Monday, February 6, 2012

No Noodle Lasagna

    Okay, I know what you're thinking, what a horrible name for a blog post or recipe, so bland. I know, but it'll all make sense soon. After a wonderful brunch and afternoon walk with Morgan on Sunday I ventured out to do some groceries. Fun fact, I absolutely adore grocery shopping, it's the only shopping I like to do; however, I hate a crowded grocery store. People always seem so confused and they put their carts in such random spots. I thought going 1 hour before the Super Bowl would be better, and shockingly, it was!
   I wanted to make something that would feed me for a few days and maybe even a few friends so I figured a huge lasagna would do the trick. I didn't feel like messing with lasagna noodles and wanted to pack an extra micronutrient punch (not a dietitian? maybe that's not as cool as I would like to think it sounds). So I opted for eggplant in place of lasagna noodles. In this one pot dish I managed to get in 4 different colored vegetables, each providing a different antioxiant!
   As I preheated the oven to 375F, I started slicing the eggplants (~1/2 inch slices), dicing up an onion, sauteeing up the ground chicken breast, and cutting up the reaming vegetables. Next I mixed up the cheese layer and began layering my lasagna, all the while I was skyping a good friend in Germany. My friend Jami not only watched me make the entire lasagna but also eat it :). Now back to the actual recipe, I'm sorry for my lack of pictures during the process but I forgot to take prep pics, I promise I'll get better at this!

No Noodle Lasagna
-2 medium eggplants sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
-2 small zucchinis sliced (thinly)
-1/4 large chopped yellow onion (~1/2 cup)
-1 small package of frozen spinach or 1 bag of fresh spinach
-1 container of part skim ricotta cheese
-2 cups of shredded part skim mozzarella
-1 egg
-1 tbsp dried thyme
-1/2 tbsp garlic
-salt and pepper to taste
-3/4 cup whole wheat pank bread crumbs
-2 tbsp chopped basil
-1 large can of diced tomatoes (or crushed or tomato sauce)

Step 1: dice up all your veggies and slice up your eggplant.
Step 2: Coat non stick pan with cooking spray and cook ground chicken (add thyme, salt, and pepper to mix)
Step 3: mix the part skim ricotta cheese with 1 egg, add 1 tbsp of chopped basil and garlic.
Step 4: start layering! Put a thin layer of crushed tomatoes down first, just enough to coat the bottom of your baking dish. Then add the first layer of eggplant, put 1/2 of the ricotta mixture on top, then add sliced zucchini and spinach. Layer 1/2 of ground chicken Add 1/2 the amount of mozzarella cheese and another thin layer of sauce. Then start over with the eggplant layer. When you finish the second layer (my dish only held to layers) add a heavier coat of crushed tomatoes (i really like red sauces). Before you top with cheese reserve 1/4 cup of cheese left to mix with bread crumbs and 1 tbsp of basil. Then top with the bread crum mixture. Bake for about 30-45 minutes. Then ENJOY!

It should come out looking like this...

This recipe is high in fiber (from all those veggies), high in protein (from the ground chicken breast and cheese) and low in fat (since we used low fat cheese).

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