightly salt and pepper.
Layer the slices on the sprayed cookie sheet. Bake the eggplant 10 minutes. Set aside for now.
Add fire roasted tomatoes to your meat mixture. Stir in a pinch of red pepper flakes, basil oregano and the Prego sauce. Taste to check seasoning.
Simmer the meat mixture covered for 20 minutes. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Meanwhile, mix ricotta, egg white with parmesan cheese in a bowl. Add a little black pepper.
Ladle a bit of your meat sauce into casserole. Spread it around the bottom. Place a few eggplant slices on top.
Spoon a little meat sauce to cover eggplant (think of the eggplant as lasagna noodles).
Use a spoon to drop some ricotta mixture over meat layer- maybe a 1/2 inch apart. Sprinkle a pinch of mozzarella cheese over entire layer. Add more cheese if you’re not counting calories. This is your first layer.
Continue layering the eggplant, meat sauce and cheeses until you’re done. However, try to finish with a meat sauce layer. It’s prettier.
Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Add remaining mozzarella and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is gooey and deliciously melted. Let it rest and set a bit before serving.
Next time, I may add some bread crumbs for crunch, I dunno. What else could I use for a little texture?