If you're on a low-carb diet, pasta dishes like lasagna may be among the foods you miss the most. One way to enjoy lasagna without going off your diet plan is to prepare it using eggplant in place of noodles. In overall taste and texture, eggplant lasagna closely approximates the "real thing."
Things You'll Need
- 2 eggplants
- Cookie sheet
- 4 to 6 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- Cooking spray (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
- Large saucepan or skillet
- 1 lb. Italian sausage
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- Choice of vegetables (e.g., mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, carrots)
- 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach
- 1 can low-sugar tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups low-fat ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 4 cups shredded low-fat Mozzarella cheese, divided
- 9- by 13-inch casserole dish
- Aluminum foil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare eggplant "noodles." Coat a cookie sheet with olive oil or cooking spray. Cut the eggplant into slices about 1/4 in. thick and season with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Arrange slices on cookie sheet and bake about 5 minutes, then turn them over and bake for about 5 more minutes.
Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Prepare the sauce. Brown Italian sausage, onion and garlic in olive oil in a saucepan. Drain fat. Return mixture to saucepan, add your choice of vegetables, plus canned tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add spinach, Italian seasoning and wine. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Prepare the cheese mixture. Blend ricotta cheese, eggs, chopped green onions and 2 cups of the shredded Mozzarella cheese.
To assemble, spread a third of the sauce mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish. Over the mixture, layer half of the eggplant "noodles" and half of the cheese mixture, spreading as evenly as possible. Cover with half of the remaining sauce mixture. Repeat with the remaining "noodles," cheese mixture and sauce mixture. Finally, cover with the other 2 cups of shredded Mozzarella cheese and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake or broil for 5 to 10 minutes longer until the cheese on top is nicely browned.
Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Tips & Warnings
- You can lower the fat content in this dish by reducing the amounts of meat and/or cheese. If fat is not a concern, you can adjust in the other direction for a heartier dish.
- Photo Credit Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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