Lately, I’ve been all about making meals in one big pan/pot/container so I can keep it in the fridge and easily pack leftovers to take to work for lunch. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s been scientifically proven that leftovers DO taste better. Since I’m on my feet all day and walking constantly at work (oh, did I mention I got a new job?! Part-timer at Crate & Barrel over here, thankyouverymuch) I need to bring a hearty and protein packed lunch that’ll keep me going for several hours. (Side note – it has been an exercise of sheer mindpower to not be able to snack every couple of hours! I play Jedi mind tricks on myself at work to not have a lack-of-snack meltdown.)
I LOVE this lasagna recipe because it is remarkably lean (and low in carbs, if you’re into that sort of thing). Eggplant, lean ground turkey, homemade tomato sauce, and lowfat dairy make for a seemingly decadent but secretly super healthy meal.
This recipe actually came as a request from a friend who has a gluten intolerance and asked for an eggplant lasagna recipe. I was visiting her in Chicago and while we were cooking together, I never really realize how pesky gluten is, especially when you can’t eat it – like, you’ll puke and get migraines if you do. So eggplant lasagna it is! And the eggplant is “breaded” with almond meal, which helps the lasagna from getting too liquid-y.
- 2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
- 1¼ cup almond meal
- 2 eggs, divided
- 1 egg white
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 16-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- Preheat oven to 375, and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
- Begin by combining the almond meal, garlic powder, 1½ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper in a shallow dish. Whisk together 1 egg and 1 egg white. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg, dredge lightly in the almond meal, and lay on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the eggplant slices halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add garlic and ground turkey. Break apart turkey with a wooden spoon and cook until browned. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Worchestershire sauce, oregano, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Set aside.
- In a bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and fresh parsley.
- Now you can assemble your lasagna! Spoon out ½ of the ground turkey sauce into the bottom of a large (13x9) baking dish. Add a layer of eggplant slices. Cut slices in halves (or quarters) if needed, in order to make a complete layer (no holes). Spread ½ of the ricotta mixture on top of the eggplant. Sprinkle ½ cup of the mozzarella. Repeat layers, and finish with the grated parmesan on top. Cover dish with aluminum foil, tenting it to make sure the foil doesn't touch the cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, remove foil, then bake for another 25 minutes, or until cheese is browned.